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LIVE from the Camino And we are off. Daily posts from The Way .....

Undermanager

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Day 20 Oviedo - rest day

The cafe attached to the hotel does great food. Their €10 meal of the day was excellent last night. I had seafood soup, then fish in a sauce, and finally almond tart with a bottle of wine, all while watching Man United reach the Europa Cup. Hotel Favila Oviedo itself is an excellent choice. It's a good place to stay for a couple of nights if you need a bit of luxury. It's also 100 metres from the train station if that is important, and opposite a bus stop for busses to the old churches.

I got up about 9.00am (as a result of downing the entire bottle of red wine that came with the meal of the day), had breakfast in the hotel's cafe then stepped outside, crossed the road to the bus stop and hopped on bus A2 up to the old churches of Santa Marie del Navranco and San Mighual de Lille. There appears to be a flat fare of €1.20 for a bus ride. The trip takes about 15 minutes and is uphill all the way. Bus A1 brings you back. They aren't that frequent but the one going up was worth it. You could walk back easily.

The city views with the mountains in the background were great. There is an info centre a five minute walk from the bus stop, which has some good info and videos in English. You then walk another five minutes to Santa Maria del Navanco and another five minutes to the other one. One lady both sells €3 tickets and does the tour, in Spanish only, and it all seems to be at random times. It's worth a quick visit but isn't overly thrilling. There was a school party of kids when I was there so it was very noisy.

After returning to Oviedo, I went on a general wander for a few hours, round one of the big parks, which was near McDonalds in the commercial area close to the hotel, then round the historical old quarter. There is no shortage of statues, and they are fun, and the buildings are interesting in places. I went to the market, to try out samples of cheese, and had a few coffees in cafes but got unlucky with slow wifi, so gave up and went back to the hotel for a siesta, just as the rain started falling.

Oviedo is nice enough for an afternoon but no more, unless you like shopping! I looked up a few daily blogs for the Primitivo and have the outline of a plan to get me there in about 11 or 12 days, before striking for Muxio and Finisterre (thanks Peregrina2000). I will aiming for Cornellana tomorrow, depending on the weather. Thankfully, it hasn't been as bad in the last five days as it was suggested in weather reports, and is due to get even better from Sunday. The rest day was welcome, but now it is time for the third Camino!
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
It's worth a quick visit but isn't overly thrilling.
Them's fighting words, undermanager! The palace and church at Naranco are the pre-romanesque jewels of Asturias. I'm no expert, and I appreciate that not everyone shares this taste, but I have been to them at least six times and can't imagine going to Oviedo and missing a visit! (I know, I know, that makes my mental acumen suspect).

On a related note, I was going to jump in to respond when you said that the church at Santa Cristina de Lena was always closed. That's another pre-romanesque jewel for the ancient church nut cases out there, up a hill beetween Campomanes and Pola de Lena. Actually, there is a señora who lives about 5 minutes away with the keys. Her number is on the door and hours are posted. I have always found, though, that if I call her the night before and tell her when I am planning to pass by, she will agree to come up at any time, at least if she is around and it is convenient.

Maybe like coffee, romanesque architecture is an acquired taste, but I just love it. There is something about its simplicity that is very poignant and human.

I'm sure you will love the Primitivo, I went back last year and it was a real treat. I hope the fires are no longer a threat. IMO, @Juanma's albergues in Ferreira are a "must stop" on the day from Lugo. Great camraderie, beautiful setting, delicious paella!
 

kardisa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Leon to Santiago (2015)
Camino Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo (2017)
Thank you so much for these posts, Undermanager! I will be attempting the same route (Madrid-Salvadore-Primitivio) beginning in just over 2 weeks. I have been using your entries, along with Maggies and the CSJ/other guides to cobble together my own guidebook.
 

Undermanager

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Day 21 Oviedo - La Venta de Esclamplero - Penaflor - Grado - San Juan de Villapanada - 31kms

Another exceptional day. I left bang on 7.00am by the train station clock. The clouds looked grim but the rain held off until the afternoon. The gentle climb out of Oviedo was fine and there were plenty of cafes open all the way out of the city. As you climb out of Oviedo, there were a mixture of great views, then no views as the mist closed in, then great views again as the mist cleared and the sky broke through. It was perfect walking conditions. The countryside was really pretty all the way to San Juan. There are lots of big rolling hills to walk up and down.

It took about two and a half hours to get to La Venta de Escamplero. It has an albergue and would make a really nice place to stay rather than Oviedo, if you preferred staying in the countryside. With hindsight, a one night stay in Oviedo would have been enough. I walked on until about 11.30am, then saw a sign that pointed to a bar 200 metres off to the left of the Camino so went to investigate. It turned out to be the superbly pretty Casa Dylsia, so had a few drinks and an excellent sandwich and relaxed for half an hour.

After setting off from the casa, you just follow the arrows. There's no need to retrace your steps. After a short walk, you'll find yourself walking along the excellent large river Rio Nalon all the way to a large bridge in a pretty setting, with a cafe near it. Once you cross the bridge, you pass through Penaflor, then walk on to Grado, a town with all the usual facilities. There's an albergue here, but if you've just stayed in Oviedo, it seems a strange choice to me to stay here unless you are knackered. I followed the arrows through town. When you get to the small centre where there are a collection of bars, bear left to find a couple of supermarkets. Also, on the main road on the left just as you exit the town, there is a large supermarket, and another one a short distance further on. Get your supplies here. Five minutes later, you are climbing up out of Grado.

About 4kms later, you come to a junction. You can walk a further five kilometres to the next albergue, or turn right and walk one kilometre to the one in San Juan de Villapanada. The albergue here is really excellent. It has great views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, beer and wine for sale, 20 beds in a big room, nearly all of which were taken, a couple of toilets and showers and a good dining area with fully kitted out kitchen. You need to bring your own food as there are no shops or bars. The albergue can be a little noisy towards bedtime if there are a few people getting pissed and loud, so earplugs and / or noise tolerance are a must. This is a great little albergue to relax in after a hard day's walking.
 

Undermanager

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Day 22 San Juan de Villapanada - Cornellana - Salas - Bodenaya - 30kms

Today was a very enjoyable day. It started very misty and overcast but within a few hours, it had warmed up and was mostly blue sky. People started getting up at 5.30am this morning, which was a bit of a shocker but if you can't beat them join them. I was up, breakfasted and out the door by 6.30am.

The first half hour is upwards, which gets the juices flowing then it becomes fairly rolling, and is mostly along roads until you get to Cornellana after about two hours. There were half a dozen cafes to pick from and a couple of bakeries so had a good coffee and breakfast in one of them. Then I set off, past the monastery where there is an albergue. I met someone who stayed there and they really liked it and the experience. The whole place seemed nice enough for a stay and tour busses were arriving full of tourists so it must be interesting!

After breakfast, I moved on to Salas, about three hours away, a little town I liked very much. Walk into the small centre and take your pick of bars for lunch. I selected the busy one on the far right, where I had a warm welcome, a great sandwich and a free banana and sandwich in a packed lunch when I paid. Class!

After half an hour, I started the walk to the final destination, the albergue in Bodenaya. It took over two hours, is all uphill, mostly through forest and is quite exhausting. It is also a very beautiful walk. Take plenty of water!

The albergue is excellent and interesting. It got quickly full whilst I was there and with good reason, although if you do arrive and can't get in, there are two more albergues just a kilometre or two further along the Camino in La Espina so all is not lost. The albergue is set just before the start of La Estonia in the countryside and has a strong 'family of pilgrims' philosophy, is by donation only, dinner and breakfast are taken together 'as a family' and even washing your clothes is done by the albergue! It's a tidy, clean, interestingly designed place run by a couple of nice guys and would thoroughly recommend that you try to make the effort to plan your Camino so you can stay there. Be prepared for some long, intensive listening sessions delivered by the host, though. This may not be what you want if you are very hungry and tired! If you lack resilience and patience, consider walking on to La Espina!

Today has been a really good, hard day and am already looking forward to tomorrow. You quickly reach a point doing a Camino, perhaps after a week, where every day is a real buzz. I reached that point a long time ago!
 
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Undermanager

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Day 23 Bodenaya - La Espina - Tineo - Campiello - Borres - 28kms

Music awoke everyone in the Albergue at about 6.15am. The family got up together, collected their laundry, packed, went to the bathroom, had breakfast, had their hugs and said their goodbyes to the hostel guys and left. The weather is great, cool with enough cloud cover to keep it that way for nearly all the day.

It's a steady climb to start with, through La Espina and onwards to Tineo, two and a half hours after starting. You are walking on dirt track, through forest and a little bit on roads and it's all very pleasant. As you follow the Camino into Tineo, there is a great artisan baker on the corner when you turn 90 degrees right, next to the municipal building. If you want to go to the supermarket, follow the road down the steep high street with the artisan baker on the right for five minutes to the bottom, and then it's 50 metres in front of you on the left. I stocked up on what I needed here rather than Campiello - lots more variety and a lot cheaper, but of course, you have to carry it further!

