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LIVE from the Camino Estaca to Tarifa-North coast to South


New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (07), Ingles(09), VDLP (09/10/11), Portuguese (12/20), Del Sur (18), Algarve Way(14/17)
I'm flying out from Tasmania to Madrid tomorrow (3rd Sep 2009) and will start walking on about the 8th Sep from Estaca de Bares on the North coast. My plan is to walk down to Ferrol then do the Camino Ingles followed by the Fisterra-Muxia Circuit then Via de la Plata in reverse to Sevilla and then on down to Tarifa via Sanlucar and Cadiz. Will try and post when I can
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New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (07), Ingles(09), VDLP (09/10/11), Portuguese (12/20), Del Sur (18), Algarve Way(14/17)
Hi gang!

Well, I'm on my way at last-or am I? But to go back a bit.

Wednesday 2nd September

Flew out of Hobart for Melbourne in the afternoon, spent the evening looking at duty-free shops in the airport before crashing out on bench at check-ins for the night. Flew to S.Korea the next day and stayed in swanky hotel at Korean Air's expense, next day to Madrid but plane also landed at Amsterdam so flight took nearly 16 hrs!

Friday 4th September

Located Cat's Hostel, full of trendy backpackers trying to pick each other up, wonder if they ever got out of the bar to see Madrid!! Spent next 2 days walking round Madrid, did 1 tenth of the Prado in 2 hours(well it was free) trotted by the Murillos, loped along the Goyas, checked out the Reubens botties (he sure knows how to do chub!!) final sprint along the El Grecos before finally disappearing up my own Velasquez!! Sunday took the overnight train to Ferrol, great way to travel, it leaves at 10.30pm, you have a glass of wine or 3 then off to bed and wake up in Ferrol.

Monday 7th September

Train from Ferrol to Porto do Barqueiro, lovely 90-min trip thru what appeared to be rain forest, Barqueiro is lovely little fishing village, looks like it could be in Cornwall or even Greece. First problem: Barqueiro is 7kms south of Estaca de Bares which is my starting point of the North-South trip, but there is no public transport to get there which means walking up there then back again as Barqueiro is the next stop. No cheap hostel in Barqueiro so had to pay 30 Eur to stay in a Pension – Grrrrrr!

Tuesday 8th September O Barqueiro-Bares-Ortigueira (30kms)

Walked the 7kms to Bares and took the obligatory photo of self sitting with back-pack and northernmost rock of Spain sticking up out of top of head in background, then walked back to Barqueiro, so – 14kms done and back where I started! Pressed on down to Esteiro-lovely beach with showers and toilets, would have camped there last night if I'd known. Then on down thru country lanes till I took a wrong turn and ended up at Puerto De Espasante which was a little out of my way, so much for my maps! Back on track after 3kms walk then had to follow main road to Ortigueira, lots of big trucks and narrow hard shoulder-if any at all!

Found supermarket & bought food and wine and camped down in patch of shrubbery at the water-side, Wined and dined then pitched tent and sank gratefully into the undergrowth and slept to the sound of swirling water.

Wednesday 9th September Ortigueira- San Ramon (29kms)

More of the same main road walking, very dangerous encounter with huge logging truck on u-turn under a bridge with no hard shoulder, had to really suck stomach in to avoid disembowelment! Very dull walk, in view of roads on maps not existing and wind rising to gale-force with a hint of rain, decided to modify original ambitious planned route and take shortest option which was along same death-truck route. Arrived at small hamlet, got provisions and found nice camping spot, was about to unpack when I spotted the largest slug I have ever seen right where I wanted to put the tent, it was about the size of a large salami!

Well being the intrepid traveler that I am, I picked up my bag and fled, found another place in a forest later on and set up camp. It's really noisy in forests at night, I think it's all to do with tree sex, all this creaking and groaning and rubbing of bark on bark! I just wished I'd never seen 'Blair Witch Project'

Thursday 10th September San Ramon- Neda (25kms)

More main road trekking, very boring, arrived at the hostel at Neda about 3pm, this is the 2nd stop in the next walk I'm doing which is called the English Camino and it starts in Ferrol, so I decided that I should walk the stretch from Ferrol to Neda just to be able to say that I did it all. So I took the bus into Ferrol that afternoon and mooched around town till about 9pm when I noticed it was getting really dark and I wouldn't be able to see the little yellow arrows that mark the route. Anyway, I got lost but a passing stranger went out of his way to show me a short cut along a busy motorway!! He proudly pointed out the 'No Pedestrians' sign and ignored the hooting from irate drivers as we strode along the hard shoulder and all the time I was wondering whether he was a mugger or what. But he walked about 3 kms with me just to point out the turn-off and I eventually got back to the hostel at 11pm – nasty experience but what a helpful guy!

Friday 11th September Neda – Mino (23kms)

The Albergue(hostel)now had 4 middle-aged Spanish couples and a Canadian mother-son duo who looked like brother and sister

Really great to be on a proper camino fully marked, no more main roads, just footpaths and back streets, lovely scenery. At a beautiful city called Pontedeume I started to develop a really painful shin muscle and retired to a bar to recuperate, rubbed some gel into it, bandaged it up and took some painkillers and was off again to climb up the steepest streets I have ever seen but my leg held out. Really nice hostel at Mino and the same people who were at the Neda hostel were there. Spent the evening watching the Spaniards playing some incomprehensible card game.The Canadian boy just sat in a corner and read.

