Our day two on the Camino Inglés, of the La Coruña arm was another steep uphill climb, albeit short and sweet. There were only a few pilgrims on the road on this brisk, cool April morning. Because we covered the distance in only a few hours, it was a perfect situation to take our time, relish the experience and enjoy the walk.
On Hiking: ~ "I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter?' It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, 'A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them." ~ John Muir
Here is our map of this day, uploaded to Google maps from our GPS tracks. It does not include the final two kilometers that we walked from the albergue in Bruma to Mesón do Vento to catch the bus to A Coruña and ultimately to Ferrol to start the Ferrol arm of the Camino Inglés the next day.
I saw no grocery stores along the route, so you may need to rely on cafés and restaurants unless you have been carrying plenty of food since A Coruña. This will not be an issue as there are plenty along the way. There is a small market at the gas station in Mesón do Vento, but it is a long way from the albergue.
I have also placed accommodations and location of cafés along the route.
Despite the mere 13 kilometers for day two of the La Coruña Arm of the Camino Inglés you will notice the steep climb of approximately 400 meters to conclude the stage. This feels extremely strenuous, so if you are combining day one and day two, from Coruña take note!
We started out our morning with no food in our packs except for some candy bars for breakfast, which we did not eat. Our intention was to stop at the Café Bar Casa Adolfo, just 400 meters down the road. The proprietress stated the evening before that she would open at 0800.
Here is a photo of walking down the CP-2103 from the Albergue de Sergude/Carral, in the beautiful morning light, just before 0800.
We walked past an information board in a few meters and came to the Café Bar Casa Adolfo, shown below. The place was closed up tight as a drum. We waited outside until 0810, then were too cold to wait any longer and headed onward.
You make a right turn here onto a side road after 600 meters from the albergue. You may still see a faint yellow arrow on the wall directing you to go straight. Ignore the yellow arrow, and follow the pillar instead, to the right.
In only 50 meters turn left onto a farmer's lane, below.
The lane becomes an improved path, and descends toward the Ría da Brexa. It was quite cool here in this wooded area on the morning of day two, of the Coruña arm of the Camino Inglés. So much so that I had to wear my fleece to stay warm! It was the end of April. The north coast of Spain, in Galicia can be quite chilly this time of year as it was today!
The developed path continues after the river and turns right at the 52.0 kilometer marker, below. As you would expect on the Camino Inglés, a descent is always followed by a climb, this time quite steeply on the other side.
The path then joins another forest lane and continues to climb, where the morning light danced through the trees. It was a gorgeous sight. I breathed it in deeply. I always love the mornings so much. I tried to saunter to take it all in, but I also needed to stay warm!
Once again the Camino joins the pavement here at the 51. 5 kilometer marker, after walking not quite a kilometer through the woods.
Walk straight on, through the first intersection in a few meters, then for another 1/2 kilometer along the Bailía Street and to another intersection and information board. According to the information board this area was known for its healing waters in the past and was a pilgrimage destination in its own right.
Shortly onward the street turns to another lane.
After about 800 meters, the lane becomes pavement ahead, shown here...
...and comes to this T-intersection after about 400 meters more and turns right, below to enter Sarandóns.
After 50 meters, the Camino joins the main street through town at this wayside chapel, the Capilla de San Juan. There is also another nice information board by the chapel.
Also at the junction with the main street is the Café Bar Central in Sarandóns. The Café Bar O Central is reached after 3.2 kilometers into the day, from Sergude. It was totally closed at 08:45. It was May 1st, the Labor Day holiday, so we were expecting this.
We walked 300 meters through town, where the Camino turns to the right here at a sign for the Casa das Veigas. We decided to see if the restaurant was open and turned left toward it instead.
After walking 200 meters off-route we saw a long hill ahead, stopped and said to ourselves, "If the past three cafés we walked by were closed on the holiday, what are the odds that this one will be open? Slim to none." So we turned around and went back to the Camino.
Then you walk several hundred meters more and bear right on this very rural country road on day two of the Camino Inglés, La Coruña Arm.
You keep walking straight south on country paved roads, following the waymarks, for almost 3.0 full kilometers as the next photos show.
Country manors or "pazos" dot the countryside, as another information board states where we crossed the AC-222, along with information about the history of these manors.
We did manage to pause quite a bit, on this day's saunter, and take it slower, as you can see by the next photos.
We continued climbing steeply on forestry roads as they turned to gravel. We still hadn't eaten anything. I could have eaten a Payday bar from my pack, but I didn't. We had had a huge meal the night before, so I didn't feel too bad. I was sucking on cough drops to give me a bit of sugar for the hills, and was pounding down the water, hoping that at least my belly was going down!
Then we see a radio tower ahead. As is often the case, the radio towers are at the top of a mountain. Our spirits livened. Surely this must be the top? You can faintly pick out the radio tower ahead, on the road in the photo below.
The forest gave way to views opening up in a large agricultural area.
At the very top, the "Peito" as it is called were open, plowed fields ready to plant. The top, is indeed by the radio tower, shown in the photo below.
Here is a look back at A Coruña from the top. You can see the high-rise buildings in the distance. What a view!
Here is Rich at the top. When the view opens from out of the trees, you can also see the power plant off in the distance that is to your right shoulder. It was 8.5 kilometers to the top of the Peito from the start of day two of the La Coruña Arm of the Camino Inglés. There are short, and very steep spots. It is all very doable if you take your time.
