Day 1, Ferrol to Pontedeume, 32.7km

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  • Sunday 19th October, 2014
  • Pontedeume: Municipal Albergue, €5

I went down for breakfast at the Hotel Almendra just after 8am and met a lady called Jocelyn from America who had flown over to Spain yesterday to walk this way. We had breakfast together and she explained she had limited time to take off work so this camino fit in perfectly. We left separately and made our way down to the port to begin the Camino Ingles with the first marker you would see as you get off the boat. For ancient pilgrims coming to Ferrol by boat, the hardest part of their journey was now over.

It was a lovely warm morning with a cool sea breeze and the streets of Ferrol were quiet on this Sunday morning. The camino followed an esplanade for a few kilometres and there was a chance to walk along the beach. The esplanade was full with Sunday morning joggers, cyclists and people walking their dogs.

The path veered away from the beach, through industrial areas, over and under highways, through eucalyptus forests and up and down a few small hills. Every now and then there was a glimpse back down to the right of the sea. The way marking was generally terrific and only twice did I come across conflicting arrows, both times the CSJ guide was a perfect accompaniment and sent me on the right path.

I detoured slightly off the path to find a cafe in Naron for a sello (stamp in my pilgrims passport) and tortilla for lunch. With a high of 24 degrees, it was much warmer and felt very humid compared to the previous week when I was getting rained on finishing the camino Primitivo!

I passed one more long stretch of beach in Cabanas before crossing the bridge over the river Eume into Pontedeume. The bridge once had 116 arches, it now has 14.

I headed towards the Albergue not knowing if it would be open or not (the cicerone guide says it opens at 7pm), and sure enough the door was open with a pilgrim from Italy sitting outside, but there was a note saying that pilgrims were not allowed to let other pilgrims inside and that you must call the hospitalero on the number given. I rang the number and somehow conveyed that I was wanting to enter the albergue and assumed when I heard the Spanish word for 5, it meant they would be along in 5 minutes. A man pulled up in a car a few minutes later, took my details and gave me a key to the albergue which I was to return through the post box the next morning. There were 3 other people in the albergue: an Italian lady, a French man and a Spanish man. I took a photo of the opening hours:

After showering and washing my clothes (nowhere to hang clothes other than in front of the albergue on a rail in public view), I went for a stroll around the town looking for somewhere to get dinner. It wasn’t an easy feat on a Sunday night around 7pm, much earlier than the Spanish usually eat. There were heaps of bars, and 1 tapas bar that I passed, but no restaurants that I could see so I asked some locals and they gave me directions to a bar called ‘Beers’ that served food. I had steak and potatoes for dinner.

 

 

 

 

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