The climb continues another 13kms to Campiello though forest, over country tracks and along roads and it took about three hours. It's all uphill for about 11kms, then you reach a high point, you drop down onto a road and walk along that for about 2kms to Campiello. This is a nice place, with a couple of albergues, a large shop, a few restaurants and is very pleasant. It has servicing the needs of pilgrims about to do the next hard stage of the Camino down to a fine art and looks like a nice place to stop. The shop is more expensive here than Tineo, so if money is too tight to mention, shop there.

I carried on to Borres, however, to the municipal albergue, about another 3kms mostly downhill. Smart move. It's a basic hostel but perfectly fine despite some rubbish reviews, with a microwave although but no fridge so don't bring anything that has to be kept cool for too long. It has two showers and toilets, a washing area and about 20 beds. The views are just fantastic and one side of the albergue is glass, so you get great views from many of the beds. It's €5 for the night.

Just before Borres is a fountain. Go left up to the lovely little bar in the village five minutes away to register and for your stamp, then walk back to the fountain and take the other path for five minutes up to the albergue. It was busy but not full today so people registered as soon as possible. Many of the lovely people I spent yesterday with are here so it's a nice atmosphere. The bar does restaurant meals, had excellent wifi and a nice veranda to sit on, drink and admire the distant mountains. It's also next to a lot of cow shit from somewhere so the smells are rich and the flies a constant pain.

It's going to be a long, hard day doing the mountain route tomorrow. The plan is to make a very early start and go for a good pace, to walk when it is as cool as possible.

Another really wonderful day.
 
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Undermanager

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Day 24 - Borres - Montefurado - Lago - Berducedo - 28kms

The weather forecast was fine for today, although there was a threat of rain or thunderstorms in the afternoon. I left at 6.00am with a few others to take advantage of the cool temperature and good walking conditions. Today is generally a pretty hard day, with a lot of walking up and down and some of it very steep. Walking poles would help. It's very well marked along the whole stage, with many sections marked every 20 metres or so. Even in difficult conditions, it would be hard to get lost. By 11.00am, it was really hot. I took two litres of water, which was just about okay. If it was much hotter or you left later, you should certainly have no less than two litres of water plus a lunch. There are stunning views all day long on this stage so have the camera at the ready!

From Borres, it took about three hours to the top. It's a fairly hard slog at times but quite okay. It was 11.45am when I stopped at the pretty collection of houses and old pilgrims' hospital in Montefurado for lunch. There is a fountain here as well as being a pretty place to rest. From here, it's uphill for about 10 minutes again and then a long, mostly downhill section, which is both steep and welcome. Eventually, you come to Lago, which has a bar. I didn't stop but pressed on for another hour to get to Berducedo at 1.45pm, checking in to the municipal albergue, which is the first building on the right. It only has 12 beds, is basic but perfectly fine. There are a couple of Spanish pilgrims who are really loud and have no concept of eight other pilgrims resting after a hard day. There is a well-stocked shop if you walk further down the road and turn right, just before the bar. As I write this, about 6.00pm, there are still pilgrims arriving after their knackering day, looking for places. The municipal albergue had one place left and Casa Marques was full so they were setting off to try the other albergue(s).

This has been a great day. I'm really glad the weather turned out to be fine and it wasn't too hot for most of the day and didn't rain. Looking forward to more adventures tomorrow! The aim is to get to Castro tomorrow. The weather forecast doesn't look too good but I've come to take them with a pinch of salt recently! Grandmas de Salime might be another option, but I'm keen to push on and give myself a bit of wiggle time getting to Muxia and back to Santiago on the 29th, for the flight on the 30th and to meet a whole brand new set of people!
 
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H

HighlandsHiker

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Day 24 - Borres - Montefurado - Lago - Berducedo - 28kms

The weather forecast was fine for today, although there was a threat of rain or thunderstorms in the afternoon. I left at 6.00am with a few others to take advantage of the cool temperature and good walking conditions. Today is generally a pretty hard day, with a lot of walking up and down and some of it very steep. Walking poles would help. It's very well marked along the whole stage, with many sections marked every 20 metres or so. Even in difficult conditions, it would be hard to get lost. By 11.00am, it was really hot. I took two litres of water, which was just about okay. If it was much hotter or you left later, you should certainly have no less than two litres of water plus a lunch. There are stunning views all day long on this stage so have the camera at the ready!

From Borres, it took about three hours to the top. It's a fairly hard slog at times but quite okay. It was 11.45am when I stopped at the pretty collection of houses and old pilgrims' hospital in Montefurado for lunch. There is a fountain here as well as being a pretty place to rest. From here, it's uphill for about 10 minutes again and then a long, mostly downhill section, which is both steep and welcome. Eventually, you come to Lago, which has a bar. I didn't stop but pressed on for another hour to get to Berducedo at 1.45pm, checking in to the municipal albergue, which is the first building on the right. It only has 12 beds, is basic but perfectly fine. There are a couple of Spanish pilgrims who are really loud and have no concept of eight other pilgrims resting after a hard day. There is a well-stocked shop if you walk further down the road and turn right, just before the bar.

This has been a great day. I'm really glad the weather turned out to be fine and it wasn't too hot for most of the day and didn't rain. Looking forward to more adventures tomorrow!
Thanks so much, Undermanager! This is a great help.
 

Undermanager

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I need a plan! I was thinking as I get closer to Santiago of missing Santiago altogether, walking to Muxia then Finisterre and finally must be in Santiago on the 29th, in about two weeks time. I'm currently in Berducedo.

Not sure of the logistics yet but am thinking of a road hike from somewhere using maps.me but would welcome ideas to get me started. Want to avoid the crowds! Quite happy to stay in hotels.
 

Me Fein

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portomarin - SdC( May 2010), SJdPP - Muxia (Sept/Oct 2012), Lisbon - SdC (April/May 2013), Seville -Muxia (April/May2014), Irun - Oviedo ( Oct 2015),Primitivo + Verde +Ingles (June 2016),Madrid -Sahagun + Camino del Salvador(April 2017)
I would suggest walking the Camino Verde from Lugo to Sobrado (on the Norte).Then alternate route from Boimorto to St Irene or to Pedrouza. If you take the Verde don`t miss the ruins of Santa Eulalia de Boveda. Information and links in the Camino Primitivo section
Buen camino
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Day 22 San Juan de Villapanada - Cornellana - Salas - Bodenaya - 30kms


The albergue is excellent and interesting. It got quickly full whilst I was there and with good reason, although if you do arrive and can't get in, there are two more albergues just a kilometre or two further along the Camino in La Espina so all is not lost. The albergue is set just before the start of La Estonia in the countryside and has a strong 'family of pilgrims' philosophy, is by donation only, dinner and breakfast are taken together 'as a family' and even washing your clothes is done by the albergue! It's a tidy, clean, interestingly designed place run by a couple of nice guys and would thoroughly recommend that you try to make the effort to plan your Camino so you can stay there. Be prepared for some long, intensive listening sessions delivered by the host, though. This may not be what you want if you are very hungry and tired! If you lack resilience and patience, consider walking on to La Espina!
I enjoyed Bodenaya last year. I remember that we were asked "as a family" to decided when would all get up the next morning. I can see this wouldn't suit everyone, but it seemed to go well with the place and its philosophy. I remember nice solid fuel stove too. And very enjoyable meal.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I would suggest walking the Camino Verde from Lugo to Sobrado (on the Norte).Then alternate route from Boimorto to St Irene or to Pedrouza. If you take the Verde don`t miss the ruins of Santa Eulalia de Boveda. Information and links in the Camino Primitivo section
Buen camino
Bearing in mind that Santa Eulalia is VERY closed on Sunday!!
I went that day. The way I went, it was a very short diversion from the Green route.
@Undermanager I walked from Lugo to Friol one day, and Friol to Sobrado dos Monxes the next day. Very solitary - indeed completely solitary. Two of my favourite ever Camino days.
You will find plenty of discussion and reports on the forum here.
 
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Undermanager

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Day 25 - Berducedo - Grandes de Salime - Castro - 27kms

I was awake at 5.30am after a solid 8 hours sleep so got up, packed, had breakfast and was out the door by 6.00am. Today was very gloomy and rained a light drizzle almost non-stop until around 1.00pm, and sometimes the rain came down harder. Often, visibility was down to 10 meters and having a gps with a route on was reassuring. There was little chance of taking a wrong turn, but if it was going to happen, today was as likely as any.