Saturday 12th September Mino – O Presedo (18kms)

Next morning watched 21-year-old Canadian boy lie in bed while his mother packed his bag!

Got away about 9.30am and nice 10kms walk to Betanzos, another lovely city where there was a Festa de Tortilla(Omelette Festival) going on! Big Marquee set up in town square with stalls selling omelettes, beer and wine, local dignitaries making speeches on a stage and starving pilgrims stuffing faces. Spent a couple of hours here then bumped into the Spanish walkers and the Canadians then another steep climb out of town before the wine demanded a siesta under a tree. Started walking again at 5pm and stopped at 7.30pm, pitched tent an turned in for the night. Shin muscle still hurting and and have now noticed lpain on right heel.Living on painkillers, short on water and dying of thirst, had to ration myself to a mouthful every half hour.

Sunday 13th September O Presedo – Bruma (18kms)

Got up before dawn and had last mouthful of water, after 10 mins found house with outside tap and nicked a bottle-full. Lovely cool misty morning but got hotter later, now developed blister on heel of leg with shin muscle problem, this is complicating things as I'm not sure how to limp properly any more. Extended bandage from shin muscle down to heel blister, any more of this and I'll end up looking like the invisible man. Saw sign saying hostel 1 km – yay! 5 minutes later my shin muscle packed in completely and I couldn't even stand up let alone walk. Stranded 400m from the hostel, luckily one of my Spanish friends saw me and flagged down a car which took me down to the hostel. I've spent the afternoon with my leg soaking in a little stream that runs thru the hostel grounds and it feels OK at the moment. I'm hoping that it was just a spasm, but if it's not, my Camino will be over. This hostel is a couple of kms from the nearest town so we all (the Spaniards, the Canadians and me) phoned in a lunch order to a restaurant and they brought it out to us and we had a big noisy Spanish lunch around the kitchen table

Monday 15th September

Woke up at 3am with blister throbbing,seems that it's picked up an infection from the stream, covered it with antiseptic cream and strapped it + shin up again and went back to bed. In the morning found that now my right Achilles tendon was hurting probably from the way I'd been limping. I took my painkillers and tried to walk about a bit but there were too many things hurting now. The next walking stage was going to be a 30kms slog and I wasn't going to attempt that in my condition so I limped painfully to the nearest village Meson de Venta and caught a bus to Santiago which was only about 50kms away now. Got myself a room in a pension and am going to rest up for a couple of days before busing back to Meson de Venta to try and continue the walk. Had my first restaurant meal in Spain (I don't count MacDonald's), a tasty lentil soup with chorizo sausage, salmon cutlet with potatoes(strangely no veggies), bread, a bottle of wine all for 8 Eur ($14).


New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (07), Ingles(09), VDLP (09/10/11), Portuguese (12/20), Del Sur (18), Algarve Way(14/17)
Tuesday – Wednesday 15 - 16th September
Hung around Santiago, beautiful city but hard to sit around and lick wounds and not spend money or walk too much, the place is full of triumphant walkers who've finished their camino. Another problem now, my bank a/c is showing 2 withdrawals of EUR200 that I didn't make, I used several ATM's in Ferrol looking for the best exchange rate and cancelled each transaction when I saw the rate was too high, it seems that they weren't cancelled and now I've got a dispute with my bank and we all know who will win that one. In view of that, my injuries and the 3 days that I've lost, I've decided to cut out the Via de la Plata section of the walk (Santiago-Seville)
Thursday 17th September Meson do Vento-Sigueiros(32kms)
Muscles and blisters felt better so bused back to Meson do Vento and started walking from where I left off, pretty farming land for a while then it rained for the rest of the day. I did 32kms all the way to Sigueiros, the last 10kms was murder just straight wide track stretching away as far as you could see. Nowhere for pilgrims to stay so checked into grubby hostal, everything seemed to be hanging by 1 screw, towel rails, toilet roll holders, light fittings etc.
Right leg felt OK but now the tendons on top of my left foot behind the toes are starting to hurt
Friday 18th September Sigueiros-Santiago(18kms)
Uneventful 4 hour stroll thru fog so no beautiful views as such, right leg OK but left foot tendons steadily getting worse. Another half-day hanging around Santiago, hope to press on to Finisterre tomorrow.
Saturday 19th September
Woke up before dawn to the sound of Saturday market traders setting up in the streets, foot felt very stiff, was going to press on to Finisterre but hostel manageress failed to show up so that I could pay her. Walked around a bit to test foot and was not very happy, by the time the manageress showed up it was midday and pelting down with rain and all my resolve was gone! Couldn't stand hanging around another day in Santiago so thought bugger it and hopped on a bus to Seville, I'll do Finisterre another year, feeling very dispirited now the whole venture has fallen thru. Can't understand why my body is letting me down like this, 2 years ago I walked the 800kms of the French Camino with hardly any problems at all.
Sunday 20th September
Nightmare 14 hour overnight bus ride to Seville, checked in at a really good backpackers hostel in Triana and am considering my next move.

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