Camino dos Faros Lighthouse Way Spain

Day 7: Ponteseco to Barizo

Planning a 36km stage is always a risk – bad legs, bad weather, tougher terrain than expected…. Doing 36 km should really be a decision one makes on the day. But given I book hotels ahead, I am stuck with the decisions I made back when I planned the walk. And behind a desk, I’m probably always more optimistic than I should be. I knew I was taking a chance planning a 36km leg in this terrain, and leaving this morning, I know I’m taking a bigger chance than I would normally, given that the terrain is in fact harder than expected. I ended walking 37km, over almost 12 hours and for the first time on this trip, I burned over 5000 calories.

The hostel didn’t offer breakfast, but was assured that the bar next door did. It didn’t. So the day started with a cup of coffee and a cake, and a walk back to the bridge I crossed yesterday.

It was a beautiful start to the day leaving Ponteceso on a path following the river, Allons, on one side and a marsh on the other side. I saw the sun rise and immediately a rainbow appeared. The rainbow stayed with me for ca. 1,5 hours (about 6kms walking) – and just as I reached the end of the rainbow to claim my pot of gold, it disappeared.

As I came to the coast, the change was amazing. It was very windy, and the waves beating against the rocks caused the noise alarm on my watch to go off – over 90db. I had a rumbling tummy, probably yesterday’s pizza. As I reached the Balares beach after 6kms, there was a public toilet that saved the day. I couldn’t find the trail to leave the beach, as there were steep climbs all around. I tried what I thought to be the correct trail, only to get stuck half way up and have to climb down again. Eventually I found a green dot, and following another steep climb was back on the trail.

I was texting with my wife and missed a turn, but when I checked the map could see that if I turned back there would be a steep decline, or I could continue along a wide dirt path and walk ca. 1 km longer. Just as I was making my mind up, it started to rain. so the decision was made – the wide, no-risk path into Corme.

In Corme, the only village on the route today, I stopped for a coffee and cola, and bought bread and cheese for lunch. From Corme I walked primarily along a road to the first lighthouse of the day, Faro do Rocudo, similar to the white cylindrical ones I have passed on the previous days. I had a chat with an Irishman, who warned me to be careful. He had been a bit weary of the wind when walking close to the edge along small paths.

There was a board with a description of the events around the Padova shipwreck in 1902. (Click on the image to get a bigger picture and read the text).

I continued north east along small, but ok paths, along the coast – just as beautiful and rugged as on the previous days. Up, down and repeat.

I took a break for lunch, next to a stone reminding me of a dolphin (below), watching the sea beat against the cliffs and the birds gliding onto ledges on the rocks. On the way to the official end of today’s stage (26km to the beach at Ninons, which I reached at around 4pm), I passed a rock looking like the face of a dinosaur. I met a few other walkers, including a Scottish guy who had started this morning in Muxia (the end of tomorrows stage!) and planned to walk to where I started this morning – all in all 50kms! He still had another 25kms to walk! He admitted that he hadn’t expected it to be this hard.

At the Ninons beach I still had another 10kms to walk to tonight’s destination. I walked towards today’s second lighthouse, Faro do Punta Nariga, reached after a very steep climb over yet another peak, where I managed to slip and make a controlled fall.

The lighthouse is built in 1995 and the light reaches 22 nautical miles. It is built on a triangular base that represents the bow of a ship, with a bronze sculpture half person, half seagull ready to fly. The surrounding rocks have been eroded into many different shapes, and one had to be careful walking across them.

Leaving the lighthouse I took the road for the first kilometer instead of the rocky path and rejoined the path for the next 3kms of up, down, repeat, before a very steep and stressful decline into the port at Barizo, followed by a couple more kilometers along the beach.

I made it to the place I was staying at 19.30. I wasn’t aware that there were two places to stay next to each other. I went into the first I met, but it was closed. I called the number I had and after a few calls back and forth and I went next door – which was the place I had booked.

Sunset was at 8.30, just prior to dinner, but yet again, no sun into the sea sunset, again, a few clouds in the way of the perfect sun into water sunset.

Apart from the occasional rain and constant noise, it was a great, but very long and very, very hard day. Almost everybody I have met have said that the Camino dos Faros was much harder than expected, and some of the walkers saying this were still on day one – eight days of up-down-repeat has been really hard. Today alone I climbed for over 1000m, mostly on small paths, sometimes scrambling over rocks. This is very different than the popular Caminos.

Today, a special thanks to my legs and feet that held up all day. That’s what three weeks walking does to you!

Again the scenery was fantastic, from the peaceful start with the rainbow leading the way, to the beautiful rugged coast and mythical lighthouses. I could have added any number of pictures, and there were many more views that I could have taken, but didn’t have time to stop and take them – otherwise I would have needed another 3-4 hours!

There is a lot of what I have seen the past days that you can only see if you walk or sail – except the lighthouses which always have access via roads. One thing is however certain, the ruggedness of the so called Coast of Death is best experienced walking.

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