The walk to A Mesa, about 4kms away, took about an hour. The last building on the left as you left A Mesa was the municipal albergue, which looked a bit grim in the weather but I never looked inside, so it might be fine. There were no facilities of any kind in the village, though, so if you are staying here, you'd need to bring supplies. From A Mesa, you have a half hour uphill march, and then a walk down to Buspol. Then it's through a large forest all the way until you are standing on the dam of Rio Navia. The route down is long and can be steep and slippy and I didn't get to the dam until 9.15am. Walking poles really helped. If you have never tried them, buy a cheap pair, read up or watch a YouTube video on how to use them and why they help and then go and walk down the steepest, muddiest hill you can find, and up as well. Then you'll see how they help, then buy a decent pair. I'm using these, which I can recommend:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01826FAXU/?tag=camidesant-21

The views were great at times, when the mist cleared for five minutes. Most of the time, however, you couldn't see anything. It was also one of those days when you found out just how good or bad your wet weather gear was! My jacket is definitely on its last outing although my over-trousers are still doing their job well. A tried and tested top quality rucksack cover is also a must.

From the dam, it's about 6kms to Grandas de Salime, all uphill and mostly along a road. 15 minutes from the dam was a hotel where you could get a coffee and an over-priced can of drink. There was no food in the hotel for breakfast today but others I spoke to later reported expensive snacks. I didn't see any other places to get a drink, no shops and no water fountains. I just put my headphones on, got my head down and marched all the way to Grandas de Salime, stopping to admire the magnificent views when possible. The Camino goes off the road at times, but you can also decide to stay on the road as I did, if the weather is grim. I arrived a Grandes de Salime at about 11.15am.

Grandas de Salime is a small standard non-descript town with some shops, banks, bars and an albergue that might prove to be a bottleneck if there are a lot of people staying in Berducedo. You can walk through the town in 10 minutes. I picked up some milk for later and carried on walking to Castro. It's uphill again for about 2kms, then it levels out or is downhill to the albergue in Castro (except for the last few hundred yards). The walk is either road or dirt track, but I was in road-hike mode so just stuck to the road all the way, stopping off at a roadside pub half way to Castro. There was a gang of motorbike riders there, on a tour from the UK to Portugal, so had a chat.

The albergue in Castro is fabulous. It's in the countryside, in a tiny village. It has a great restaurant and bar attached and a shop selling very limited supplies like noodles. Natalie, one of the hosts speaks great English, although other hosts speak no English. There is no wifi. It's popular but has only 16 beds with two power sockets each, has great views and is in the middle of nowhere - if it is full, you have some decisions to make as the next albergue is a very long haul away. You may find yourself getting a taxi back to Grandes de Salime or booking into the more expensive hotel that's also in the village. You can reserve a bed so phone up and reserve one in advance before setting out for here if you want to stay and don't want lots of hassle if it's full. It really is worth making the effort to stay here as it's a really pretty, well-run albergue in a great setting. As I arrived, the bread van arrived, but they had ran out of bread. However, the nice driver chap found half a loaf in the van to give to me. A very kind gesture. There are no other facilities.

Today was another fabulous day. The rain and mist made it fun and memorable, kept the temperature down and the views were once again pretty spectacular. There are some long, hard uphill and downhill stretches but helped by using walking sticks and you need to get organised in advance if you want to stay in Castro, but it's worth it. Now to figure out what to do about the next two stages, which don't appear too convenient, and to decide what to do when I get to Lugo .....
 

Undermanager

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Day 26 - Castro - A Fonsagrada - 21kms

Today was very cold and threatened to rain from the moment I left Castro at 6.30am, but incredibly held off until I got to A Fonsagrada just before midday. The first 9kms out of Castro to the windmills took about two and a half hours and is all uphill but nothing too taxing. There was thick fog where the windmills were in the forest; you could hear them but not see them, even though you were right next to them! About 15 minutes later, you come down to a road where a bar is, but it was shut when I was there.

Most of the rest of the morning was spent walking a slow downhill descent, with a few ups along the way. The last 15 minutes uphill slog into A Fonsagrada is probably not what you want or need but doesn't last too long. The place itself is a small town, with all the usual facilities.

I stayed at the Albergue Pension Cantabrico, having booked a bed. If you want to stay in a certain place at the moment, it is worth phoning ahead, although unless your Spanish is good, that may not guarantee a bed! There are a fair number of pilgrims about and a limited number of albergue beds.

This albergue is another shining gem and worth heading for. Lots of luxury with plenty of everything you could need and all for only €10. It is on the Camino in the centre and is well signed so you can't miss it.

It is nice seeing the same faces night after night, but this may only last a few more nights. I seem to be arriving at a plan of A Fonsagrada, O Cadavo, Lugo, Friol, Sobrado, Santa Irene albergue on the CdeF, three days to Finisterre, two days to Muxia then Santiago and home. Still looking at cross country to Muxia, missing out Santiago. I have a few Wikiloc tracks plugged into maps.me so should be straightforward.

Tomorrow's weather looks like more of the same, then it's forecast to be great until I leave Spain! Happy days.
 

Me Fein

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portomarin - SdC( May 2010), SJdPP - Muxia (Sept/Oct 2012), Lisbon - SdC (April/May 2013), Seville -Muxia (April/May2014), Irun - Oviedo ( Oct 2015),Primitivo + Verde +Ingles (June 2016),Madrid -Sahagun + Camino del Salvador(April 2017)
Going from Lugo to Friol, where did you stay in Friol?
I stayed in Casa Benigno tel no 982375028 or 982375152.I would ring ahead and reserve a room.Also had dinner and breakfast in the bar.
 

Undermanager

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Day 27 - A Fonsagrada - O Cadavo - Castroverde - 31kms

I had a great night's sleep in the hostel last night and was up bright and early. There are great facilities there and shouldn't be missed. Today was very cold and until around 3.00pm, and wet with frequent drizzle and showers. Things started to get better later in the afternoon but it was a hard day today. I left just after 6.00am and arrived in Castroverde around 2.30pm. There are lots and lots of up and down stretches on this stage, some quite steep. The 3kms climb before A Lastra was particularly gruelling. I got to O Cadavo at just after midday. The albergue is on your right as you enter the village and looked okay. I stopped in the supermarket in front of the concrete park when you get to the main road in this quiet village. I bought a few snacks then pressed on.

About a kilometre or two before Castroverde, there was a snack wagon and a lady doing tours of the church in the village. So shocked was I at the idea of a real, open church in Spain, I didn't bother and carried on walking. I had a rest and snack at a bench further on in the village when a couple of other walkers appeared and we all walked into Castroverde together.

The new albergue in this small town is one of the first buildings you meet on the right. I put my head inside and it looked really super and great value at €6. Definitely plan to stay here if you get the chance. One of our party stayed there whilst we other two walked on to Pension Cortes, where four of us had booked two double rooms, at €18 each. It's a nice place, next to a supermarket and near some nice bars in the older part of town. The views from the rooms are great. It will be nice to have a peaceful night before moving on for a short walk to Lugo tomorrow.

The weather is supposed to be much better now for at least the next week, so all good news.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Day 25 - Berducedo - Grandes de Salime - Castro - 27kms

Then it's through a large forest all the way until you are standing on the dam of Rio Navia. The route down is long and can be steep and slippy and I didn't get to the dam until 9.15am. Walking poles really helped. If you have never tried them, buy a cheap pair, read up or watch a YouTube video on how to use them and why they help and then go and walk down the steepest, muddiest hill you can find, and up as well. Then you'll see how they help, then buy a decent pair. I'm using these, which I can recommend:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01826FAXU/?tag=camidesant-21

The views were great at times, when the mist cleared for five minutes. Most of the time, however, you couldn't see anything. It was also one of those days when you found out just how good or bad your wet weather gear was! My jacket is definitely on its last outing although my over-trousers are still doing their job well. A tried and tested top quality rucksack cover is also a must.

From the dam, it's about 6kms to Grandas de Salime, all uphill and mostly along a road. 15 minutes from the dam was a hotel where you could get a coffee and an over-priced can of drink. There was no food in the hotel for breakfast today but others I spoke to later reported expensive snacks. I didn't see any other places to get a drink, no shops and no water fountains. I just put my headphones on, got my head down and marched all the way to Grandas de Salime, stopping to admire the magnificent views when possible. The Camino goes off the road at times, but you can also decide to stay on the road as I did, if the weather is grim. I arrived a Grandes de Salime at about 11.15am.
Still enjoying every step of your way, even though I am visiting Liverpool at the moment. It's a shame about the weather. I remember the views making up for a rather hard stretch. That downhill through the forest seemed to go on for ever :). I was already a total convert to walking poles, but if I hadn't been, I would have been after that.

Is that where the forest fires have been in the past couple of weeks. It sounds like they are over then??

