Our day three on the Camino Inglés was one of my favorite stages on this Camino, walking through the lovely Galician countryside, with a very steep hill climb out of Pontedeume on the way to the albergue in Miño.
The foursome with whom I was walking chose to combine this stage with day two, as we were all walking very strong, including our compadre who has Parkinson's. He continued to show what he was made of, because the climb out of Pontedeume is most strenuous, especially if it comprises the second half of your day!
"Tourists require. Pilgrims Thank." ~ Author Unknown
If you are starting out your day in Pontedeume there are many cafés available. The trick is finding one that is open before 9-10:00. On my first Camino in this city we stayed in the Hostal Residencia Allegue, and we found the Casa Barón, which opened before 8:00 a.m., to get our breakfast and to make us sandwiches to go. I marked it on our map, below for your convenience. It is only steps off the Way. It opens early on weekdays, but not on weekends.
There are fewer services on this 10 km stretch, and while I have located a café about 2/3 of the way, don't rely on it to be open. You are walking into the deep Galician countryside on this stage and there are more available picnic areas than cafés!
Here is our interactive map of this stage, uploaded from our GPS data, with marked cafés, hotels, supermarkets and albergues!
If you are not staying at the albergue in Miño, but walking straight through, you can take off about 0.8 kilometer from your day’s total.
Below is our elevation profile. It took us 3.5 hours to complete this vigorous stage, with the steep climb out of Pontedeume, from sea level to 166 meters (544 feet) over only about 1.6 kilometers. You will feel this climb! The English Way is all about walking up and down from sea level!
From the moment you leave the riverfront in Pontedeume, it is an uphill climb. Since we were walking onward in the afternoon we did not stop here long, but did have a brief ice cream break. We wanted to fortify ourselves for the climb to come!
From the roundabout at the end of the bridge across the Rio Eume, walk straight on and onto the Rúa Real, shown in the photos below.
It is about 200 meters straight south and uphill, when the Rúa Real bends to the left, at this plaza, shown below, near the Santiago Church. There is an inviting statue of St. Francis and a set of stairs beckoning you to climb up.
These stairs lead you off the Camino, but it is worth the short climb to have a look at the church.
By the statue, the church looms up above you and as you reach the top of the stairs, you can see this lovely little niche, below. Alas, the church was closed for the second time upon my arrival, so even though it was just after noon, we were unable to see inside. Click here for more information on the Igrexa Parroquia de Santiago. It is a glorious sight from the outside.
We returned back down the stairs, and at the bottom, embedded in the Rúa Real is this lovely bronze waymark, leading the pilgrimage traveler onward. In this photo below, it was in the early morning of our prior trip, when the streets were silent, adding to the mystique of the place.
Within a few meters, you come to this plaza, below, the Praza Angustias where there is a nice fountain to fill up your water containers. The Camino Inglés turns to the right here, onto the Rúa do Empedrado and continues up the hill.
After the fountain, the real climb begins, up and out of Pontedeume. Here is Rob, grinning as he passes by, on the steep pavement of the Rúa do Empedrado.
On day three the Camino Inglés follows the Rúa do Empedrado as it turns to the right here. Note the old blue Camino de Santiago sign up on the wall of the building. The yellow writing is barely legible. It was nice to see the old signs, but I hope they update them soon. You will encounter several more of them in Pontedeume. You can see how steep the pavement truly is here!
About 1/2 kilometer up the hill from the fountain in the center of town, there are several benches to rest on, and the view back toward the river is worth a pause. Here is Rich and Rob at this wonderful viewpoint.
Then, as pilgrims must, we took a look at the way onward from our lovely viewpoint, and of course, the Way is upward! At this intersection the street becomes the Rúa Souto da Vila and the pavement continues steeply uphill.
The climb feels like it will never end, and on the way I took a look back at Rich and Rob. Rob was still looking strong, as Rich kept him company on the steep climb.
On this street, pass by the brand-new and gorgeous-looking Hotel Montebreamo. A nice place, perhaps to break up this climb instead of staying in downtown?
After 300 meters from the viewpoint, the English Way, on day three, takes a turn to the right, and onto this steep alleyway, called the Camiño Pedridas. Not at the top yet! Notice the yellow painted "Santiago" on the pavement and the wooden horreo on top of the yellow building! All delightful things to fill my senses and to be grateful for the diversion as my lungs worked harder and harder.
If you were to stay left at this intersection instead, and join the N-651, you would encounter the Pensión Mesón Paz, in another 250 meters, an economical accommodation.
As you continue your climb on the Camiño Pedridas and you happen to be lucky enough to be walking in late summer or early fall, as I was the first time through here, you will encounter the most gorgeous of giant hydrangeas.
These hydrangeas were bigger than anything I had ever seen. They must have measured 12 or more inches in diameter! I basked in their glory, not quite pink, not quite blue, but amazing! I was so thankful to see these glorious blossoms!
It is in another 1/2 kilometer when the Camiño Pedridas comes to an end, the Way takes a right and then in a few more meters, a left and onto this very rural road, below. When you have reached this shelf-like road, you are finally at the top! I thanked God for the top, strong legs and lungs to carry me here and great friends with whom I was sharing the journey.
If you were planning to go to the Iglesia de San Miguel de Breamo, an 11th century Romanesque church, instead of taking a left, you would walk straight on the street called the Aldea as Pedridas, then take the third left on a lane, the CP-6901, for about a 1.2 kilometer walk off the Camino. Please consult my Google map above for its exact location.
