Day 31, Camino del Norte (Ruta do Mar) Cedeira to Ferrol (Neda) 31 km

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Total distance 864.5 km
Daily average 27.9
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 294 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 302 m

I was rather alarmed this morning to discover that I only had a small amount of data left on my iPad sim. I’m not sure what I used the last 100 MB’s on as I have been very careful, but I was left with less than 50 MB to get me through the day. And I wasn’t sure it would be sufficient to give me good views of the terrain I would be walking. I had been planning a route that involved cutting through a lot of country side roads. Without sufficient data wikiloc would give me the line of the route I was taking, but not the background satellite view. If the data ran out when I was in the middle of nowhere, I would be in trouble and totally lost. So I made the decision to take the through road AC-556 which runs from Barqueiro to Ferrol. It is a fast road, although it being a Sunday there was a lot less traffic than normal and almost no lorries. But it was busy enough and the cars that passed did so at great speed.

I spend a great deal of time when walking on a road crossing from one side to the other. It is common sense, and I think the law in Spain, to walk on the left, ie facing the oncoming traffic. But I have observed enough cars whizzing by to know that there are times when it is by far safer to walk on the right. Mainly when there is an approaching left bend, ie right bend for the car coming towards me. Firstly, the driver will have no knowledge that I am walking at the side of the road around the blind bend. Secondly, cars driving at speed take a right hand bend very tightly, often encroaching deep into the shoulder. I have witnessed it time and again and there is no way I want to be facing oncoming traffic under these conditions.

There was a wide enough shoulder on both sides of the AC-556 and whilst it was very bendy I spent most of my time walking on the right. As an added precaution I also used my very HiViz pack cover so that (hopefully) I couldn’t be missed. Once the road straightened I reverted to walking on the left.

At Narón, with perhaps only 5+ kms to walk, I switched to a narrow country road, which was actually more stressful, as there was no shoulder at all and barely room for two cars to pass. I bypassed Ferrol and headed for the albergue at Neda on the other side of the estuary. An Austrian woman about my age arrived at the same time and there was already a group of three young fresh Spanish girls in residence. For reference, the entrance is at the back of the building and if no-one else is around the key is left on a window frame to the right side of the door.

There are I think 22 beds, separate bathroom facilities each with two showers and one loo. As is normal in Xunta albergues in Galicia there is little or no privacy in the showers, no curtains. At least here there was a semi-recess. I was totally outraged the first time I came across this scenario. How difficult would it be to provide a shower curtain? But now I have come to expect it. I don’t like it (read that as hate it), but it is what it is.

There are very few (possibly no) facilities to eat or drink close to the albergue in Neda, so I have recrossed the estuary to the Ferrol side where I shall probably stay to eat, before returning for an early night.

Today’s walk wasn’t great, or even good, although it was bright and sunny for a change. But I’ve had more than my share of fabulous trails over the last week, so I shan’t complain too loudly. I wasn’t inspired to take any photos – I was too busy keeping my attention on the traffic. Hopefully normal service will be resumed tomorrow. Incidentally I probably could have followed my original plan with sufficient data, but I just didn’t feel I could take the chance.

I would like to raise the subject of the eucalyptus farming in these parts. Practically the whole area seems to be intensively farmed with these trees. I have heard (although I haven’t done any research of my own) that eucalyptus are very bad for the environment. They take a lot of water and give nothing back to the soil. They are also a severe fire hazzard. As a walker, they take away many of the wonderful sea and landscape vistas that would have been visible not so many years ago. Who owns the land that is being farmed in this way? Are big companies responsible, or is it piecemeal local farmers? The former I would imagine. When the trees are felled it leaves the land looking devastated. I believe they are only used for pulping to make paper. Any informed views are very welcome.

And on the subject of views. Please know that I am so very appreciative of all the comments I receive. I read every one and only wish I had time to reply. You wouldn’t believe how very long it takes to write and post the blog with the photos. I have very little time or internet connection to respond, but I will definitely get around to it eventually, so please keep them coming and look out for my responses.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Norte, Camino Ingles, Ruta do Mar and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Day 31, Camino del Norte (Ruta do Mar) Cedeira to Ferrol (Neda) 31 km

  1. Margaret says:

    Test

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  2. Margaret says:

    Re privacy in Galician showers: I’m currently on the Le Puy route to Conques. In the gites, they often reserve a room for women and it will have its own en suite. Tonight in Espalion I’m actually sharing with a man, but the spacious ensuite with towel warmer(!) enables me to lock the door and change in privacy. It costs 31€ for Demi pension.