Also stopped for over-priced coffee in that hotel. But still.......coffee is always welcome. The dam is a strange place isn't it, with the remains of the workmen's accommodation up on the hillside?

Good luck for the next few days. I remember the road to Fonsagrada as a bit of a slog and the final stage into Lugo as more than a bit of a slog. Maybe in cooler showers it will not be so hard? But anyway they are two useful town/cities if you need "stuff"!
 

timr

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Day 26 - Castro - A Fonsagrada - 21kms
This albergue is another shining gem and worth heading for. Lots of luxury with plenty of everything you could need and all for only €10. It is on the Camino in the centre and is well signed so you can't miss it.
Glad you stayed there. Exactly how I would describe it, a gem!
 

timr

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Going from Lugo to Friol, where did you stay in Friol?
Yes I would agree with @Me Fein . I am not sure what other options there are. It is easy to find - you follow the main road into the town and near the bridge on your right is Benigno. It is a big enough place. I arrived on a Sunday afternoon and had not booked ahead and was a bit disconcerted to find it locked and shuttered. More in hope than expectarion I rang the number on the front door, and said I was there. Two minutes later the door was opened from within and I was welcomed as if an old friend. I was the only person staying that night. They opened the restaurant just for me and produced a huge meal. It was strange on the Monday morning to find it was a 'normal' hotel and and that people were having breakfast in the bar.
My own thoughts here. I would do it again tomorrow if I could!!
 

Undermanager

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Day 28 - Castroverde - Lugo - 21kms

The sun has returned! We all had a nice relaxing evening in Pension Cortes and had a set dinner, which was excellent. When we woke up, there wasn't a cloud about, even if it was a bit nippy. All the washing had dried thanks to the radiators so after a repack of the rucksack, I was off at around 6.30am!

Today was an easy day of about 21kms and I was in Lugo just before midday. It is nearly all flat or gently rolling tracks, through forests, countryside and villages and all very pretty. There was one place about halfway where you had a sort of rest area, with vending machines for drinks, snacks and souvenirs. There was also a water fountain a little further up.

The only uphill climb comes as you enter Lugo but it only lasts about 20 minutes. The albergue was easy to find using the signs, although the gps helped. It doesn't open until 1.00pm however so an ever-growing queue of rucksacks was forming by the door, whilst we all sat around drinking beer and chatting. The albergue is modern, right in town and excellent, although the communal showers may put you off and there is a 10.00pm curfew. It's another €6 bargain. There are other albergues advertised, including one just before you start walking into the city.

I went walkabout in Lugo after a shower and washing today's clothes. The cathedral was open, free and okay for a quick wander - the usual stuff inside Tourist Information was closed in the afternoon as usual so no info or map about Lugo was available. Then I went for a walk around the Roman wall, which is in wonderful condition and impressive. There are a fair amount of graffiti and derelict buildings about, which seem to match other similar cities in Spain. This evening, a troop of about 30 Roman soldiers in full dress marched along with drummers through the streets of Lugo - a very exciting spectacle. Imagine an army of 5 or 10 thousand!!

The absolute gem of the city and the only reason you really need to visit Lugo is the Circulo de las Artes building, opposite the statue of two Romans in the corner of Praia Maior park - look up to see the name of the building! You just walk in and look around from room to room, downstairs and upstairs. I never worked out what the building was, but was told later it's a kind of private members' club open to the public and with public and cultural events. As you walk in, it is stuffed with 1920s and 1930s design, much of it in the Art Deco style. You will be blown away as you wander through room after room, by the dining room, the library, the bar, the fittings, the games room, the cinema - everything is just amazing. It's like being in a set for a Hercules Poirot. You must see this place!

After the Circulo de las Artes visit, I was at one with the world. Lugo's old centre is very interesting and I would happily come back here again. I visited a kind of artisan beer festival and then had a few drinks in the centre with companions and we very sadly said goodbye to two of our happy number - they have to go back to work on Monday! I loved being with them over this Camino and will miss them.

Hopefully, the weather should continue to be good and we should have more of the same tomorrow, as we set off for Friol and a new adventure. There are only two of us at the moment taking this route so should be fun. I have a track loaded into the gps, lunch packed and enough water to wash an elephant. I'm assuming they'll be nowhere to get fed and watered along the way.
 
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Undermanager

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Day 29 - Lugo - Friol - 29kms

Another great day. A band of five set off about 6.15am but two of us soon peeled off to follow the Camino Verde whilst the others carried on along the Primitivo. It was fairly cool this morning but warmed up around 10.00am and no rain! For the first four or five kilometres, you follow first the main river but then a smaller dark fast-flowing tributary through a forest. The area is famous for water mills and about halfway is what looks like a pretty restored working water mill. The track is partly dirt track but mostly boardwalk so it is clearly some kind of nature walk or historical track. It's a really stunning walk and I couldn't believe that we had covered nearly 10kms by 8.00am - time just flew. As you approach the road near A Mera, the green arrow tries to get you to follow the main gravel track as it bends back on itself, but a quick look on the map and using the gps track showed we just needed to walk forward another two hundred metres along a less used grass track to meet the road, so that's what we did.

You then enter another area of scenic prettiness, with some tourist signs in English. The village and church in O Veral was particularly nice but you'll pass through a number of small pretty villages, and most of them have packs of barking dogs ready to greet you loudly. None of them were ever a threat though. There is a long steady climb half way through the day. There's a bit of sweat needed but nothing compared to previous days. The green arrows made navigation easy but you do need to keep your eyes open. I often walk looking down so had to keep reminding myself to look up! A map using maps.me and a Camino Verde track on it are very useful to confirm you are heading in the right general direction. A couple of times, we veered in a different direction to where the arrows were pointing but as long as we referred to the map and track, it was no big deal.

After climbing up to just about as far as we could go, we stopped for some food around 11.00am and then pushed on for the last 10kms. This part of the day was just as nice as previous parts but had a fair number of muddy tracks to navigate. If it had been raining, it would have been lots of fun getting past the muddy bits!

We got to Friol just after 1.00pm. Silly me, I missed the chance to visit an open supermarket, and on a Sunday too, opting instead to go to the first bar I could find! That wasn't very bright. Hopefully, something will turn up for this evening and tomorrow. Friol is a very small pleasant enough quiet town, with three or four bars, a few restaurants, at least two supermarkets I could see and a Santander bank with an ATM machine, as well as Pension Benigno. The Pension is fine, is in the centre where the park is and a twin room with bathroom costs €30.

The walk today is excellent. It's not particularly hard or challenging but there are absolutely no facilities of any kind along the way so you need to carry everything. Sunday presents extra challenges, as much of Friol will be closed, although all the bars this afternoon appear open and a supermarket was open when I arrived! A map and gps is helpful for this route although the green arrows are good enough.

Tomorrow appears a bit shorter but looking forward to it already!
 

Undermanager

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Day 30 - Friol - Sobrado - 26kms

There is a shop / cafe with a enough basics to get fed and for breakfast a few doors down from the Pension in Friol. Having said that, I went to a local restaurant and had a meal with too much beer and wine and got to bed later than normal. That meant a later start today, at 7.00am.

It was quite cool and very misty for the first few hours but then the day turned very warm and sunny. The way from Friol was fairly well signed but I needed to use the gps track and map on a number of occasions. Some of the tracks were very muddy indeed today and I found myself using road alternatives on two occasions as I got miffed at battling though cowshit- filled muddy waterlogged tracks. Walking poles are a must here, to help find the firmer ground ahead. Apart from that, the walk is really pretty. You go through forests, countryside and lots of villages, although you will find no water fountains, cafes, bars, shops or any other facilities for the first 20kms, until you get to Meson Suso. Shortly before this, you join the Camino Norte and will start seeing the familiar yellow arrows again. The walk isn't particularly hard today so a nice stage all in all.

The monastery in Sobrado is absolutely brilliant, as is the albergue, which is clean, well-resourced and a great place to stay, costing €6. I arrived at 1.45pm, just as it was locking up. Between 1.45pm and 4.30pm, the albergue in the monastery is closed, and if you are already registered and inside, you can either stay locked up inside until 4.30pm, or leave but not get back in until 4.30pm. I decided to stay inside, was the only one and had a great time wandering around the highly spooky monastery on my own. Sobrado itself is very pretty and has banks, bars, shops, hotels and a couple of albergues. Don't forget to attend Vespers at 7.00pm On the dot. It's in a room up the stairs close to the albergue dormitory. Excellent!

I'm not sure yet but will probably just head to an albergue in Santa Irene tomorrow, then Santiago on Wednesday, before heading off to Finisterre and Muxia the day after that. I need to tape up a sore little toe at the moment. I've been using Leukopor tape, which you can get from any Spanish pharmacy. Just wrap short lengths around the bits that are sore and it helps keep them from rubbing against other toes or your shoe.