The route now becomes a gentle downhill, crosses the verdant countryside, with scattered buildings, horreos and fields. The Way leads you into the forest here after not quite a kilometer of walking since the top.
Several hundred meters onward you pass by a lovely picnic area, shown below. We took advantage of this lovely spot to have a quick bite to eat. There is also an old washing well, and a fountain, which I am not sure has potable water.
After another several hundred meters beyond the picnic area, bear right onto a farmer's lane, and walk through the grape arbor shown below. The grape leaves were only beginning to fill out the arbor in early May.
This nice lane goes on for quite a distance, for about 2.0 kilometers as it walks you in the direction of a large golf course, the Club de Golf de Miño.
As the country lane approaches a road ahead, there is yet another nice picnic area shown below.
The Camino then bends to the right, around the picnic area as it walks you parallel to but never onto the divided road to your left. It eventually meets the road on another bend, and crosses it on a crosswalk, to the other side and into the golf course itself.
Below is the lane that takes you through the course.
The lane through the golf course meanders around and through this forest as it walks you in the direction of the E-1.
After 300 meters of ambling through the golf course, the path joins an overpass to take you over the E-1. Walk over the highway and pick up this road on the other side, then walk southward along the E-1 for about 1/2 kilometer.
Finally leave the frontage road and turn into the forest, on this road, shown below.
It is just after the highway crossing that the second climb for the day commences. It is a much shorter and less steep climb and as we walked along, I barely noticed it.
Almost 400 meters onward, we came to an intersection at kilometer marker 78.8 with a cold water station, a few stools to sit on and a box to leave a donation for the water. This Camino Angel station even had a bin for the empty bottles. What a lovely thing! We readily left a nice donation and each had a bottle of deliciously cold water.
We carried straight on after the water station and in another 400 meters arrived here, turned right, where the sign announced we were entering the town of Viadeiro.
A few meters onward, my eye caught an abandoned and dilapidated old stone building. Its features showed a time of glory gone by. I fell in love with this building and its old, embellished stone horreo out back. I was very thankful that I was able to see this old building and breath in its special energy even now in its current form.
As we continued on the Viadeiro road, we passed by this eye-catching horreo...
...and entered another forested area...
...until coming to a T-intersection after 1.2 kilometers by this tree, below. What an amazing tree it was. It must have been the moss or the light playing upon it, but I was mesmerized by the grandeur of this tree!
The turn at the intersection is to the right, followed by a left a few meters later.
Walk southward another 1/2 kilometer. Come to a T-intersection and turn right, by the third picnic area (not shown). Just beyond the picnic area is a turn to the left, to cross over this old medieval bridge across the Río Baxoi, below.
After the bridge, the long off-pavement Way going forward is an impressive 1.5 kilometers. It started out muddy for us, then took us under the E-1, bending around the large interchange, before coming out at the other side and meeting the Rúa Regueiro.
When the path ends, turn right to walk into Miño. It is a mere 150 meters on the Rúa Regueiro, when you come to the turn off to the Albergue in Miño, onto the Rúa Taina, shown below. If you are going onward to Betanzos, stay straight on here.
There is no sign for the albergue until you walk 300 meters onward on the Rúa Taina, turning right to walk over the railroad tracks on the Rúa Estrada Praia. Once over the tracks, you see this sign ahead, leading you down the alley, below.
In about one hundred meters more, follow this sign, below, and turn left onto the Rúa Telle.
And finally in another 1/3 kilometer you have arrived! The Albergue de Peregrinos de Miño is almost a full kilometer off the Camino.
The albergue is adequate, but with few kitchen items. There were no pots or pans and no cups when we were there. This is a shame because there are many grocery stores nearby. Instead of attempting to cook, we went out for happy hour and a fabulous seafood meal at the Mesón Crisol that I marked on our Google map above. I highly recommend it.
Also of note is that the albergue has no blankets. This was an issue for me since I was only carrying a cotton sleep liner and the nights were cool in early May. I had on long underwear, my fleece jacket, and used my towel for a blanket, but I was still cold. In the future I will carry an ultralight sleeping bag, I think.
Prior to our dinner, we took a walk on the most lovely beach to the west of town, the Praia Grande de Miño. The weather was not yet warm enough for the beach, but it didn't stop us from taking a nice walk along it.
If you are not a fan of albergues, or if the one here is full, and you find yourself wanting to stay in Miño for its lovely beach, you can book accommodations ahead, on Booking.com. Just click here to see what is available. As you would imagine in a beach town, there are many amenities available here! There are only two economic choices for accommodation, the Hotel Crisol de las Rías, right on the beach and the Hostal La Terraza, farther along the Way.
For the four of us, we had few requirements on this day. There was so much for which to be thankful. The glorious sights that captured our eyes, the companionship we shared and the simple joy of knowing that we had our health and it was sufficient to make the journey. Rob, with his Parkinson's, was walking well. I can only imagine how thankful he must have been, maintaining his own health for as long as possible.
We couldn't have had a more fantastic end to the evening than delicious calamari, pimientos and other raciones at the Mesón Crisol (unfortunately now permanently closed). We picked up several more pilgrimage travelers, a couple from Holland and an Italian man with whom to share the experience.
May your own day three on the Camino Inglés be filled with many moments and experiences for which you are grateful. May your requirements be few and your grateful moments be many! Ultreia!
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