Pilgrimpace's Blog


camino ingles
November 7, 2011, 8:00 pm
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As promised a route report.

We flew from Heathrow to La Coruna with Vueling, arriving on Saturday evening.  We stayed in Hostal Mara which is of good quality, friendly and central.  We spent two nights in Coruna which gave us a good opportunity to explore a lovely city (and to shelter from a terrible storm!).

We were able to have a proper beginning to our pilgrimage with Sunday morning Mass at the Church of Santiago, the traditional starting point of the Camino Ingles

and then some well spent tourist hours walking the city, visiting the Tower of Hercules, the only lighthouse of antiquity still in use, and Sunday dinner, which in Coruna means pulpo.

The first day walking was long, around 19 miles from Coruna to Hospital de Bruma, with a long climb near to the end.  Our fitness was enough for this.  I had a worry that we might not finish before dark, but we were fine (although anyone walking this in winter would have to break the journey using bus or taxi or be able to walk briskly).  We did not have a long lunch break but there were opportunities for refreshment

note that my cake is the biggest

The route is easy to follow.  A combination of the CSJ Guidebook and route marking meant we had no problems at all.  Locals we met along the way were keen to chat and very helpful with directions.

As I have said before, I like the Camino’s combination of urban and rural walking.  The first day included walking out of Coruna, a lovely stretch of promenade along a river, the odd bit of industrial zone, villages, and quiet country and forest paths.

We spent the night in the excellent Xunta Albergue at Bruma, looked after by Carmen the Hospitalera (see Johnnie Walker’s interview with her here) and in the company of a few other pilgrims.  I think this was very important for Meenakshi who had not walked before; it gave a good experience of pilgrim life.  Bruma is small but Carmen has arranged for a local restaurant to deliver food.  We ate a very good menu – mine was Russian Salad, salmon and chips, fruit, bread and a carafe of vino tinto.

The second day was around 15 miles walking to the town of Sigueiro.  This was a lovely walk on a mixture of quiet roads and paths giving precious views like this beautiful Church appearing across a field

Just before arriving in Sigueiro there is a 4km straight stretch along this forest path which tests the spirit and the feet

We stayed in the Hostal Miras which is basic but clean and friendly.  The restaurant there is a particular gem – cheap, good home cooking and the best fish supper I have ever eaten.

The Church of St Andrew, across the river, was beautiful and welcoming, although you may want to check the Mass time; we arrived as the people were leaving, although we were graciously given a sello and time to pray.

Our final day was about 10 miles.  The weather was terrible, continual driving rain and strong winds.  In good weather, this would have been a beautiful walk; on this occasion it was heads down and walking as fast as we could.  The first view of Santiago Cathedral on this route is about half an hour before you get there

Into the Cathedral to give thanks for arrival and for the pilgrimage, then a wonderful welcome at the Pilgrim’s Office (this route is not long enough for a Compostela, but it was definitely a testing pilgrimage and our certificates were earned), before hot showers and dry clothes at our hotel, the excellent Pension Girasol

and a good dinner with Johnnie Walker and the Big Man.  The Botafumeiro swung at the evening Mass, we heard “two English pilgrims walked from A Coruna” at Pilgrim Mass the next day, there was plenty of time to absorb something of Santiago and time to put our feet up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I travelled around the same are and it was breathtakingly beautiful. Check out my photos at http://www.photoboxgallery.com/travelingcamera/

Comment by Emilia

Thanks Emilia, I’m looking forward to seeing your photos,
Andy

Comment by pilgrimpace




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