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  3. Philip says:

    Thank you for your inspiration. I am aff to Aviles this week… And have already walked from Ferrol so am not quite sure which route I will take. I have followed you avidly!

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  4. ingridfolkers says:

    Hi Maggie..you made it. Congratulations. ..when I was at Neda…there was a little scoolbus like cafeteria van parked all the time supplying pilgrims and piknikers with beer etc.
    About the eucalyptus. …I happen to be walking a stage out of Fisterra to Muxia with a young Austrian forest ranger…and he explained to me that it was criminal what everyone is doing in Galicia and other parts in Europe. As you said, it gives nothing back to the soil…in fact it makes the soil “sour” and unusable for reforestation. …he was very upset when we walked by large areas of clearing of oaks etc.

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks for the info Ingrid. I can’t understand why it is allowed to continue, unless of course it is the local government that owns the land!

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  5. Philip says:

    Just in case.. though you seem well sorted. I loved Betanzos – the albergue is very good and the hospitalero Pepe very kind. Nearer Santiago, by which time you deserve a break, the hotel near the river at Siguero was wonderful (I think they also run the Albergue which I could. It find..) I got a fab and quiet room for 27 euros including a very good desayuno! There is also a good pool in case the weather is up to it.

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks for the tip, but I need to keep the budget down after a week of hostals. And unfortunately I don’t think the weather will be up to it tomorrow.

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  6. Buen camino, now that you’ve arrived to the Camino Inglés!

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  7. mary lynch says:

    Dear Maggie walking on bendy busy roads must be much more stressful than all your adventures during the past few days! I appreciate your blogs so much. I don’t expect you to reply.
    Just keep doing what you are doing, you are magic. Buen Camino xx

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  8. Those bendy roads are too scary for me. I see what you mean and wouldn’t have thought of that unless I had walked them myself.
    I always wondered how you managed to post every day. Just writing a post twice a week and organizing pictures in the comfort of my own home and knowing how my service works, it takes me forever. Kudos for keeping on top of your entries. When I’m on holiday, I don’t post anything and I’m not even hiking. Have a great day tomorrow. 🙂

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  9. perryjudith says:

    You have now reached the point from which I walked last September (From Ferrol) inspired by reading your blog of your Camino Mozarabe – so I particularly look forward to reading the next few entries as you near Santiago. Your blog and photos are wonderful – buen Camino x

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  10. Kieran O'Driscoll says:

    Maggie, we are quiet in awe of you. When we walked the Camino Portuguese last year it took three of us to compile our blog and we were exhausted after it – yet you compile something more extensive and intricate on your own! That you do this after a scorching pace of around 30kms per day is quite something – that is a lot of walking.
    Kieran

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Kieran, but I guess the reason I can do it is because I am walking alone – not many distractions. I do get distracted quite easily!

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  11. sixwheeler says:

    Phew! Sounds stressful. Now that you’ve arrived on the Inglés I shall be following you even more closely and will be paying particular regard to accommodation. I will be walking the Inglés in the autumn but my knees won’t handle the sort of daily mileages you are doing so I’m trying to get as much information together as I can on places to stay. Hope the rest of your Camino is better than today. Ultreïa.

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  12. margood1 says:

    You’ve had some hair raising days (the journey to O Porto de Espasante a couple of days back springs instantly to mind).
    Hope your tracking device is back in good order soon.
    Know that we in the outer world are thinking of you.
    Buen Camino.

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Yes, thank you, all in order now. Although I don’t need to follow tracks on the iPad anymore – I have arrows pointing me in the right direction.

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  13. Maureen Gillespie says:

    Sorry for not commenting until now. I hope you know that as usual I’m loving the blog, am full of admiration, and of course sending you lots of love. xx

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    • magwood says:

      So lovely to hear from you Maureen. I thought of you early on this Camino when I saw a woman with long dark hair walking three dogs. I tried to send you a text, but it failed to go through. I think of you often. X

      Like

  14. terrygriffiths says:

    Mag, have you got the Viewranger app ?
    It can be used offline.
    I used open cycle mapping mostly, and prefer Viewranger to Wikilocs

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