Monday, 27 July 2015

JULY 2015 : SPAIN : El Camino del Norte : Day 27 : Ribadeo - Lourenza ( 30 kms - 8 hours with minor stops)

Distance travelled so far : 639 kms
Distance to go : 170 kms

All the planets aligned today with an easy exit from Ribadeo (despite the lack of waymarking), cool, overcast weather with a pleasant breeze and excellent tracks and minor roads. Very comfortable day despite the 30 kms.


This hospice/ chapel was on one of the minor roads out of Ribadeo. It is dated at 1555 and was an original pilgrim hospital.


                                       When the waymarking began it served us very well all day.


                 Out of the city and into the countryside - dairy farms, market gardens and cornfields.


  Last view of Ribadeo to the left and the very attractive town Vegadeo on the right side of the bay. (We drove through there on the bus yesterday).


We were in eucalyptus forests most of the day, skirting the highway and around hills into valleys.

     Stone houses with slate roofs and minimum decoration, unlike in the houses in The Asturias.

                                The smaller, rectangular horreo.


                                Small ancient churches in little hamlets.


                                      Hydrangeas in every colour in immaculate gardens.


            Spectacular views of farming hamlets, the mountains and forests.


          Some local information about the route in Gallicia.


Not many fountains or opportunities for food, but this community in Villamartin Grande provided a room with shelter and food in vending machines.


                                         Pleasant walking with expansive views.


            A tortilla in the small town of St Xusto.


                                               Shady paths for the long entry into Lourenza.


                First view of Lourenza. Not a particularly impressive sight. 


Lourenza was built up around a Benedictine monastery, San Salvador. The Baroque facade was designed by Casas y Novoa, who also was responsible for the cathedral in Santiago.


                                                            Details in the monastery's facade.


                                                                  Impressive pipe organ 


Perched at the end of town is our hostal, La Union. 50 euros a double. Again not the most auspicious establishment but our room is clean (with bath!). 


We have a balcony for drying our clothes. Quite hot now at 6pm after such a mild day. 


                    Tasty Menu del Dia (11 euros ) at O Pipote with Australians, Carol and Mick.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

JULY 2015 : SPAIN : El Camino del Norte : Day 25 : Tapia de Casariego - Ribadeo ( about 12 kms by road. Bus - 45 mins)

I'm Distance travelled : 609 kms
Distance to go : 200 kms


We thought that we would take advantage of another rest day today as we will be walking a 30 kms day tomorrow. The other reason was that we would have extra time in Tapia, definitely my favourite destination so far.


                  Wandering down to breakfast locals were lining up for their fresh bread delivery.


                             A leisurely breakfast with wifi and FaceTime with the family.


                                 A quiet walk around the harbour - only a few locals up and about.


           One of my favourite houses on the cliff over the main beach.


        Love this little gem, Casa Mario. I would love to rename it Casa Nonna and have it for our own.


           Over the bridge, crossing from the Asturias into Galicia - home stretch!


         We took the 1 pm bus and arrived in Ribadeo, busy with holidaymakers. 
        We have now moved from The Asturias into the province of Gallica, another fiercely proud 
        region, like the Basques and Catalonians.

               A beautiful park in the centre of the city surrounded by interesting buildings in the Plaza de Espana.


          The Torre de la Moreno.


                                            A delicious lunch upstairs in a local restaurant.


        A walk along the harbour.


 And who should we find camping at the small albergue (12 beds) but the Capenays, now at a   
 standstill with Lolika suffering from a severely sprained foot. They have been able to secure a   
 house in town for a reasonable rent so that he can recover. So wonderful to catch up and 
 exchange details before saying goodbye to them.


             Our one star hotel, Ros Mary, was recommended in the guidebook. 60 euros, convenient
             and clean with bar, restaurant and friendly manager.


Saturday, 25 July 2015

JULY 2015 : SPAIN : El Camino del Norte : Day 25 : Navia - Tapia de Casariego (20 kms - 6 hours)

UDistance travelled : 581 kms
Distance to go : 248 kms


There was an alternative path suggested today keeping to the coast. We decided to follow this flat direct path and thus take 2 days to get to Ribadeo and enjoy another day in a seaside port. The weather was mild, about 24o, with no humidity. Unfortunately there was not much coastline to see on the journey but we were rewarded when we arrived at Tapia de Casariego on St James Day, a public holiday.


Leaving Navia after breakfast at a local cafe. It was much larger than we originally envisaged. In retrospect it was the better stopover than the smaller and nondescript La Caridad (9 kms further on).


           The countryside is changing rapidly. A large dairy industry...


           Large corn and potato crops..


The grand houses funded by the slave and tobacco trades in the Americas have been replaced with modern stone homes with slate roofs and modest rendered homes in the villages.


           We skirted the highway today on flat wooded paths.


          In Porcia we were joined by a huge community group on a celebratory walk for St James' Day.


            From Porcia we took the alternative path, also the GR route.


            From the highway Tapia de Casaregio looks quite industrial but as you walk down to the port
            It is more appealing.


             It has the feeling of a small English port, like Robin Hood's Bay.


             Lots of fishing craft, vantage points and restaurants and cafes.


             A cleverly crafted man - made pool.


          Spectacular beaches. Good surf and beautiful temperature. Lots of families enjoying a perfect
          summer day.


           Lots of families enjoying a perfect summer's day.



So much activity at the port tonight. A market with a hand - operated Ferris wheel, bars and restaurants working overtime. Gorgeous in the sunshine despite being 9 pm.



              A snack for dinner. Deep - fried pimentos ( a local specialty) and blue cheese for Mark.


                            A hilarious spoof on Spain's Got Talent in one of the main plazas tonight.


          Our palace for the evening. Pre-booked for us in Navia. Clean, central and convenient but      
          lacking a certain charm.   
          The albergue here sits on the cliffs with sea views but very popular tonight.