Despite the original plan to do 16.2km this ended up around 14km as I again did extra the previous day. I still need in Porta Camba as originally planned. Although not pouring with rain, this was possibly the wettest day since Font de la Figuera back on the first part of the Camino Levante as I headed NW from Canals. As usual with all the correct gear on I wasn't cold and felt warm and dry within my jacket and waterproof trousers. I felt quite exhilarated to be on my way.
|Misty, cold and wet start to the day - but it was GREAT!|
|One of the very few times I have ever|
used my backpack cover on the Camino
|The smiling face in the track! Thank you to the peregrino|
who made it
|One of the usual helpful arrows|
that pilgrims construct when there
may be an ambiguity in the direction
|Direction marker and in the background the scallop shell|
with the "yes!" written on it
|I love this - I like to romantically think someone accepted|
a proposal or came to decision about one at this point on their
camino and posted a photo back to their loved one
I also collected my sello from the lady there but got the third degree as to where I had started and why was it 4 years since my last time! Not such a friendly or pleasant experience but it was a good cafe con leche - coffee and caña 1.20 Euro. I couldn't find Michael and thought he would be in this bar as he had mentioned one that was open. I didn't expect to see another but as I left, there he was and at another open bar with a friendlier lady who also promised a sello. Sadly I had missed her and although I waited to accept a drink because I felt sorry he had promised her we would visit, she never reappeared so I headed on my way again.
|The railway construction that follows the pilgrim all the|
way and often interrupts or interferes with the route
or possibly in this case, the accommodation!
|The steep scree decent - this does give quite a|
good impression of the gradient!
At this point it should be noted that there IS and albergue here! Not mentioned in the guide book or any of the places I looked but of course it may have been set up since the guide's publication. There aren't any newer editions as this point (writing this in July 2018) as I checked.
When I looked for it specially I found the info (below) but also a pilgrim who said that the locals told him it was closed for peregrinos because the AVE (high speed rail team) had hired it exclusively. He was not happy because he said it was then 36km to Laza, and I agree, it's a hike too far and through hilly terrain.
The info on the Camino sites say it is open all year 11.00 to 22.00 and exclusively for pilgrims at 8.00 Euros per night. There seems to be another hostel in town too - Casa Nuñez at 30.00 Euros per night and with 4 rooms (https://www.gronze.com/galicia/orense/campobecerros/casa-nunez). It is not far from the albergue and there is a map on this link.
+34 988 077 624
+34 608 887 835
Albergue Rosario - C. Cardenal Quiroga, 9
+34 650 53 05 47
+34 988 30 89 43
32626 Campobecerros, Province of Ourense, Spain
The following includes a review from November 2017, so it was still open then for pilgrims. The reviews are good and suggest good food.
|Cairn on the way down into|
|Opposite the cairn on entering|
|The stream beds and drainage ditches|
were overflowing with the melt
waters and recent rains
|The gourd and shell markers indicating the way to go|
|The many cats and the lady with the that brought out the|
|The flower laden moped|
Oh joy - on leaving Campbecerros there was another hugely steep hill to climb. I was determined to get to Porto Camba today and go a bit beyond in order to shorten the next day's walk. I was still quite early and really wanted to make it to the next point.
Portocamba itself is yet another ghost town, but with some amazing old houses and again some falling down yet with a pristine renovation between! I would worry that they would bring down the renovation and we were warned about this sort of thing (although a rarity) in the UK when we looked at a house in similar condition but semi-detached. No such worries here in Spain though.
As in Venda da Capela (I keep meaning to mention the weird way that both the Spanish and Portuguese languages seem to have combined to form Galician...) there were young people who have taken over some of these houses and made them very smart and they look very well off. Maybe more affordable, maybe a family home... I don't know, but it is certainly quite a commute from here and in winter I would think well night impossible even with chains! There are many "Venda" villages here - from "vents" or inn which suggests that many people used to pass this way in times gone by - sad then that now there are very few inns or rest stops and that the villages are almost completely deserted.
|By the seat on the way out of Portocamba|
|One of the many abandoned|
homes in Portocamba
|One of the old door latches|
|The refreshing fountain at the exit from Portocamba when|
heading towards Laza
|Old lamps no longer in use|
There are some hand written directional signs which inform the pilgrim which way to go. There is no bar in Eiras which is just under half way between the cross and Laza but there is the cutest little balconied building where there is an honesty box with a flask of hot water and tea/coffee etc for pilgrims to help themselves and take a small break.
|The base of the cross|
As we drove back down the hill and toward Laza and the hotel for the night we stopped to overlook the amazing rail works - it looks like there will be a huge viaduct across the valley above Laza and to an extent the scene is somewhat scarred at the moment. It is impressive engineering and possibly won't effect the pilgrim route. The infrastructure needed to service the works is amazing - drainage and access roads all have to be built in addition to the railway itself! The markers we passed were all concrete - not temporary things - so this is a huge amount of work alone. There are terraces hundreds of feet high and they must have had a plethora of theodolites... for some reason tis created hysterical laughter which I guess goes to show how tired I was! Writing this it doesn't seem nearly as funny!
For those who wish to make a note of up coming accommodation - the following looks like a good deal at Xunqueira de Ambia - Casa Tomas.