Our day seven on the Camino Inglés was to be a hot and difficult day. While the day is essentially downhill into Sigüeiro, the length combined with the heat made it more of a challenge.
Because our prior day grew so hot, we decided to set off earlier, at sunrise, on day seven to avoid walking in the midday heat. Everyone was worried about our partner Rob, whether he would thrive on the day's walk since, since he suffered considerably in the heat on day six.
Steve shared with us that he had lost sleep overnight with worry whether or not Rob would make it, and Rich and I were discussing what a plan B might look like, if needed. There were many choices and we knew we would be there to support Rob's Camino, however that looked.
"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak." ~ Thomas Carlyle, 19 cent Philosopher and Historian
You could actually split this day into two if you so desired or make your day six a bit longer therefore shortening day seven. There are several places to stay along this stage, one at about 4.8 kilometers from the albergue in Bruma, the Hotel Barreiro, (with an additional 1.8 kilometers off route), and one at 7.0 kilometers from the albergue in Bruma, (9.0 kilometers from Ó Mesón do Vento), called the Casa Rural Dona María in A Rúa.
There is also the Casa Rural Antón Veiras at about 9.0 kilometers from the albergue, (11.0 kilometers from Ó Mesón do Vento). Right by this casa rural is the brand-new, opened in June of 2019, 42-bed municipal Albergue de Poulo (Ordes). Both of these are right along the Camino, so keep this in mind as you plan your day.
After the Casa Rural Antón Veiras, there is nothing but a camping place before Sigüeiro, see the map below.
Here is our map of this day, uploaded to Google maps from our GPS tracks. As you can see, there are many more services on this leg, so supplying your pack is not as important.
I did not include the 1.8 kilometers from Ó Mesón do Vento in the total mileage for the day, so if you want your total from there it is 26.26 kilometers (16.32 miles).
The overall trend in elevation for the day is downhill, with a few short uphills in between. We were grateful for this after all the prior climbing we had done.
The Ó Mesón Novo café, attached to our hotel of the same name, opened at a delightful 6:00 a.m. We arrived at the café around 6:30 for our breakfast. Because of this, we were able to set off by 7:00 a.m. at sunrise with our bellies wonderfully full. As we walked from Ó Mesón do Vento towards Hospital de Bruma, the sun was rising gloriously over the countryside.
Rich and I walked back toward Hospital de Bruma, so I could restart my GPS tracker where I had left off the day before, on day six. Rob and Steve took the more southerly and more direct route that bypasses the albergue, to rejoin the Camino farther south. If you do this, just follow the yellow arrows from Ó Mesón do Vento, and you will see the turn, leading you in a different direction from which you came. It is easy to see this route on our Google map above.
After 1.8 kilometers, we came to the Albergue de Hospital de Bruma. Farther on, within less than 100 meters, you come to the Casa Graña, a café that advertises that it opens at 0800. It was still closed when we walked by, around 07:30.
Immediately after the café, is the historic parish church of Hospital de Bruma. Here is Rich, posing in front of it for me. It is a lovely old place, but it was closed.
In 1/2 kilometer from the albergue, come to the next hamlet of O Seixo. Here is a particularly attractive old stone building you see as you walk through town. The bump out on the building is an old-style oven, called an horno.
In another 1/2 kilometer we arrived at this crossroads, shown below, with the 39.59 kilometer marker telling us to walk straight on. The fields here, of newly mowed hay, were glorious in the early morning sunlight.
I am always so inspired when I get an early start and can see the lower and more subtle light in all its glory! I was in my element, basking in the early morning beauty! I am truly a morning person.
About 2.0 kilometers farther along, walking toward the next hamlet of Cabeza de Lobo, Rich and I had some fun playing with our shadows.
We were making very good time, just Rich and I, attempting to catch up to Steve and Rob. We came to the town of Cabeza de Lobo, and walked by this church in the parish of Ardemil.
In another 1/2 kilometer, 3.5 kilometers total into day seven on the English Way, in the town of O Porto, come to the famous statue of Santiago, dressed in his usual pilgrim garb. This statue was erected in the 2010 Holy Year, and is 6 meters high. You must get the classic English Way photo of yourself and/or your group by this statue on day seven! Here we are.
