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Redpilgrims completed pilgrimage September 2009

Redpilgrims

New Member
Hello my name is Frances and with my husband Paul completed the Camino Ingles in September 2009. We flew to Santiago with Ryanair and took the airport bus to the city centre. We took the bus to Ferrol and started walking the morning of the following day.
Day 1 Ferrol to Fene- Walked out of Ferrol. We were very impressed by the lovely coastline. Arrived in Neda, the alberque was closed. However we had booked into a hotel in Fene and continued our path. Fene was a small town. We had our passport stamped in the council offices the lady was ready to go home it being a Friday afternoon. She was very helpful and tried hard to cope with our lack of spainish. We stayed at a small two star hotel called El Cepa. We had pre-booked this and couldn't have been more welcomed by Tino the owner and his assistant Ruth. Forty euros for a clean, ensuite twin room. 9 Euros for three course meal with wine and 4 euros for a huge breakfast. The address is HOTEL la Cepa, 16 Hortella, Fene, Tel. 0034981341352. Mass was available nearby in the evening at 8pm.
Day 2 Fene to Mino- Lovely weather and the woods we walked through were beautiful full of sweet chestnut, eucalyptus and oak. We really enjoyed the coastline which is so pretty. Lovely resorts of Cabanas and Pontedueme. I found this stretch quite challenging. I am 47 and not very fit and was glad to arrive in Mino were we stayed at the Albergue. We arrived to an argument between the wardens and an italian pilgrim but things settled down thankfully and we were joined by two british pilgrims one of which was a soldier from afghanistan on leave and his younger brother. Did not manage to find mass, but Mino is a lovely resort.
Day 3 Mino to Betanzos Lovely weather and scenary. This was a very hot day and we were glad to arrive in Betanzos. The walk on this day was through a sucession of small villages. We found that all the churches directly on the route were closed and locked with no indication of where a key could be located- which was a shame. We went to the tourist information centre and were given two addresses. We went to the Choclatteria but decided we wouldnt stay there and found accommodation at a two star hotel just behind the main square. This was a lovely re-furbished hotel. A bit more expensive at 90 euros a night. We ate at a traditional restaurant just off the main square and found mass at the Franciscan church.
Day 4 Betanzos to Bruma - Difficult day but arrived at Bruma. We were the only pilgrims in the hostel. The warden was lovely and despite our lack of a common language ordered us a wonderful meal of soup, steak and tarte santiago and red wine for 10 euros each. Unfortunately we did not find mass in Bruma the tiny ancient church was locked.
Day 5 Bruma to Ordes- we saved our tarte santiago for breakfast as there did not seem to be any reliable way of getting breakfast. However we set off and found some small cafes on the route and had delicous cafe con leche and a omelette sandwich! Lovely scenary yet again but by now we had turned south away from the coastline towards Santiago. Stayed in Ordes at a two star hote on the main square. Mass at 8pm in church across the square.
Day 6 Ordes to Santiago. We had planned to stop in Siguero but decided to make a push for Santiago in one day. We started off at about 8 am and reached Siguero at about lunchtime and then pressed on towards our goal. Again we had lovely views of the countryside reached Santiago at about 5pm. We were tired but glad to be there. Having been on pilgrimages before to Lourdes were you arrive on coach I found the experience of arriving on foot very emotional. We must have looked as if we had been walking for months as it was a very windy day and the dust flying around the route on the way in stuck to us- so we looked filthy! Queued up for our compostela in the pilgrim office.
We had five days in Santiago. This was very enjoyable. Going to mass and seeing the botafumerio being swung. We were lucky to see this as it is only swung 30 times in an ordinary year. We throughly enjoyed our Camino Ingles and would encourage anyone thinking of doing it to give it a try. It is a lovely walk and the people we met were helpful and friendly. The only regrets we had were the closed churches and the lack of pilgrims on the way. But the Camino Ingles is not as well known or has as many albergues. But for people like us who have two weeks holidays and have family commitments still it is an ideal way of pilgrimage. I was a little disappointed by the suggestion of some irish pilgrims who had walked from Bourgas on the Camino Frances that those who had completed the Camino Ingles did not shouldn't really get a compostela. One up man ship on the Way of St James is one thing we really do not need! If anyone would like more information on our route in detail to help them plan theirs please do not hesitate to contact us via the blog. Bueno Camino.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Great account of your journey Frances, and I'm certain it will be read and used by others thinking about this route. Sounds like you really enjoyed your time.
Margaret
 

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