O Camiño Dos Faros Day 3

Day 3 on the Camiño Dos Faros and a great day's walking, approaching epic!
Early morning near 
The big change, after yesterday, was the weather. Last night's monsoons were replaced by a dry but fresh sunny day with white puffy clouds racing across an otherwise blue sky. The light was great, clear and crisp, presenting some great scenery in the best possible way.

As rare as hen's teeth - a photograph of me
The walk was also varied. In particular, again compared to yesterday, it included a stretch of easy walking, allowing us to complete some kilometres quickly in what could otherwise have been a tough 28 kilometre walk.
Christine on the sand dunes near Ponteseco
We left the apartment at about 9 full of tea but low on food. 9 might not sound that early but on the western extremes of Spain sunrise in April doesn't happen until 8.
The best railing on the Camiño dos Faros
Although it was wet underfoot the walking was lovely and after crossing a beach we headed south for 3 kms on an easy but pretty stretch of coastal walking. The route then heads east on a huge circumvention of a ria, a sort of estuary, that both confused the sense of direction and felt like we were taking forever to get nowhere. Eventually we started to head south again and at Ponteseco found a bar for a croissant and a cup of coffee. We also had our first tapas of the day - chunks of tortilla - very nice.
Tapas no 2
After an easy walk through trees we found ourselves on the south side of the ria. For the next 4 kms the route followed a path which could only be described as lavish - beautifully engineered but for no obvious reason (including a 300m stainless steel railing). Halfway along we were pleased to see a board acknowledging that funding had been provided by the European Union from a budget that had something to do with fish!
And the river reaches the sea
At As Grelas we stopped for our second cup of coffee and yet more tapas - a bowl of chickpeas, pork and chorizo stew, wonderful.
Views north
We decided to miss the walk inland to a famous dolmen, reducing what would otherwise have been at 35km walk (this might have been a mistake) and stayed with the coast. The last two hour stretch of walking was just amazing, a necklace of headlands and beautiful sandy coves, two of which featured waterfalls with streams reaching the sea in a particularly picturesque fashion. The path was also surprisingly busy and having spent the last two days on our own we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by Spanish walkers of all shapes and sizes.
On the beach approaching Laxe
The icing on the cake, at the end, was a beach walk into Laxe complete with a stream which necessitated footwear removal.
Camiño dos Faros memorabilia - brilliant
The hotel I had read about was conveniently located at the end of the route and after changing out of the most unpleasant items we went down to the bar for a beer. It was packed with the Spanish walkers we had shared the last part of the walk with. It turns out that they were part of a Camiño Dos Faros group who each week were walking a section of the route. I say group, it was more like a small army and included over 400 walkers. This really is a well organised trail and a stall selling distinctly branded Camiño Dos Faros fleeces and T-shirts, lime green with a sort of Galician leprechaun, was doing brisk business. It was an interesting and friendly group, younger perhaps than a comparable group of English walkers and perhaps more stylishly dressed. Sharing the last of the afternoon sun with them was great fun and after 4 beers and 4 more plates of tapas we went back to our room doubting that we would bother with dinner.

If you would like to see this walk on a map follow the link

In Laxe we stayed at Caso do Arco, nice but beware the restaurant is shut on Sunday and Monday and the hotel is shut on Monday.  There is another hotel in the town.

8 comments:

  1. It was nice to meet you, John and Christine, I am the guy who spoke with you at Laxe, if you need some information about Galicia and other different routes you can write to me and I'll try to help you, Buen Camino!

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    1. Hi Angel, that's very kind, we will definitely be back!

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  2. Well, actually, more than related to fish is related to the Funds to Help the Economy in that far located coastal areas with a high level of unemployment (Founds for Áreas Pesqueras, that is areas where we can found populations strongly dependent on fishing). The area was a source for migration to Switzerland and Germany, Canary Islands in the past and now , in some extent, the UK (for young people). Of course I agree that could be done in a cheaper way, not with that expensive steeel!

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    1. You have to remember I come from England where we spend nothing on the environment and are a bit jealous when we see what others do, particularly when the get the EU to pay!

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  3. Environment management in England is many times better than in Spain, that´s obvious, but maybe I would prefer even to live in Laxe than in East London. The area were are you walking along is not very rich, even by local stardards. We spoilt a lot of money from the EU, I agree. I´m not proud of it honestly. Not only the UK pay money (until now) to the EU, but also Spain, and that goes to Greece, to Scotland, to Sardinia, to others part of Spain definitely to any part of the EU. Somebody thought that tourism could be a good thing to promote that areas, but probably a well marked trail could be useful than that strange steel. You are only going to find the remains of a past beauty. Old architecture was destroyed in every village, but at least we have the wind, the sand, anda the green. Enjoy your trip!

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    1. I'm sorry if my comment caused offence, I didn't mean to. I'm a huge fan of Spain and it's countryside. I've spent 6 months of the last 4 years walking here and my first guide book, on the GR1 is helping other walkers enjoy it's beauty and hopefully bringing some customers to the hotels. Please keep spending the money on the paths, I don't care where it comes from. Oh and come and visit us in East London, you will be very welcome.

      John

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  4. I forgot to comment. This region, Galicia, has a big aluminium factory 100 Km northwards. You can expect a lot of this metal in your walk. Good luck with the weather!

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  5. No offence at all John!Don´t worry! My comment is just to focus that that is not related to fish, but to the coast , just all. But I agree with you completely! We´ve spoilt a lot of money. But I would like to say that´s not because the EU is very generous, but because our politicians did wrong things and some people take money from that actions. Obviously the objective of that was to promote turism, but I´m afraid that has promoted probably a local (or not) steel seller. I´m very happy that you commented that (but probably I did´t write it very clear..) I was very surprised when I saw that steel also. I didn´t know you were from East London sorry! :) I lived in Clapham a couple of years ago. The GR1 book seems to be very interesting, that´s THE WAY I would like to walk! I pay you a coffee in Santiago, just tell me in case you would like to meet or have enough time.Miguel

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