By the Santiago statue is a bar, the Café Bar Uzal. It was closed this early in the morning, at 8:00 a.m. And beyond the bar is a somewhat bizarre, but interesting sculpture park, shown in the photos below. Spend a moment to enjoy this display of someone's talent!
Next up, a kilometer farther along, we walked through the hamlet of As Mámoas.
At 4.8 kilometers into the day, we walked by the sign for the Hotel Barreiro, to the west, in the direction of Fraga, with notification that it is 1.8 kilometers off the Camino. It would be a viable option if you were starting out in Presedo, to walk by Bruma and spend your night here for a total stage of about 16 kilometers.
Since it is all downhill from Hospital de Bruma, this would not have been a difficult day from Presedo. However, since you must add 1.8 kilometers to the walk off-Camino it is more like 18 kilometers in total. This would only shave off about 3 kilometers from your day seven on the English Way. It is yet another interesting possibility.
The sign and turn to the hotel is directly across from this 35.8 kilometer marker, shown below.
In about another kilometer from As Mámoas, the Way turns off the paved road and onto a nice lane in an area called A Carballeira. The Camino follows this lovely wooded lane, which eventually turns into a path.
It is not quite a kilometer when the Camino rejoins the pavement and passes by this wonderful old horreo.
A few meters later the English Way on day seven takes a sharp right turn, southward towards the next town of A Rúa.
In another 1/2 kilometer or so we arrived into A Rúa. It was 6.95 kilometers and two hours walk into day seven on the Camino Inglés (from the albergue in Hospital de Bruma), per my GPS, when we came to the first open café bar, shown on the left in the photo below.
It was here that we finally caught up with Rob and Steve and all sat down for our second breakfast of the day!
Just across the street from the café is the above mentioned accommodation, the Casa Rural Dona María. This looks like a lovely place and is yet another option for splitting up day seven on your Camino Inglés (11+7 = 18 kilometers from Presedo).
Just beyond the café you pass by this delightful 18th century church, the Igrexa de San Paio de Buscas.
Here is a close up of the 18th century statue of San Paio (Pelayo), a child martyr.
On the south side of town we passed another café bar called the Liñares, but it was closed. And then it was back on the open pavement as we walked out of town.
It is another kilometer from the Café Bar Novo until the next town of Vilariño. If you blinked, you would miss this town!
After walking through Vilariño, the Camino takes a left onto this lovely tractor lane that crosses a river, passes the 31.9 kilometer marker, and walks under the AC-524.
The Camino then walks up a hill and towards the next hamlet of O Outeiro.
We briefly joined the pavement, then turned off to another lovely lane, at the sign for the Casa Rural Antón Veiras and the 31.25 kilometer waymark, shown below. At this sign we are at approximately 9.0 kilometers into day seven on the English Way, at another place suitable for an overnight stay.
Look around at this intersection for a sign for the brand new municipal Albergue de Peregrinos de Poulo. The albergue is right next to the Antón Veiras,. Since it was not open yet in 2018 when I walked here last, I did not get a photo of the sign. It is only a few meters off-Camino. There are positive reports from pilgrims.
Combining the 9.0 kilometers with our day six, (11+9=21) it would be a full 21 kilometers to end a day here from Presedo. Or consider the 9.0 kilometer distance your day seven. It would be about 13 kilometers left to Sigüeiro, not quite halfway. More possibilities for shorter days.
It is a full 2.0 kilometer walk off-pavement, when we joined another quiet paved road to walk towards the next hamlet of Blanca.
It is about an additional 1/2 kilometer to Lavandeira de Riba. All of these towns are "blink" towns. Blink and you miss them.
It is 700 meters more from Lavandeira de Riba to the next larger town of A Calle. This is where the Bar O Cruceiro is located that has been advertising itself for the prior three or more kilometers as the the last café bar before Sigüeiro. It is at exactly 11.68 kilometers into day seven on the Camino Inglés. And indeed, it is the last bar for the next 12 kilometers.
