Camino dos Faros Lighthouse Way Spain

Day 6: Camelle to Ponteceso

Another early rise in advance of another long day. I left Camelle as the church bells rang for 8.00, 15 minutes before sunrise. It was still a bit dark. The early start was due to an administrative error on my side. Today’s official stage to Laxe is only 15km, which is too short a stage to walk. So I’d already booked a hostel in Ponteceso (30km after Laxe), thereby doing a double stage. Unfortunately, I hadn’t summed the kilometers for the two stages in my notes, so I thought I was walking 30 kms, but Ponteceso is 45km away !?!?!

Ten of the kilometers were a round circuit up a mountain, which I hadn’t planned to walk, as I’d instead walked the extra stage from Cee to Fisterra to compensate. I ended up walking 32kms, as my hotel was at the edge of town.

Yet again, it was a beautiful day for walking. Mid 20C’s and, at least in the morning, light clouds. It rained later in the day. The morning walk was primarily along the coast on paths and boardwalks, passing the Lagoa de Traba, famous for its many migrating birds in Spring and Autumn. There were also a couple of steep inclines and declines, so it took ca. 3 hours to arrive at the lighthouse at Laxe after  ca. 12kms.

The lighthouse standing at 45m above sea level was built in 1920. Nearby is a sculpture, “The Waiting” of the a lady and her baby, looking out towards the sea, looking for a sailor lost at sea – a tribute to the lost ones and those that have lost.

I reached Laxe just before midday and stopped for my usual coffee, cola and cake. I left Laxe walking along its vey long beach.

After leaving the beach I continued up and down along small paths passing beaches and coves along the rugged coast towards As Grelas

I bypassed the climb up Mount Castello, which has amazing views along the coast. I realised later, that the first part of the walk up the mountain would not have been that big a detour in relation to what I walked on a busy road into As Grelas.

I planned to stop for a break, I was feeling quite tired, but apart from a restaurant that was fairly busy, there wasn’t anything. So instead I stopped at a Miradoiro – a view point, and ate my reserve of fruit and nuts. There was a very nice view towards the area I will be walking tomorrow (picture below).

As I left As Grelas it started to rain, albeit lightly. It rained off and on as I walked along a wide path towards Ponteceso. I was taken by surprise to find a ceramic sign in Japanese, a tribute from 2011 to the Japanese people following the Tsunami. I was even more surprised when I read the Spanish translation, that the it was a poem by Kobo Daishi. I had followed in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi in 2018, when I walked the 88 temples on Shikoku.

I have found a translation of the poem called Iroha:

Although its scent still lingers on
the form of a flower has scattered away
For whom will the glory
of this world remain unchanged?
Arriving today at the yonder side
of the deep mountains of evanescent existence
We shall never allow ourselves to drift away
intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams.

[There are some discussions as to whether Kobo Daishi actually wrote this or not. The last syllable of each line of the Man’yō-gana original, when put together, reveals a hidden sentence, “to die without wrong-doing”. It is thought that this might be a eulogy in praise of Kūkai (Kobo Daishi), further supporting the notion that the Iroha was written after Kūkai’s death.]

The path followed a main road, crossing the River Allons as I entered town. It started to pour down 200m from the hotel, and I had to take shelter in a shop. When the rain calmed down, I dashed to the hostel. I rested on the bed, took a shower and went out again to buy some water for tomorrows stage.

I popped into a bar for a coffee and beer when the rain started again. A few minutes later I was given tapas, ham and bread. As it was still raining I bought another beer to pay for the tapas, and was given bread and Spanish omelette as tapas. I should have stayed, but I wasn’t sure if I could drink enough beer to get enough tapas to no longer be hungry. Walking back to the hostel, I found four places to eat in the town, but all sold burger and pizza, no traditional Spanish food, apart from the tapas bar. I went to a restaurant next to the hostel and ended up with a pizza.

I have a very long stage tomorrow, 38kms, so I hope it doesn’t rain.

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