|Watch out for the slight diversion to take you off the busier|
road and sharp bend. It takes a nice little detour on a prettier
route - go to the left of the barrier here and head down the hill
|The detoured route off the main road|
About half way along the route is a fabulous little cafe where they also do sellos. On weather like the day held it was nice to sit outside and relax. The coffee was good and it provided some cool shade as the day heated up. Look out for Cafe Bar Manuel (no not that one!!)... A Peregrina was coming up behind me but she must have decided to stop as she never passed me. I seem to be first out today and stayed ahead - unusual for a change as usually I get overtaken which always amuses me as people thing I walk fast! I don't see the point of rushing - there are too many fascinating things to see and amazing views to take in, scenes to record and photographic memories to record.
Despite the routes starting to converge on Santiago, there are still not lots of pilgrims. Apart from spying the one near the cafe, I walked totally on my own today.
|Love these wonderfully cold fountains for both refreshment and cooling off - sweet and delicious spring water|
There were some beautiful watering holes - such as that in the photograph above, with icy cold refreshing water. As I entered the outskirts of the city and countryside turned to town, the shell markers were laid as tiles in the centre of the pavements. Large yellow arrows were painted along walls or in the middle of roundabouts. The markers in Ourense, or certainly on the entry when heading to Santiago, are very clear - much better than many other cities I have passed through. Maybe this is because it is a main entry point for many who walk only the last 100km of the Camino and the fact that many routes converge here.
|Life size cow statues - painted ceramics (?)|
|Our favourite pulperia!|
|Opposite the road where|
we turn to our hotel and
starting point for the last 5km
|Outside the hotel - passport stamped|
and Robertson Male with me
|At the top of the hill - 200m from the hotel - the Eurostars Auriense|
El Camino (Levante) Hotel Eurostars Auriense to the Cathedral (the last 5km to the centre). Saturday 21st April, 2018
The feet were definitely a tad sore when I woke up in the morning - I think that 17km of pounding tar was a km too far, but I made it and today M joined me for his first walk since the first day after resting his foot. Also, the first time we have walked a committed distance together, deciding to take a taxi back to the hotel from the Cathedral.
It was beautifully cool and dry with an astonishingly pretty walk into the city. Unexpected and therefore even more special. One of the "unexpected" delights was that of "Sex-Elbow" - actually Siexalbo and it's Panadería Roberto with a friendly and delightful baker - maybe Roberto?! He invites peregrinos in for their sello and no doubt realises that his pastries will be too enticing to resist!
|Panadería Roberto welcomes pilgrims|
|The aforementioned "divine"|
A frieze on one of the walls is of pilgrims pointing along the Camino showing the way into Ourense and then on, beyond to Santiago.
|Frieze pointing Pilgrims onward toward Santiago|
We passed by more huge and magnificent houses. One very imposing building had a "fuentes" of St James and a statue of Santiago himself. We thought the owners must be very pro-Camino and the house itself overlooks the route.
Be very careful around Santa Agueda! It is very easy to get lost here. As soon as you leave the main road, there is a left to take you down and then under a railway bridge. It goes behind the houses and the marker can be rather over grown. We ended up going some distance out of our way - and because markers can be a little more elusive in towns, we didn't question the fact we hadn't seen one for a while. We had to backtrack some distance in order to find it.
|St James in the cathedral|
The cathedral was magnificent with many references to St James. They are also one of the most welcoming cathedrals so far with concessions for pilgrims and happy to stamp the passport - €3.50 rather than €5.00 and that is still much less than the other cathedrals which, like the UK, charge more than one might expect!
The statue of St James in the cathedral is the "only" one to show him triumphing over evil with his sword. The portico (with St James) is apparently second only to the one in Santiago.
|With my sello and the|
Robertson Mala outside
From the cathedral we decided to walk up to the Monastery of San Francisco which has an albergue. It has the most magnificent cloister (the third panorama below) but finding it can be confusing as the signs are not entirely clear and it is quite a hike from the cathedral! The sign seems to suggest you go all the way around the round-a-bout and exit eg as though leaving at 3 O'Clock if you enter at 6 O'Clock but in reality it is more like "go straight across"!
The first two panoramas that follow show the magnificence of Ourense Cathedral
|Cloister of San Francisco Monastery - Ourense|
|The end of this section of|
the Camino - mala and sello
outside Ourense Cathedral
|Treating ourselves to a special meal out to celebrate - in|
the lovely town of Allariz
|View from the restaurant in Allariz|
|With a few hours to spare before our flight, we took lunch|
out at the Faro (lighthouse) at A Coruńa. The ONLY
redeeming feature in this carbuncle of a town!
|The beach just outside A Coruńa - about the only pretty sight|
in this dreadful and godforsaken buboe of a town
Before heading home we had some time to kill and went out to the lighthouse at A Coruńa on our way to the airport. Oh my word - what a horrendous town! I am sure it must have a high suicide rate - the buildings are depressing and just awful! Talk about concrete jungle with no character... I couldn't even bring myself to photograph it, it was so horrendous. The little bit of beach we found was the only redeeming feature!
Anyway, we did manage to find a pretty part of spend our last few hours before heading back to the UK and to plan for the final stage of the Camino. I really want to complete it in the autumn - my favourite time - so it's likely to be a whole year away (and a bit more) before we return to this beautiful province in Spain.
See you in Santiago!