Friday, 29 June 2018

El Camino: Neda to Pontedeume

Sunrise is much later here in Northern Spain than it is at home. I woke about 5.30 am but the sun hadn't risen. There again it isn't dark until 11 pm.
A beautiful early morning view over the river.

I packed my case and took it down to breakfast with me , all ready to be taken to tonight's accommodation.
We were all refreshed and raring to go. The weather wasn't great with thunderstorms and showers forecast for later in the day but the sun was shining as we prepared to leave. Each day we have a group photo outside our accommodation. We had a laugh trying to take this photo as my camera was perched on a rubbish bin across the road. Once set I had to dash across the road and take up my position.

We followed the river out of Neda.

Bright mural on the side of an infant's school.


On our way out of town we walked through the old part, passing the town hall with its impressive clock.

We walked a short way off the route to look at the 14th century church of San Nicholas. Once again we found the church closed. I'm beginning to think we will never get a stamp from a church for our Pilgrim's passport (credential).

We were informed by a local resident (Tina speaks fluent Spanish fortunately) that pilgrims did not start at Ferrol but came down the estuary to Neda and started their pilgrimage from here where the church is now.

Today's walk took us away from towns although we were rarely away from people altogether. The habitat is very green and luscious  but our walk was mainly on tarmac roads and pathways. The smell of flowering privet hedges (which I dislike ) is everywhere. But surprisingly there is also the smell of eucalyptus trees which are in abundance throughout this area.

A bit of a steep climb before descending again into the village of Fene.

We still have views of the River Ferrol. Yesterday we walked NE along the river and today we are walking South along its  opposite bank.

Although the lanes and streets are quiet we did meet a few people, mainly dog walkers but they all, without exception, bid us a 'buen camino'.

We didn't have many miles to walk today (about 10) so we stopped for a mid morning coffee and cake. We also needed to get our credentials stamped so this made the perfect excuse to stop. All cafes and bars along the route can stamp your pilgrim's passport and we needed a minimum of two a day from different towns in order to qualify for our 'Compostelo'.
This pilgrim seemed to have been her for a while.

Lots of signs to guide us.

This was quite a creative one  on a garden wall.

Our pace was quite leisurely as the only pressure was to get there before the rain. We decided to pick up the pace a bit as it was not difficult walking. Some uphill then downhill but not too much.

Numerous crosses placed on the fence by other walkers.
At last, away from the paved paths.

Just less than 90km to go

I am pleased to say the group know who is in charge and afford me the respect I deserve. Although I think Jim at the back needs to practise his bowing and scraping a bit more!

Walked under the motorway and then through another eucalyptus forest.


We decided to continue walking and have lunch once we arrived in Pontedeume where we would be staying tonight.

Just had a light meal of omelettes and salad  and  then made our way to the hotel.

The timing was perfect as the heavens opened with a tremendous downpour which went on for some time. Time to put our feet up and have a rest.

Once it stopped Tina and I went for a walk round the town whilst the boys went for a drink.

The stone bridge over the River Eume was built in the 14th century and for many years was the longest in Spain with its 79 arches. It is still a very impressive bridge.

The bridge has 15 of its original arches remaining.. 

Many of the old buildings date back to the 14th or 16th century. The 18th century Keep of the castle still watches  over the river for signs of an invasion.

The narrow cobbled lanes  weave their way through the old town.

Flowers tumble from the balconies.

The church of Santiago (St James)

This stone bench doesn't look very comfy

After a more than adequate meal in the hotel it was time to call it a day and get some sleep.