The Camino Verdi was an excellent couple of days, very enjoyable, pretty, quiet and interesting. Use a map and a gps track for added reassurance, though, as it is not always clear which path to take, and you may need to skirt around waterlogged muddy tracks.
 
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timr

Active Member
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Absolutely delighted to hear that you (a) took this path and (b) enjoyed it. Always feel a bit anxious recommending it to people in case they don't like it as much as the little band of forumites here who give it such a positive recommendation.
I loved the monastery at Sobrado and like you spent a long time exploring the church and grounds.
If you are interested, I would recommend Vespers/evening prayer in the modern chapel which replaces the big old church. Somebody had a lot of imagination to make something ultramodern which still has Cistercian simplicity.
Mud and dogs definitely a feature of the two day excursion, but I found it very special.
Buen camino for the last few days into Santiago.
Tim
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
Day 30 - Friol - Sobrado - 26kms

There is a shop / cafe with a enough basics to get fed and for breakfast a few doors down from the Pension in Friol. Having said that, I went to a local restaurant and had a meal with too much beer and wine and got to bed later than normal. That meant a later start today, at 7.00am.

It was quite cool and very misty for the first few hours but then the day turned very warm and sunny. The way from Friol was fairly well signed but I needed to use the gps track and map on a number of occasions. Some of the tracks were very muddy indeed today and I found myself using road alternatives on two occasions as I got miffed at battling though cowshit- filled muddy waterlogged tracks. Walking poles are a must here, to help find the firmer ground ahead. Apart from that, the walk is really pretty. You go through forests, countryside and lots of villages, although you will find no water fountains, cafes, bars, shops or any other facilities for the first 20kms, until you get to Meson Suso. Shortly before this, you join the Camino Norte and will start seeing the familiar yellow arrows again. The walk isn't particularly hard today so a nice stage all in all.

The monastery in Sobrado is absolutely brilliant, as is the albergue, which is clean, well-resourced and a great place to stay, costing €6. I arrived at 1.45pm, just as it was locking up. Between 1.45pm and 4.30pm, the albergue in the monastery is closed, and if you are already registered and inside, you can either stay locked up inside until 4.30pm, or leave but not get back in until 4.30pm. I decided to stay inside, was the only one and had a great time wandering around the highly spooky monastery on my own. Sobrado itself is very pretty and has banks, bars, shops, hotels and a couple of albergues. Don't forget to attend Vespers at 7.00pm On the dot. It's in a room up the stairs close to the albergue dormitory. Excellent!

I'm not sure yet but will probably just head to an albergue in Santa Irene tomorrow, then Santiago on Wednesday, before heading off to Finisterre and Muxia the day after that. I need to tape up a sore little toe at the moment. I've been using Leukopor tape, which you can get from any Spanish pharmacy. Just wrap short lengths around the bits that are sore and it helps keep them from rubbing against other toes or your shoe.

The Camino Verdi was an excellent couple of days, very enjoyable, pretty, quiet and interesting. Use a map and a gps track for added reassurance, though, as it is not always clear which path to take, and you may need to skirt around waterlogged muddy tracks.
Hmmmm. Was going to stop in Lugo and head down to Portugal for a few days, but this might be a game-changer. Will hope to hear how the merge into the big flow is for you, and thank you for taking us along with you!
 

Undermanager

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Day 31 - Sobrado - O Pedrouzo - 37kms

Today was blue sky and hotter than I can remember for a long time on the walk - absolutely great. I left Sobrado at 7.00am but was genuinely sad to leave. I have a short attention span and staying anywhere more than a day is rare for me, but the monastery was really super.

The walk to Boimorto is not overly exciting, split through forest dirt track and along the main road. The albergue just before Boimorto looks really great but surely, most people would stay at the monastery? There is a working water fountain just as you enter the village and as you take the right fork along the long village, you will see half a dozen bars and cafes and a few shops and supermarkets. I stopped at Cafe Cardelle, opposite the Santander bank as I needed to use the ATM and it was fine. The two or three cafes after it also looked fine.

I walked along to the end of the village where the Camino splits and took the right road to Santa Irene. The Camino is well-signposted whilst I was on it, but I went off on a detour about one kilometre before Capellada de Mota, turning left off the Camino and zig-zagging through forests and little villages until I came out again near Beis. To do this, you will need maps.me so you can check you are heading in the right general direction, and a track as well would be useful - use wikiloc.com. If you want the one I used, send me a private message. I took this route because much of this stage seemed to be along roads and I just didn't want that. As long as you are using a map and can read it, there isn't any reason at all to go off-Camino. This route was completely quiet and very pretty, and there were no facilities in any of the villages I passed through.

I took a turning onto the CofF just before Santa Irene. Suddenly, there were a few dozen people in front of me and a dozen behind! Oh well, I got my head down, put the music on and road marched on, alongside the very busy and noisy highway. I didn't feel like stopping until about 4.00pm, in O Pedrouzo. There are many albergues here and lots of pensions offering rooms for €25, but I decided to stay at the first albergue I came to, Albergue O Burgo, on the right on the main road before you enter O Pedrouzo, next to a bar and Pension and opposite some road works! I figured that few people would want to stop here and was right - there's only another half dozen staying. I also had no intention of venturing further than the albergue, bar and cafe this evening as I'm too tired so location really wasn't that important. But the place is great despite the traffic. Great welcome. Quiet and spotless inside. A good number of showers and toilets, a washing area, a relaxing area with TV and wifi, great food in the bar including a menu of the day and a really great garden and seating / lounging area at the back in the sun! All for €10. Very happy with my choice!

Tomorrow, I've booked a single room in Albergue Seminario Menor in Santiago, which is about 20 kilometres away, so it will effectively be a rest day as I should be there before midday. I then have to walk to Finisterre and then Muxia starting 25th and must be back in Santiago on the 29th. I need to check there is definitely a bus back from Muxia in the afternoon on the 29th. If there is, the great plan should work!

Very happy days at the moment but not looking forward to the walking finishing! Really in the zone at the moment, despite my shoes falling apart and consequently, a few blisters appearing.
 
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timr

Active Member
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Several and counting...
Day 31 - Sobrado - O Pedrouzo - 37kms

Very happy days at the moment but not looking forward to the walking finishing! Really in the zone at the moment, despite my shoes falling apart and consequently, a few blisters appearing.
Getting to that point in your trip and not wanting it to finish is fantastic. When things come together, there is a certain indefinable magic.
Enjoy the trip to SdC tomorrow. Jealous....:D
 

Undermanager

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Day 32 - O Pedrouzo - Santiago - 20kms

I'm booked into a single room in the Seminario Menor Albergue in Santiago, which doesn't let you access the rooms until 1.30pm - no exceptions. Also, it was only a short walk today. The plan therefore was to get up late, have a leisurely breakfast and stroll into Santiago at albergue opening time. Unfortunately, I woke naturally at around 5.30am, as did everyone else in the dorm, all six of us, so I was out the door just after 6.00am! And despite taking my time, having a couple of breaks in cafes and walking slower than my normal pace, I still arrived at the albergue at around midday.

What can I say about this stage? Very noisy with traffic, planes and pilgrims. You walk on track for some of the time and road for most, but always with loud noise. There are a fair number of cafes along the stage so no need to bring a lot to eat and drink. It's chocoblock with group tours, individuals, and groups of friends. The walk into Santiago is a long affair, as it is entering any big city. I'm glad it was done quickly.

When I got into Santiago, I got registered at the albergue, sat around chatting with a friend for an hour waiting for it to open and then got to my fun little room, which is fine. There are lots of facilities here so that makes it a good place to stay, although it is a 15 minute walk to the cathedral. I had a shower, washed today's clothes then fell fast asleep. Today was another blue sky boiling hot day and I didn't realise how much yesterday and today had taken out of me! The plan is to relax, pop in to town later then make an early start for Finisterre and Muxia tomorrow. The shoes have just five more days to not fall apart although I'm having to do more repairs on my feet now. Oh well. Can't have it all good all the time!
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
That was my take on that last bit into Santiago also - quite a slog. I know you're occupied, but if you have a second after you're settled in for the night, could you tell me if you saw anyone doing OK on the Primitivo in trail runners? I've been planning to wear a high-quality pair I've trained in, but am hearing that everyone is in hiking BOOTS on the Primitivo, and that even hiking shoes are causing problems. I have only 11 days left until return and am having trouble finding the size/width hiking boot that I need locally to have a little time to break them in. My good hiking shoes from last Camino are unlikely to survive another one. Which kind of shoe did you hike in? Thanks very much and will be eager to hear how your walk to Finisterre and Muxia is. Beth
 

Undermanager

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I used these:

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/bodmin-low-iv-weathertite-p352306

and will buy another pair on my return, one size and a bit bigger than I normally take. They have been the best walking shoe by far. I broke them in before using them for a few months. I have walked in expensive leather walking boots before but wouldn't again. They get your feet too hot IMO, which leads to sweat and blisters, and they are far heavier than walking shoes. I also wear ankle length tights under everyday normal socks. A few weeks prior to leaving, and daily on the Camino, I rubbed this stuff into my feet:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000KOQ85M/?tag=camidesant-21

When I bought the above shoes, I removed the insoles and replaced them with these:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Z099HW8/?tag=camidesant-21

For blister treatment, I have been using Compeed patches (available anywhere) and Leukopor tape (any Spanish pharmacy).