It is almost 2.0 kilometers on long straight paved roads from the Bar O Cruceiro in A Calle until the Camino leads you to off-road lanes once again.
The day was growing hotter and when the English Way turned back into the woods on a shaded path, we were grateful! Everyone was moving along well, but the heat was beginning to take its toll.
After about 1.75 kilometers off pavement, the lane ends, and you must take a right turn onto this quiet secondary road, shown below.
Not even 200 meters after joining the pavement, the English Way on day seven turns left on another secondary road to walk into the hamlet of Baixoa.
Walk straight on by a bus stop in Baixoa (a good sheltered place for a lunch break if needed), and as you continue on you see the overpass for the E-1 ahead. Buckle up because your joy ride is about to begin. (Or is it a joy walk?)
In another 700 meters from the beginning of Baixoa, take a sharp right turn here after walking under the bridge.
The dirt path continues southward for about 300 meters, and past a few houses, then turns right to head back towards the E-1. Just before the bridge over the E-1 the Way takes a left, shown below, to follow the E-1 on a two-track lane. You are at kilometer marker 22.5.
Since the final day into Santiago is only 16.25 kilometers, doing the math tells us that we have about six kilometers left of day seven on the English Way. This is where the fun begins.
The Camino planners in all their infinite wisdom determined that it was best to follow the highway for most of the remaining portion of the day. Do I sound excited? Humph! I have never, ever been a fan of following a motorway on a Camino. No how, no way!
The only possible reason I could think of for this change, is that in not quite a kilometer slogging along beside the E-1, there is a shaded area, with a fountain that we passed, see below. There were two peregrinos cooling their feet in the water when we passed by, or we would have stopped. Maybe the old route that parallels this one to the east caught a lot of pilgrims overheated and dehydrated? I don't know.
Fortunately, there is shade along this route. If only I could have gotten rid of the sound of vehicles zooming by!
This next portion was death by sunshine, in the photo below. How ugly is this long open stretch by the motorway??
At the start of this frontage lane, a Dutch couple we had been running into passed by us. Rich offered to take Rob's pack, and walk along ahead faster with the Dutch couple. He would wait for the three of us at the first available café.
We all thought this was a good idea, as the day was now 30 degree Celsius (86 F) on the pavement and 28 C (82 F) in the shade. Rob was showing a bit of wear, and we were all concerned for him and heat exhaustion. None of us were overjoyed with the heat.
Rob, relieved of his pack, was walking well as Rich hurried onward, as only he can, lugging two backpacks.
It seemed like the frontage lane would never end. We were hungry, hot, and tired, so we all just sat down along the lane on a grassy area and had some food and a rest!
While we were resting, along came a local man in a car speaking perfect English, asking if we needed help! He stated he owned a pharmacy in Sigüeiro and he had anything we needed, if we needed it! Amazing!
This interaction reinforced my theory that the Camino was changed in 2017 to walk this way, for pilgrims to pass the fountain above. Seems like there may be lots of them who get into trouble through this section.
And then, after our break, along comes another car, slowing down to see how we were doing. This time Rich was in the passenger seat! Apparently he managed to wrangle up a local to drive him to our route to see if Rob was alright!
Rich being Rich had figured out how to get help that he thought was needed! And Rob being Rob refused to get into the vehicle. He wanted to walk. He was looking good to me. (I am a nurse after all). He was drinking lots of water, he had no pack and he wanted to walk. Period. His persistence was strong. His perseverance was admirable. His Parkinson's was not going to defeat him today!
The kind Spaniard drove on with Rich. We probably had a bit more than 2.0 kilometers left to go on day seven on the Camino Inglés.
It is a full 4.0 kilometers on the frontage lane by the E-1 until the Camino finally turns left, off and away from the highway!
However, the hot and paved road we turned eastward onto wasn't much of an improvement. We put our heads down and slogged onward. You can see the industrial park on the outskirts of Sigüeiro ahead. We still had 2.0 left in day seven on the English Way!
After zig-zagging through some buildings, in 400 meters, the Camino turns right onto the long road through the industrial park. Quite frankly, I didn't get the new route. This part contributed to a very boring day. The three of us remaining pilgrims collectively agreed that day seven is pretty much a boring day, all around!
