O Camiño Dos Faros Day 4

Today's walk was huge in every sense of the word, huge scenery, huge distance and hugely knackered at the end.
Ancient fields near Laxe
If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that my preferred style of walking involves staying in local accommodation as near as possible to the end of each day's walk. Ideally this means a looking to find a hotel or something similar about every 25 kms or so, allowing for around 8 hours walking a day. I try to plan a schedule in advance, and adapt the desirable to the available. When I do this, in order to make things work I am sometimes over optimistic about what is possible. Today was one of those days. We walked 35 hard and difficult kilometres from Laxe to Mourin, a hamlet to the north of Camarinas, arriving after 9 and a half hours with wet sore feet.

The view east from the Petón do Castro
Such over-optimism is punished particularly severely on coastal walks. Naismith's rule, which says you can calculate how long it's going to take to walk from a to b by applying a formula based on distance and altitude, fails uniquely when it comes to coastal walking. The extent of the minor deviations, both horizontal and vertical, and the difficulty of the surfaces encountered, combine to make progress painfully slow. This is particularly the case along the Camiño Dos Faros whose designer, as Christine pointed out, "does not want you to miss a thing". This is a tough stretch of walking and should not be underestimated.
The Praia do Soesto

The day broke down into two parts, the stretch before and after the lunch stop at Camelle. Before lunch the weather was glorious with a clear light illuminating amazing scenery. The highlight was probably the climb up to a little summit, the Petón do Castro, which provided huge views up and down the coast. On the way up to the summit, just beyond the lighthouse, we passed through what looked like a very ancient field system, the sort of thing I've seen on the west coast of Ireland. Below on the other side we crossed a wonderful beach, the Praia de Soesto whose huge waves were attracting surfers. For bird watchers the sanctuary at the Logoa de Traba looked interesting although with hindsight, and because the paths were wet we would made faster progress staying on the beach.
A bleaker coast near Arou
Rubbish on the beach

After lunch the weather was dull with a cold easterly wind matching coastal scenery that, compared to the morning, felt a little meaner and unloved. Camelle has a few bars but felt down at heal as did Arou the next village along. The toughest stretch of walking came just after the fisherman's huts beyond Arou and the little harbour at Porto de Santa Mariña where for a time we were almost scrambling. Maybe it's something to do with the prevailing wind but this stretch of coast had more plastic rubbish deposits than any we had seen so far, a curse of course that is not unique to Spain.
Waterlogged trail
I suspect in reality most of difference was down to the fact that by mid afternoon we were both tired and wet. Much of the trail was waterlogged and, with thick gorse on either side, avoiding walking through what were in effect streams was just impossible. Appropriately there was a particularly difficult stretch just before the Cemetery Dos Ingleses. At the place where sailors from an 1890 shipwreck are buried we finally gave up any attempt to avoid the continuous puddles and just walked through the water.
Cemetry Dos Ingleses
The weather forecast for tomorrow looks poor and after today's experience my schedule looks crazy. We have to be in Santiago de Compostela by Friday so will have to look for short cuts. Never mind, I've seen enough to know I'll be coming back.

If you want to see this route on a map follow this link

We stayed at the Hotel Rustico Lugar Do Cotariño which is located about a kilometre to the north of the port of Cotariño.  It was very nice but the restaurant was shut on Monday - there are other hotels in the town itself. 

5 comments:

  1. I´m very sorry for the wet path experience. From Camariñas to Muxía the coast is nice but not special (it´s a kind of Ria, but less interesting than the Ponteceso one, after Corme). Maybe you can try to speak to somebody to take you to Muxía (you should´t pay more than 35 Eur, and if you are lucky somebody can take you there for free). From Muxía to Lires you can follow the coast or the Muxía-Fisterra extended walk of the Camino de Santiago (not so close to the coast). You should´t miss the Lires-Fisterra (Finisterre) part of the Camiño dos Faros. If I could I would offer you that lift from Camariñas to Muxía, but as far I know at this moment, I can´t. Good luck. Miguel

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    1. Hi Miguel, thanks for your comment and kind offer. I'm actually a day behind on my blog, we were so tired last night and the WiFi was not so go. We are in Muxia tonight having walked only the last 10km. All looking good for the final 2 days. Coffee in Santiago sounds nice, will be there from Friday to Sunday. Have never been before so really looking forward to it.

      John

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    2. Hi Miguel, thanks for your comment and kind offer. I'm actually a day behind on my blog, we were so tired last night and the WiFi was not so go. We are in Muxia tonight having walked only the last 10km. All looking good for the final 2 days. Coffee in Santiago sounds nice, will be there from Friday to Sunday. Have never been before so really looking forward to it.

      John

      Delete
  2. I forgot to tell that the plastic on the seashore can be explained by the important fishing activity in the area and because the traffic corridor some miles away from the coast. Most of the vessel traffic to Europa goes not far away from the Coast. Vessel from all over the world to Europe

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  3. Wheather forecast doesn´t seem to be very bad for the coming days. Occasional showers in Wednesday afternoon, but warm southerly air all the week and not very windy. Changeable but good for walking. All is going to be waterlogged, that´s the only bad point, but not the skies.Ánimo!

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