I've had a good run so far, with few problems. My current shoes are falling apart, but they had two months wear prior to leaving and have had 5 weeks of daily pounding and have been over three mountain ranges, so no complaints. I'm looking forward to burning them in Finisterre!
 
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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
That was my take on that last bit into Santiago also - quite a slog. I know you're occupied, but if you have a second after you're settled in for the night, could you tell me if you saw anyone doing OK on the Primitivo in trail runners? I've been planning to wear a high-quality pair I've trained in, but am hearing that everyone is in hiking BOOTS on the Primitivo, and that even hiking shoes are causing problems. I have only 11 days left until return and am having trouble finding the size/width hiking boot that I need locally to have a little time to break them in. My good hiking shoes from last Camino are unlikely to survive another one. Which kind of shoe did you hike in? Thanks very much and will be eager to hear how your walk to Finisterre and Muxia is. Beth
Can I chip in - even though I usually avoid (now) discussion of boots/bags/bedbugs:);):D:p?
I wore my usual trail-runner-y type of things last year with no problems on Primitivo. I think they were North Face Hedgehogs. They look like running shoes on top, but with stronger vibram soles, but definitely a shoe and not a boot. And since then for 3 outings I have worn Keen walking shoes. Similar in style to what @Undermanager mentions. I haven't worn boot-like boots for years now and have no temptation to go back to them.
The shoes don't last forever.....but I look out for them in sales and usually have a pair spare. One advantage I find is you can use them straight out of the box. No wearing in or running in at all if you buy the identical model. Having said which I changed from North Face to Keen's about a year ago.
Same rule for me for running shoes, I never change the model and can run 25k in new shoes straight out of the box. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"!!
 
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H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
I used these:

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/bodmin-low-iv-weathertite-p352306

and will buy another pair on my return, one size and a bit bigger than I normally take. They have been the best walking shoe by far. I broke them in before using them for a few months. I have walked in expensive leather walking boots before but wouldn't again. They get your feet too hot IMO, which leads to sweat and blisters, and they are far heavier than walking shoes. I also wear ankle length tights under everyday normal socks. A few weeks prior to leaving, and daily on the Camino, I rubbed this stuff into my feet:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000KOQ85M/?tag=camidesant-21

For blister treatment, I have been using Compeed patches (available anywhere) and Leukopor tape (any Spanish pharmacy).

I've had a good run so far, with few problems. My current shoes are falling apart, but they had two months wear prior to leaving and have had 5 weeks of daily pounding and have been over three mountain ranges, so no complaints. I'm looking forward to burning them in Finisterre!
Thanks so much! Yours look similar to my old hiking shoes. I wore them 26.5K in the mountains today to make sure they still fit, so if you did well in yours, that's good news. Sounds like your shoes deserve a good sendoff - take pictures:0)!
 
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H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
Can I chip in - even though I usually avoid (now) discussion of boots/bags/bedbugs:);):D:p?
I wore my usual trail-runner-y type of things last year with no problems on Primitivo. I think they were North Face Hedgehogs. They look like running shoes on top, but with stronger vibram soles, but definitely a shoe and not a boot. And since then for 3 outings I have worn Keen walking shoes. Similar in style to what @Undermanager mentions. I haven't worn boot-like boots for years now and have no temptation to go back to them. They don't last forever.....but I look out for them in sales and usually have a pair spare. One advantage I find is you can use them straight out of the box. No wearing in or running in at all if you buy the identical model. Having said which I changed from North Face to Keen's about a year ago.
Same rule for me for running shoes, I never change the model and can run 25k in new shoes straight out of the box. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"!!
Those look like real hiking shoes too, so I'll just stick with what I've got and relax. Thank you so much! 25K running??? Holy camoly, Tim.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
I used these:

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/bodmin-low-iv-weathertite-p352306

and will buy another pair on my return, one size and a bit bigger than I normally take. They have been the best walking shoe by far. I broke them in before using them for a few months. I have walked in expensive leather walking boots before but wouldn't again. They get your feet too hot IMO, which leads to sweat and blisters, and they are far heavier than walking shoes. I also wear ankle length tights under everyday normal socks. A few weeks prior to leaving, and daily on the Camino, I rubbed this stuff into my feet:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000KOQ85M/?tag=camidesant-21

For blister treatment, I have been using Compeed patches (available anywhere) and Leukopor tape (any Spanish pharmacy).

I've had a good run so far, with few problems. My current shoes are falling apart, but they had two months wear prior to leaving and have had 5 weeks of daily pounding and have been over three mountain ranges, so no complaints. I'm looking forward to burning them in Finisterre!
I've really enjoyed following your journey!! Thank you!

But please don't burn your shoes..........perhaps a symbolic placing in the bin?

buen camino
 

Undermanager

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Day 33 - Santiago - Vilaserio - 36kms

I was up and out on my way at 6.00am on the dot this morning. It was forecast to be another hot one and so it proved until around 2.00pm, when cloud cover rolled in and thunder could be heard. It rained shortly after checking in to Albergue A Nosa Casa in Vilaserio at around 3.00pm. I was hoping to get to Santa Marina today, a further nine kilometres on, but I was just too tired and the rain was starting to fall. It's a nice place but the wifi was not brilliant - endless connection problems.

Today was a good day. There is a lot of road walking but also some dirt track and forest walking. There are enough bars and cafes along the way, although they aren't always open in the morning so you don't need more than a litre of water. There are also a lot of ups and downs and some are quite hard work. The uphill slog two hours after leaving Santiago will make you sweat and the section after Negreira to Vilasario is generally uphill all the way to the windmills and very tiring at times. Negreira at 21kms is a bit too close to Santiago to stop in for me, but if you have the time, it's a nice small town, with all the necessary facilities, lots of albergues and pretty. Follow the Camino through the town and out and an arch for 5 minutes and there is a nice little river and a terrace bar on the left.

Albergue A Nosa Casa is fine, although at €12, more than I was used to paying for a bed in an albergue. The only real issue here is that there are no shops or other facilities near by, although the albergue has a perfectly good bar and restaurant attached to it. The weather forecast is not good for tomorrow and I want to get as close to Finisterre as possible. Let's see what happens ....
 

KinkyOne

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Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Shop in Vilaserio.jpg
Albergue A Nosa Casa is fine, although at €12, more than I was used to paying for a bed in an albergue. The only real issue here is that there are no shops or other facilities near by, although the albergue has a perfectly good bar and restaurant attached to it. The weather forecast is not good for tomorrow and I want to get as close to Finisterre as possible. Let's see what happens ....
There isn't a shop in Vilaserio anymore? Last year it was opened in a first house when you turn left from the tarmac road down the hill to the village.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I stopped short at the new albergue in Piaxe (A Pena) at 30 km from Santiago. A perfect stopping place for me. I reserved yesterday and have a single bed in a room for three. There are several rooms with a total of 20 beds for 12 euros, good facilities, washer/dryer, bar and menu 9 euros. I haven't looked around the village but guess there's not much to see. Opened 2016. Would recommend.

Hopefully catch up with you in Finisterre @Undermanager
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Fisterra
Day 34 Vilaserio - Cee - 37kms

Last night was not a good night at Albergue A Nosa Casa. There was not enough bog paper to go round, not nearly enough electrical points, the wifi was very iffy, the dorm was full of snorers and it was boiling hot so sleeping was hard work, and the bunk beds creaked like no tomorrow. I think the place 100metres before looked nice and is worth a try. It can't be worse than A Nosa Casa. I won't stay there again. They don't seem to care about the details, although the bar was good. I wish I had had the energy to carry on to Santa Irene.

As I started the day suffering from sleep deprivation, I was not happy. I was up and out the door by 6.15am, fully dressed in rain gear as it was already raining, was cool and by light, there were thick dark rain clouds covering the whole sky. This wasn't particularly bad news; the three previous days had been hot and exhausting and limited the distance you could walk. Today, I had less gear to carry as I was wearing the rain stuff, could carry less water and potentially, could walk further as it was cooler. And so it turned out. There are no strenuous sections today either. Just lots of rolling hills. There are also plenty of bars (but no shops) along the way at regular intervals, although many wouldn't be open for a few hours.