There are lots of dairy farms at the top, as well, seen through the power lines.
The elevation tops 504 meters exactly at the very top. We started the day at about 50 meters in elevation. It was a good 450 meter climb, another 1500 feet or so.
After reaching the top, the path comes to this juncture, pictured below. You don't join the AC-542 but cross over to the flat path on the other side. There is no climb remaining. The off-pavement length of the walk was about a total of 2.0 kilometers.
You see the sign for As Travesas on the road, but turn left at the sign instead, to pick up the path, shown in next photo below.
After crossing the street and onto this path, take an almost immediate right, shown below...
...to this much more pleasant and shaded path, through the forest, paralleling the AC-542 to the east.
Eventually you can see the AC-542 off to the right.
After a bit more than one kilometer, the side road joins the AC-542 to walk into As Travesas, on day two, Camino Inglés, La Coruña Arm.
In 400 meters on the A-542 come to the Café Bar Casa Avelina. What a welcome sight for we hungry pilgrims!
Across the street from the Café Bar Casa Avelina is the chapel, the Capela de San Roque supported entirely by pilgrims. We did not see inside it on day two because we were trying to catch the 12:40 bus in Mesón do Vento to A Coruña and couldn't delay at the bar for very long.
I also knew we would be passing through here again in a few more days from the Ferrol Arm, on day six, so we could see it then. The bar will ask you for a donation for the chapel, that you place in a special envelope with your name and country of origin. It is fun to do this, and giving your spare change is sufficient. If you have time to tour it, just ask at the bar and they will give you a key to have a look at this quaintest of chapels. It is worth your spare change!
To see the legend of San Roque, the patron saint of dogs, click here.
After filling our bellies with delicious bocadillos (sandwiches) we carried on toward Hospital Bruma. Just after the bar on the AC-542 is another blue information board.
It is another kilometer walk along the AC-542, leaving As Travesas, passing the landmark electric substation of Meson do Vento, another 42.2 kilometer marker, past the Repsol gas station, and turning left into the forest after a total of 1.6 kilometers on the AC-542.
Just beyond the electrical substation is a bronze age site, called the Castro das Travesas or the Castro Hill Fort. We did not see this, but it may be worth a side trip if you are a history buff. Not much is left of the castro but the dirt mounds. Turn right immediately after the electric switching area to see the historical marker and mounds.
Turn into the forest on this country lane, below, toward Bruma. It is possible that if your destination is a hotel in Mesón do Vento, that you could walk straight on the AC-542 to reach the town. It will be a shortcut, rather than following the Camino to Hospital de Bruma
After not quite one kilometer on this lane, it ends on the pavement, by the kilometer marker in Hospital de Bruma, shown below. Turn right here.
In a few meters turn left to walk through Hospital and by this lovely historic horreo. Just after the horreo, about 1/4 kilometers after the turn is the brand-new private Albergue de San Lorenzo de Bruma. This wonderful looking place has 22 bunk beds and four private rooms.
In a few meters more, you have arrived at the Albergue de Peregrinos de Hospital de Bruma. This lovely old stone building can be cold in the off seasons, as I found out in my first stay here in September of 2014. But it is still a lovely and adequate place.
In late summer of 2020, a new private albergue may be open. It will be a few meters from the municipal and will have 26 beds. Click here for more information, and be sure to look for it late in the year.
We did not stay in Bruma this time, but we walked onward, 2.0 kilometers to the town of Mesón do Vento to join the main street, the AC-542. Our desire was to catch the 12:40 Monbus from Mesón do Vento to A Coruña. Click on the link to see the schedule. The bus frequency is reduced on Sundays and holidays, and since our day two was the Labor Day Holiday, May 1st, we needed to make this bus or have to wait hours longer for the next one.
Our ultimate goal was to get to Ferrol, and the only way to get there by bus is through A Coruña. The Monbus website is also provided in English, so be sure to change the language in the top right hand corner if you plan to check the schedule!
It is 2.3 kilometers from the albergue in Hospital de Bruma to the bus stop, just beyond the Restaurante la Ruta. Make sure you wait on the same side as the restaurant! (Or, it is 2.4 kilometers from the turn off the AC-542 by the Repsol station as described above to the bus stop.)
Once in A Coruña the bus line to take to Ferrol is Arriva. These buses run almost every 1/2 hour in peak times, so you are sure to get a convenient connection.
Alternatively, if you prefer the train, Renfe is the line from A Coruña to Ferrol. However, I find that changing stations is less convenient, even though it is only across several highways from the bus station in A Coruña. It is tricky to walk from one to another.
If your plan is to stay in O Mesón do Vento, there are only three choices of accommodation, the PR O Mesón Novo, the Hotel Canaima or the Lar do Vento. We have stayed in the economical, friendly and family-run, PR O Mesón Novo, see our day six for more information.
This day was without excitement, nor great bonds forming with other pilgrims, nor great insights for me. It was, however, a lovely walk through the Galician countryside that I did not rush or take for granted. It was more of an interim day for me, and I felt that indeed, it was a "sainte terre," a holy land in its own right. It was a place to be revered and cherished.
May you have great reverence for the land and its offerings on your own day two of the Coruña Arm of the Camino Inglés. May you have sufficient time to saunter through the beautiful Galician countryside! Ultreia!
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