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Day 17: San Cibrao to Celeiro

Although the elements were against it being a great walk, today was fabulous. Today’s challenges started as soon as I was up – no breakfast, no bars along the way until 2km before my destination, 28km, 1.000m in ascent – it was constantly up and down – and finally at least 30 rain showers, non super heavy, but most heavy enough to have put the poncho on. I’d bought a couple of yoghurts for breakfast, but the supermarket was out of bread on Friday night. I was on my way by 8.15 and it was damp and cold. Two jumpers, but still in shorts.

The tide was out as I followed a nice path following the river out of San Cibrao, then some road walking, another nice path through yet another eucalyptus forest and 8kms had gone before I hit the coast. And even then it was opposite an aluminum plant, across the bay from San Cibrao. I saw a couple of yellow arrows today and the one below had CM painted next to it. There is a movement to create an official Camino from Ribadeo to Ferrol, following a similar, but not exactly the same route I am walking.

When I reached the coast, for some reason there were hundreds of cement blocks formed like anchors strewn across the hills. I am not sure of their purpose as they seemed to be positioned randomly and not as coast protection against flooding. One was even painted pink.

What had so far been a good walk turned into a fabulous walk. My complaint about too much walking on hard surfaces had been listened to, with predominantly sand and dirt paths along the coast from here. The coast itself was rugged, lots of ups and down.

I stopped for a break across from a small grassy island, Illa de Saron ca. 50m from the mainland. All one could hear was then sea beating against the rocks and the birds crying. Despite that I felt that I was sitting in total silence, isolated from everything.

I had to move on, bumping into a couple out walking. They asked me to take a picture of them. I continued up and down passing an occasional sleepy village without even a bar to give it some life.

Something I noticed today was the different colours the sea had depending on whether the sun shining, the surface beneath the sea or how shallow the sea was. The colour of the sea in the picture below has not been manipulated in any way.

I passed and sat on what must be the best placed bench in the world, before going off trail to climb up to the Roncadoiro lighthouse. There is something mythical about lighthouses, often out in the wild, serving a fantastic purpose.

The rain showers were getting heavier as I walked on, up and down along the coast and through forests and sleepy, bar-less villages. I was feeling tired, partly due to the hills and partly due to lack of food – a break with a kit-kat and mandarin weren’t quite enough. The poncho on and off was beginning to make me irritable, the wind making it hard to get it to cover my backpack.

Finally after passing through Faro and walking down towards the beach at Area, a bar, 2kms from my destination. A makeshift one made out of wood with a horse behind the bar. There was a lady as well who served me a cola and coffee and some bread and cheese. It had immediate impact and the two last kilometers to the hotel, despite being uphill were easy.

The restaurant at the hotel was packed, and the kitchen open until 16.00, so I washed quicky and had an excellent lunch/dinner of goat cheese and eggplant salad, cod the Galician way and a cake for desert. Full of food, I went back to my room, lay on the bed and fell asleep for 45mins.

I took a walk around Celeiro, but there was little to see, 3 bars, one baker, two ports, a beach and lots of terraced houses in very narrow streets and apartments closer to the coast. And as is normal in this area a memorial to the lost sailors. A sailor carrying one of his colleagues in his arms.

After a good late lunch, hopefully a good nights sleep and breakfast at the hotel, i hope to be back to top form tomorrow.

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