Most of the morning was spent walking in rain, sometimes drizzle but mostly a steady downpour. I was genuinely surprised at how well my shoes held up. My feet stayed dry all day long, despite the three holes and the sole coming away from one of the shoes. I had no new blisters as a result, and the pain from my existing ones disappeared once the two Ibuprofen I had for breakfast had kicked in, and the feet had warmed up.

By 11.00am, I'd reached O Logoso, with a few others walking. I decided to stop and eat whereas they decided to carry on. Ha! Bad move for them. 15 minutes later, an almighty thunderstorm hit and the rain came down in buckets. When I walked the path later, I saw there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. They must have got soaked big time. An hour later, the rain finally slowed down so I decided to set off again, and miracle of miracles, the sky lightened and blue sky burst through in the distance, where I was heading.

Today was one of those euphoria days. The walking made me high. I enjoyed every single minute of the 10 hours of pounding dirt track and road today and would / will do it again tomorrow. From O Logoso, I walked with a stupid grin on my face, dancing a bit at times, soaking up the atmosphere, the smells, the scenery. All was good. I started planning new walks at home. The weather got better and better as I passed the junction for Finisterre and Muxia. It was wonderful. Three hours later, as I got closer to Cee, the sea came over the horizon and the sun was shining into the bay. I was very happy. From Madrid to the sea. All good.

As I descended into Cee, I wasn't sure if I should carry on to Finisterre or stop. The weather was and is great but in the end, I thought it best not to push my luck, my feet, my shoes etc and stop, but decided to treat myself and check out the unlikely sounding Hotel Larry. For €35, I got a beer and a really great room, with windows that all open wide to let the sun storm in and I can hear the seagulls. The usual order doesn't change when arriving somewhere: shower, wash today's walking clothes, check feet and write blog, and now I'm off to the harbour area to find some wine, food and have a mooch. I feel so full of beans and not tired at all.

What a brilliant day. One of the best of the best.
 
Last edited:

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Sounds like you were on form today Dave. Hope to catch up tomorrow. Will text when I arrive in Finisterre and see if you are around.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Fisterra
10.30pm and still wide awake - I think this is a Camino record for me! It could be the excellent Spag Bog I had in town, or the €1.20 box of Don Simon Vino Tinto bought from the large Careforre in town. This place is interesting. It's essentially a rundown seaside town, with numerous places falling down, for sale or for rent. There are some very nice looking albergues next to Hotel Larry with great facilities, and all within a few minutes walk of the harbour and town centre. There are many tiny roads and alleyways interconnecting streets to explore, but unfortunately, many of them look pretty grim and run down.

The town was busy up to about 10.00pm, then quickly went very quiet. There are all the usual facilities you might need in this busy friendly town, and plenty of bars.

I totally recommend Hotel Larry. My room is great but some of them have a veranda as well. I think my albergue days are over for another year. Much as I value the friendships forged in these places, I love having my own space, too, where I can fart and snore in private to my little heart's content.

There's only about 4 hours walking at the most tomorrow. I think I plan to wake up as late as possible and start walking late, depending on the weather. If all goes to plan, I'll probably stay in Finisterre tomorrow in a nice hotel, then walk to Muxia on Sunday and stay there (in a nice hotel), and get the 2.30pm bus back to Santiago on Monday (where I have a nice hotel booked).

Happy Days.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
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Fisterra
Day 35 Cee - Finisterre- 16kms

Today, was a great day. The rain held off all day today and the temperature was just right for walking. I set off at a very late 8.00am and took my time walking round the coast to a Finisterre. Cee was a nice enough town but around the coast another kilometre or two is Corcubion, a very pretty fishing village with a few albergues and pensions and would probably be a much better option. It is much smaller and with all the facilities you would need but oozes the charm that Cee lacks.

Following the Camino on, you next come to Playa de Estorde and then the very pretty bay, village and beach of Sardineiro de Abaixo, where I stopped for a coffee and sat and gazed at the sea. It was very quiet and absolutely wonderful, watching and hearing the waves and seagulls. A picture perfect place with a few pensions, so would make a really nice bolthole for a night or two.

Then on to Finisterre, walking around the two kilometre beach to get to it. So pretty. I got the most amazing room in Pension Lopez for €15, on the third floor, overlooking the sea and harbour. I couldn't have found a better room. Then I met up with a few chums for drinks, a visit to the supermarket for picnic stuff and later, a visit to the lighthouse to watch the sun go down, except that it was a bit cloudy so we only saw it descend a bit in the sky. Still, it was very pretty and memorable.

For some reason, I'm now quite knackered. I have had an easy last 24 hours but feel very tired. Tomorrow, the final journey begins to Muxia, although am planning to stop half way. The weather forecast isn't good again, but it has been wrong so many times, what will be will be. The little toe on my right foot wants me to stop and soon, its wish will be granted.

And so to bed, at nearly midnight!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...I set off at a very late 8.00am and took my time walking round the coast to a Finisterre. Cee was a nice enough town but around the coast another kilometre or two is Corcubion, a very pretty fishing village with a few albergues and pensions and would probably be a much better option. It is much smaller and with all the facilities you would need but oozes the charm that Cee lacks.
That's exactly my set-off hour, 8am :D

But have to correct you on a "few" albergues in corcubion. The first one is actually in Cee (https://www.gronze.com/galicia/coruna/corcubion/albergue-camino-fisterra) but officially already over the municipal Cee/Corcubion border.
And the second one is actually far out of Corcubion as a village (https://www.gronze.com/galicia/coruna/corcubion/albergue-peregrinos-san-roque) but there can be a "few" newer we don't know of???

...village and beach of Sardineiro de Abaixo, where I stopped for a coffee and sat and gazed at the sea. It was very quiet and absolutely wonderful, watching and hearing the waves and seagulls. A picture perfect place with a few pensions, so would make a really nice bolthole for a night or two.
That's my picture perfect every year.Exactly what I did every time around. I do like the view over Cee beach and I'm always amazed by the Fisterra one, but at Sardineiro that's just perfect. I'd buy you a beer there and politely asked you to be quiet :D
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Of course... congratulations!
And please say hello to the setting sun for me also...
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Fisterra
Day 36 - Finisterre - Muxia - 31kms

God bless the Spanish weather forecasters. I doubt they could forecast what they are going to have for breakfast (when they get up) let alone the weather. Despite forecasts yesterday for clouds and rain today with thunderstorms, it was a lovely day, quite hot and mostly blue sky. They have been wrong on so many occasions over the last 35 days, I'm not sure why anyone bothers looking anymore to be honest.

I left just before 8.00am today, due mainly to a late night and an evening walk to the lighthouse, and a great night's sleep in Pension Lopez. The walk was pretty but a bit knackering, with a fair number of ups and downs, and a big up-down near the Muxia end.

You can walk close to the coast on a number of occasions and there are some lovely beaches you can get to (with hazard warnings), especially if you have a map and can read it. There is a well-signed coastal route diversion as you get close to Lires, which is worth doing. You will see the split in the path a few kilometres before Lires. Lires itself is conveniently placed half way between Finisterre and Muxia so you can get fed and watered in one of the cafes, or stop in an albergue if you fancy it.

It's a great feeling as you turn the bend in the road, past a beautiful beach and see Muxia. It's a spread out town with at least four albergues that I saw. It's not anywhere as developed or as busy as Finisterre but with a bit of a poke around, you'll probably find whatever it is you need. I booked into the albergue Bela Muxia, which is excellent and recommended. You need to walk right into town to find it. On my way to booking in, I bumped into a chum, who had also finished her walk, so stopped off and had a couple of celebratory beers and something to eat.

The plan is to visit some church on the rocks (bet it's closed) and then get the 2.30pm bus to Santiago tomorrow, then fly the day after. The only job in Santiago tomorrow is to get hold of a new blank credential for next time, ideally without having to queue up for an hour! I'm not interested in a certificate from the office, which is where I got my last blank credential from.

Any ideas?
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
You can buy a new credential from Ivar. :)

Check here for his hours: http://www.casaivar.com/luggage-storage-in-santiago-de-compostela/index.html (look at the white box on the right). I think you'll miss him tomorrow after your bus comes in, but perhaps you can catch him on Tuesday before your flight. Otherwise, you could try telling security at the Pilgrim's Office that you only want a new credential, not line up for a Compostela.

If you have an hour or two to while away tomorrow or Tuesday, do stop by Pilgrim House - we'd love to meet you :).

Enjoy Muxía! If you can, climb the hill near the church and look out on the village from above. One of our favorite spots. Also, the restaurant in A de Lolo - next to Bela Muxia - is excellent.