To pass the final, horribly hot stretch through this industrial area, we stated to sing stupid folk songs, from Ireland, Australia, England and of course the USA. We sang at the top of our lungs, "Waltzing Matilda" and "You Take the High Road, etc." It did lift our spirits, I must say! Other pilgrims passing us just smiled.
After this long and hot full kilometer hike on the Rúa Ordes, we came to this park along the river, the Rego Carboeiro.
Just past the park, 1/4 kilometer later, the waymark directs you to turn left and cross a lovely footbridge across the river.
Just after the bridge, the Camino takes a jog by a swimming pool and park, through a children's playground...
...until it brings you out into the center of town at this plaza, below. Here is where we found Rich waiting for us, just as he promised at the first available café, both backpacks by his side. We took a long break here, as we watched one pilgrim after another stumble exhausted into town and sit down here to join us in celebrating our arrival on this torrid day.
After our break, we found the Albergue O Fogar da Chisca, (now known as the Ultreia et Suseia), the small privada where I had stayed before. It is a small and intimate place with only 10 beds in the albergue and two private, double rooms. Rich and I took the private room with its own bath down the hall for 40 Euro. Steve and Rob took the dormitory for 13 Euro each with real sheets, towels and a continental breakfast all included.
The nice breakfast the next day included lots of fresh fruit, juice, cake, toast, jam and coffee, in the self-serve style at whatever time you desired. This was my kind of Camino breakfast.
There is also a washer and dryer here and the hospitalera will do your laundry for you, I think for 5 Euros.
There are no municipal albergues in Sigüeiro, only private ones. For booking ahead, in Sigüeiro, click on the link for the booking.com resource. The Ultreia et Suseia is steps off the Camino, and both the Albergue Camino Real and the Albergue Mirás are right on the Camino, just before crossing the Río Tambre as you walk through town.
The Albergue de Delia, (+34 687 27 93 98), highly recommended and the Sigüeiro Hostel are along the river, turning right off the Camino before crossing the river. The Quinta Andaina, (+34 609 07 54 82) is on the main road in the center of town. There are two more accommodations, just across the river, the Camino de Santiago Sigúeiro on the left and the A Barciela, (+34 680 97 79 14) on your right.
For us, the icing on the cake for our day seven was dinner at the Restaurante Cortés. I have eaten here on my prior Camino and I was happy to note that the food is still amazing. You can get food anytime at the bar, and in the dining room during mealtimes. Click on the link for their Facebook page for more information. The restaurant is on the main street of Sigüeiro, the Avenida Grabanxa.
Today's difficulties were not all that bad as far as pilgrimages go. Mostly, I think our team was a bit worried about how slowly we were walking, but I found that I did not mind it one bit. I enjoyed taking it more slowly than I might have otherwise, and I enjoyed seeing the Camino from the eyes of another, who was giving it his all. Wasn't this the intent that I had set from day one, after all?
It is quite difficult for Rich to walk more slowly than his usual pace, hence I think this is why he offered to carry Rob's pack and go ahead. I do credit him for his benevolence, in addition to his impatience.
For Rich to attempt using his minimal Spanish to get a local to come find us on the Camino took a lot of courage indeed! His volunteer fireman's take charge personality takes things to another level, doesn't it? He did what he thought was necessary to aid a person in need. It is a high-quality feature he embodies.
However, in this case, Rob's fortitude was more than was required. Rob's Camino did not look like Rich's Camino. Rob was happy to trudge along at his own pace in the heat and boredom of the day.
As it turns out, both men had successful Caminos on this day. I only wish more people would choose to aid another human being, going overboard instead of not doing what is required. It would make the world a better place!
Cheers to Rob for his efforts. He is a strong soul. Cheers to my husband Rich who is also a strong soul. May they both live long and happy lives!
And lest I forget Steve, he was right there by our sides, always the constant one throughout our Camino together!
May your own day seven on the Camino Inglés be full of perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities. May you too distinguish yourself as a strong soul! Ultreia!
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