That walking distance included about 8 km walking around towns and backtracking segments!
Some photos of the walking path…
I thought I would stop in O Barco de Valdeorras. But I got there well before noon and didn’t know quite what to do with myself. It is a pretty town and the locals were going about their Sunday activities. It looked like festive tents and stalls were being set up along the river. But there were no other pilgrims around, so nobody to talk to. Well, not quite true – an old guy struck up conversation with me and invited me for coffee. But I was finding it hard to understand him and made excuses. Finally I just decided that I was here to walk, so that’s what I would do.
Onward to Vilamartin, after a slight tour of an industrial park while I was trying to walk the “natural” alternative. Got back on the regular route and swore to make no more deviations.
In Vilamartin, I entered the albergue to find that it was somewhat occupied by Ukrainian refugees. There were probably still beds available to pilgrims but I would have to call the posted number. It seemed intrusive to do so, and I found a hotel not too far back on the highway. Well, they had rooms but the restaurant was closed due to a private event. The nearest food was a gas station about 1 km away.
I compared 2 km for gas station food versus 6 km to get to a decent town. That’s what I did!
The last section of walking was quite nice, especially the (newer?) option near A Rua that avoids 1-2 km walking along the road that has some narrow shoulders. The path was up on the hillside with good views. [Edit to add: Afterwards some other pilgrims indicated that they hadn’t noticed the optional path avoiding this stretch of road walking. Just after passing the dam Presa de Santiago, the Camino intersects the lower level of old highway and the new highway N-120 passes over. There was a big notice with a map, and the route along the road was quite obvious. For the newer path, you need to cross the road, and walk under the new highway overpass before you see the arrow pointing left on a wide dirt path. Sorry, but no convenient photo instructions!]
Dónde está Abuela?
Here’s a friendly horse I passed this morning. I stopped to take a picture just for you, and he came over. A little later, a woman passed me, walking with her dog and cat (in the lower right corner of the photo).
2 thoughts on “Day 5. Sobradelo to A Rua de Valdeorras (30 km)”
This is great fun reading you again. I loved the elastic stage you did today and hope that your feet feel good tomorrow.
The Invierno looks really nice to someone who likes rivers. We had thought of it as a way of getting to smaller crowds; it sure doesn’t sound crowded…..
At this rate though, you will catch up to those people who outdistanced you in the first stages and you’ll be in Santiago soon…… Enjoy and keep up the great posts.
Envoyé de mon iPad
The museo near Torre Vilariño was very good in showing what life was like in villages along on the rivers before the development of the dams (in the 50s to 70s??) Even now you can get a taste of it when you descend to the Rio Minho at Belesar before Chantada. The descent is long and hard but I really liked it, with the glimpses of the river below. (The ascent to Chantada afterward was hard, too.) The river excursions and wine tours looked very tempting.
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