Faith
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Fisterra
Day 37 - Muxia - Santiago by bus

The hostel last night was okay, although I'm not a fan of mixed toilets and showers, where the doors have massive gaps at the top and bottom. With hindsight, I wouldn't stay there again, but would choose the very first albergue as you enter Muxia, Albergue de Costa. The views over the sea are spectacular, they have cheap singles if you need your own space and the only compromise is you have a few hundred metres to walk into Muxia. A couple of people I spoke to raved about the sea view and great atmosphere.

I had about 5 hours to kill before the 2.30pm bus to Santiago, so drank coffee, chatted to some people, walked up a hill, round the harbour and to the church. Then had a snooze. 5 hours later, I was on the bus to Santiago. With all the thousands of tourists they get each year, you'd think they would have a Bus Stop sign where you catch the bus! It can't be that hard to think through how difficult it is for some non-Spanish speaking people to work out where to catch the bus. I had half a dozen people ask me if this was where the bus to Santiago was! There is absolutely no indication, except for others milling about and some yellowing timetables in the window of the Night and Day cafe.

Two hours later, I was in my hotel in Santiago (PR Pazo de Agra - ask for room 204 to get a corner room with lots of light) and on the way to the Pilgrims Office, to see if I could get a blank Credential for next time. A miracle happened! I walked in, said I needed a blank credential (thanks for the advice, Faith) and was directed through the ridiculous queue for the certificates to the door on the right. 10 seconds later, I had three blank passports in my hand and was running out the door in case it was a mistake. I never in a million years believed the Spanish could organise a desk just for blank credentials! Well done Spain! Mind you, some of the poor sods in the very very very long queue didn't look so chuffed. The single spotty bored twenty something at his desk adding names and signing the certificates, in between checking his mobile phone of course, seemed to be on a go-slow for a bet. I think he was winning. The Camino industry must be worth hundreds of millions of Euros to Spain, going directly into the pockets of Spanish families, and this is how the pilgrims are treated right at the end, their last experience and memory of the Camino, queuing up for hours instead of being out and about enjoying Santiago (and spending money). It was exactly the same the previous visits I made so didn't bother collecting a certificate this time.

On my return to the hotel, I met Peter the German again, who was on the last day of his holiday, and grabbed some wine and nibbles. It's back to the hotel, throw open the windows to let the sun in and chill. It's time to go home tomorrow and I'm tired. I'll be getting the airport bus in the morning and will be in London a few hours later.

It's been a great trip and I've met some really amazing people. The Camino, with the exception of the Frances stages, were fantastic. I hope someone has found this blog useful and helpful (as I found reading others' blogs when planning my trip) and you'll write your own account if you do the same trip. This is the last entry, so thanks for reading. I'm off to research the 88 temples Camino in Japan now .....

Buen Camino

Undermanager
 
Last edited:

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
10 seconds later, I had three blank passports in my hand and was running out the door in case it was a mistake.
Hehehe. Other pilgrims had told us there was now a dedicated desk but as I hadn't seen it yet in person I wasn't 100% sure. Glad it worked out! Now you can take on the running of the bulls :).
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
Day 37 - Muxia - Santiago by bus

The hostel last night was okay, although I'm not a fan of mixed toilets and showers, where the doors have massive gaps at the top and bottom. With hindsight, I wouldn't stay there again, but would choose the very first albergue as you enter Muxia, Albergue de Costa. The views over the sea are spectacular, they have cheap singles if you need your own space and the only compromise is you have a few hundred metres to walk into Muxia. A couple of people I spoke to raved about the sea view and great atmosphere.

I had about 5 hours to kill before the 2.30pm bus to Santiago, so drank coffee, chatted to some people, walked up a hill, round the harbour and to the church. Then had a snooze. 5 hours later, I was on the bus to Santiago. With all the thousands of tourists they get each year, you'd think they would have a Bus Stop sign where you catch the bus! It can't be that hard to think through how difficult it is for some non-Spanish speaking people to work out where to catch the bus. I had half a dozen people ask me if this was where the bus to Santiago was! There is absolutely no indication, except for others milling about and some yellowing timetables in the window of the Night and Day cafe.

Two hours later, I was in my hotel in Santiago and on the way to the Pilgrims Office, to see if I could get a blank Credential for next time. A miracle happened! I walked in, said I needed a blank credential (thanks for the advice, Faith) and was directed through the ridiculous queue for the certificates to the door on the right. 10 seconds later, I had three blank passports in my hand and was running out the door in case it was a mistake. I never in a million years believed the Spanish could organise a desk just for blank credentials! Well done Spain! Mind you, some of the poor sods in the very very very long queue didn't look so chuffed. The single spotty bored twenty something at his desk adding names and signing the certificates, in between checking his mobile phone of course, seemed to be on a go-slow for a bet. I think he was winning. The Camino industry must be worth hundreds of millions of Euros to Spain, going directly into the pockets of Spanish families, and this is how the pilgrims are treated right at the end, queuing up for hours instead of being out and about enjoying Santiago (and spending money). It was exactly the same the previous visits I made so didn't bother collecting a certificate this time.

On my return to the hotel, I met Peter the German again, who was on the last day of his holiday, and grabbed some wine and nibbles. It's back to the hotel, throw open the windows to let the sun in and chill. It's time to go home tomorrow and I'm tired. I'll be getting the airport bus in the morning and will be in London a few hours later.

It's been a great trip and I've met some really amazing people. The Camino, with the exception of the Frances stages, were fantastic. I hope someone has found this blog useful and helpful (as I found reading others' blogs when planning my trip) and you'll write your own account if you do the same trip. This is the last entry, so thanks for reading. I'm off to research the 88 temples Camino in Japan now .....

Buen Camino

Undermanager
I've enjoyed your trip, Undermanager, and hope you'll link your Japan Camino someday. Great information in your posts, and fun to read as well.

I agree about the bus stop signage - or rather lack thereof - and almost missed a bus in Samos when it arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule and there were no hints as to where to stand.

Safe trip home tomorrow, and thanks!
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Fisterra
Golly gosh! I’m killing the afternoon in Egypt, waiting for my evening flight back to Blighty and started re-reading these posts of the Camino last year. This really was a fun walk and met so many nice people. And of course, we are soon into the New Year and thoughts will be turning to a new Camino for 2019. I think the one I had to abandone back in April in Granada due to a back problem must be favourite. Not so very long now then ......
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Day 9 Puente Duero - Simancas - Cigunuela - Wamba - Penaflor de Hornija - 26kms

I had coffee and toast at the albergue for a very reasonable €2 and left at 8.00am. There really is no reason to stay in this drab and uninteresting town apart from the slightly wacky albergue, especially when Simancas is only a further 6kms away. It took an hour and a half to get there along a dirt track that ran beside the road. The bridge you cross as you enter the hilltop town is great but gets better as you climb higher. Take note of the fantastic cafe at the far end of the bridge with hundreds of chairs - ideal for hot evenings. Climb up to the town and relax in the lovely Plaza Mayor, explore the medieval lanes, the castle and museum and of course, the church. There are cheap hostels here but no albergue but it is definitely worth a stay overnight.

The walk from Simancas to Cigunuela is just fantastic, along a valley with high rolling hills either side. It's quite an ancient area, with a stone monument you can visit a short distance outside of Simancas. It's about one kilometre off the Camino and well signposted. Cigunuela had little of note that I found and quickly passed through, on to Wamba.

The walk to Wamba is along a dirt track, flat, warm and a fantastic walk. The countryside is so big here. I had music blasting out as I strode along the dirt track and could have kept going for miles. Wamba appeared after about an hour and a half. This small pretty village has working water fountains as you enter the village, and a few bars. I had lunch in the only open one, which is on the left down a small side road - follow the Camino arrows and keep your eyes peeled - you can't miss it. It has a really nice seating area at the back and did a brilliant range of great sandwiches. After half an hour, I climbed out of Wamba and walked more flat dirt track in glorious weather all the way to Penaflor de Hornija.

This place is another wonderful Spanish hilltop village. The village is really pretty as you approach it in the distance, but as you get closer, you will see that you have to descend and climb up two small valleys. I got the albergue keys by asking in the bar a few buildings down from the fruit shop, near the working water fountains. The albergue is big, clean, has beds for 8 people, a shower and toilet, fully functioning kitchen and a drying area. It's really nice and a bargain for €3. The bar does do food and the fruit shop is there, but you might want to bring some supplies just in case they aren't open and also for breakfast the next day. I didn't see any other facilities in the village. As it happened, I did eat in Bar Hornija and the dinner was fantastic. If you walk around the outskirts of the village in the evening, you'll get some fantastic views and great photos. It's a stunning place to stay.

Really looking forward to tomorrow. It should be even warmer than today and more blue sky. I love the big blue skies in Spain!
There is a market in Penaflor. Like everything else there you need to ask in the bar. The owner opened up for me to buy supplies. They also have a washing machine in the albergue.
 

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