Total distance 762 km
Daily average 29.3
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 426 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 440 m
Last evening I called back into the bar next to the hostal and ordered agua con gas which was delivered with three generous tapas that served as my dinner. But there was no shop open to buy food for today so I set off this morning with alarmingly diminishing supplies.
But what a fabulous day! The first few kms were rather odd – the normal hike out of town and then a long stretch amongst commercial and industrial units. I saw some yellow arrows indicating a track through the woods, but immediately before this Forestman had taken the road, and as the track looked rather overgrown, I followed in FM’s footsteps. And actually this was fortuitous because I came across the most unexpected cafe tucked away between a factory and the woods. I was able to eat a very basic breakfast of toast and jam. This place must normally serve the workers, but nevertheless seems out of place.
The next few km’s passed along earily quiet country roads. There is a huge aluminium industry here and I guess all the many plots of industrial units along the way were to do with this trade. But there was no sign of life, no traffic, just really ugly seemingly unused buildings. It was like walking through an industrial ghost town. This area would once have been rich agricultural land and was now decimated with industrial waste.
I decided to part company with Forestman a few times today. Maybe he recorded his track before the Cantábrico way marks were installed, but he missed a great treat in several places.
I became more familiar with how the Cantábrico markers work today. Occasional signposts, distance markers every km, and red top poles before and after a change of direction, I presume before to alert you to look out for the after. Although this was not a foolproof system and I was still very glad to have FM’s track to refer to, I did for the most part stick with the red way marks today, and wasn’t disappointed.
I lost my nerve with the Cantábrico signs when I saw a yellow arrow pointing in a direction that would take me back towards FM’s track and away from the red markers. This diversion seemed to have saved me 3 kms in overall distance, but on reflection I really wish I had followed them. So from that point on, I did take the Cantábrico way every time, diverging from FM’s track quite a lot.
It was a fabulous walk through forests, high above rocky coves and sandy beaches, along deserted country roads and on soft dirt tracks.
I am writing this after walking 18 of 29 km sitting on a bench overlooking a beautiful white sandy bay with the waves tumbling white froth onto the beach, and the sun has poked its head through the clouds for the first time today.
I have eaten the last of the well travelled cheese, decided against the two day old open tin of pate, which left just a few prunes and some chocolate. Not the healthiest of lunches, but the best dining table I can imagine.
After many more delights and surprises I finally reached the first opportunity to stop for refreshment at a bar in Praia de Area, where I ordered a beer and was given a basket of crisps, a small plate of crabs legs, and fish empanada.
The sky turned blue somewhere between my lunch break and this last stop, and there is a brisk breeze to keep the temperature down nicely. Only three (it turned out to be 6) more km’s to my destination where I am hoping to buy something healthy to eat – I am definitely suffering from a fruit and veg deficit – I shall have to watch out for the appearance of scurvy!
I finally arrived at Covas after 29 km’s of mostly stunning walking. I have to say that the Cantábrico way marks and Forestman’s Wikiloc tracks are a match made in Galicia.
I am staying at Hotel Dolusa, which falls somewhere between overpriced O Norte in Foz and superb value Buenavista in San Cibrao. A rather tired good sized room, very clean, with a characterful host for 30 euros. I am not at all taken with the town of Covas, which seems to consist of a very long main road, full of bars, but without an open shop from which to buy supplies for tomorrow, either when I arrived at around 16:00, or later in the evening. So no fruit or veg for me tonight, or tomorrow unless I wait around for the shop to open at 09:30. A nicer place to stay would have been at Praia de Area, but that would probably have been rather expensive and have left another 6 km’s to walk tomorrow.