Off to Hospital – and an encounter with Spanish plumbing

At first light, we departed from Portomarin into the morning mist en route to Hospital (de la Cruz). On the side of the path, we discerned an ancient stone stair among the moss and bracken – it wouldn’t win any prizes in health and safety! Soon we were heading into …

Portomarin – and a moving church

We left Morgade after a hearty breakfast, and farewelled our Belgian friend. We were heading for Portomarin, often spelt Portomarín with the accent on the ‘i’. Off in search of coffee, we passed through amazing tracks lined with ancient dry-stone walls. And delightful paths through tree tunnels with the light of …

Sarria to Morgade

We left Sarria early, en route to Morgade. The town seemed busy, but it was only parents dropping their kids off at the monastery school. It was a reminder of the normal life to which we would soon return. The old cross marked our exit from Sarria and gave reassurance that …

O Cebreiro to Fonfria

The sign at O Cebreiro said we were now only 44kms from Sarria – the start of the homeward run, which in turn is just over 100kms from Santiago de Compostela, and that is the minimum walking distance to achieve the Compostela certificate of completion. Of course, we have already …

Sarria – Beginning of the final leg

Sarria The next significant place was Sarria – 110kms to the end-point. We missed the arrows when coming into Sarria – fortunately, the GPS and map component of the TrekRight app soon saw us back on the path. It is a largish town, and we climbed the hill and steep …

To O Cebreiro – Gateway to Galicia!

Leaving Villafranca del Bierzo On the advice of our friend Lucas we left the palace and headed down to the river valley route to O Cebreiro. We passed a pilgrim statue on the road across the bridge out of Villafranca del Bierzo. On the other side of the river, ancient …

Villafranca del Bierzo – and a Camino angel

Once we reached the outer suburbs of Ponferrada we were soon walking past market gardens. We stopped at Columbrianos for coffee, enroute to Villafranca del Bierzo. Then on to Fuentes Nueva (New Fountain) where there was an amazing small church with frescoes painted in the dome and a wonderful altarpiece. …

Cruz de Ferro – a poignant moment

As the sun came up beneath an overcast sky, we set off from Rabanal del Camino en route to Cruz de Ferro. The track mostly followed the road, and at one point we heard an extraordinary noise, like the breathing of a mechanical dragon or perhaps an ancient Bolton and …

Tex Mex on the Camino

It was a late start from Murias de Rechivaldo which meant we met an extraordinary man. It was overcast outside and 0800AM inside. Breakfast was toast and coffee. I decided I would start giving Albergue breakfasts a miss. But this was different. The Belgian had walked various Camino routes since …