This was the fourth Camino we had walked so we already knew about equipment preparations. Our Camino Ingles was a 5-day walk and that was quite manage-able.
Coming into Pontedueme: the new albergue is across the river on the right
Day 3 was the longest and hardest. This camino goes through forests or on rural paths or roads and is well marked/signed–and we didn’t get lost at all! However I would not do this walk without the CSJ guide as a reference. We started on a Monday as shops are often closed on Sunday. There were not many pilgrims evident on this walk (I would say no more than 5 others). We stayed in hostals and only one albergue – at Hospital de Bruma. Therefore chances of meeting the ‘Camino family’ are low. We did hear that an albergue in Pontedueme was newly opened. If time is limited or you can only walk 100km then this is a good walk to do. You could make the walk longer and stop at other albergues doing shorter distances.
When: June 2011–Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela
References: The CSJ guide is a ‘must have’ and great reference for all topics to do with the Camino Ingles. Reading the guide will help you plan the stages of the walk. The pilgrim forum as run by Ivar Rekve is continually useful and we read all the Camino Ingles posts.
We flew into Santiago de Compostela on Ryanair from Hahn Germany after having spent 2 weeks in other parts of Europe. We then caught the bus to A Coruna for a holiday of 3 nights and also to get the credencial at the Church of Santiago. A Coruna is a great place to visit. We took the train to Ferrol and stayed one night. On arriving in Ferrol we had a lunch at Café Zahara and after that went down to the waterfront, found the start of the Camino and walked the first 3km of it towards our hotel!. We stayed at Hotel Hesperia for 49€ on special.
Day 1–Ferrol to Pontedueme – We continued on the Camino where we had left off yesterday. Nice walk today a bit drizzly and quite flat at the beginning but then a few ups and downs (this is a Camino after all) with good coastal views. The town of Pontedueme was nice and we met another pilgrim who told us an albergue had just opened here. We stayed at Allegre Hostal 35€ and had diner opposite at Bar Louis.
Along the way!
Day 2–Pontedueme to Betanzos. My diary notes say that there were a lot of up and down again today and that it appeared longer than the expected – that’s always the way! Betanzos is a great little town and we arrived with plenty of time to have an excellent menu del dia at 3pm at Los Arcos restaurant. We stayed at Betanzos Chocalateria 40€.
There are a few sights to see in Betanzos including a free but weird park O Pasatempo. There is a lovely plaza and intere s t in g bu i ld i ng s in Betanzos. At the tourist bureau they knew how many pilgrims were in town and yet we didn’t see any!
Day 3–Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma—long day uphill. Today was a lovely walk in forests with an initial steep climb out of Betanzos. Bruma Alburgue was excellent. The guide says that Bar Julia may be the only place for provisions, and luckily it was open. The best feature was meeting 3 other pilgrims. Dinner was ordered from the local restaurant 2km away and it arrived in a taxi – a menu del dia with wine and redchecked tablecloths – and also they then took away the dirty dishes!!
Day 4–Bruma to Sigueira. Again nice walk and we did ‘lose’ the signs as we came into Sigueira but it is very small so we just followed our noses. Stayed at Hostal Miras (noisy and basic) and also ate there – excellent restaurant.
Day 5–Sigueira to Santiago de Compostela. A short day and a different approach to Santiago – this goes through some industrial parts but not often. It was a drizzly day again today.
Handy hint: We left surplus luggage at the hotel in Santiago which we had booked for our return. We had emailed to see if this was possible. We used our pack covers (which are basically large zip bags ) to store our other clothes.