Camino Francés description : 34. Arzúa - Pedrouzo (Arca)   

 

                                 Camino de Santiago / French Way : 34. Arzúa - Pedrouzo (Arca)

                                                                                    (18.8 km)

                         

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  From Arzúa the path goes down the Rua do Carmen, past a factory and down a paved lane. After about half a kilometre you pass through the hamlet of As Barrosas passing the Ermita de San Lázaro. The path now takes an unsurfaced track and descends to the bottom of the valley. After crossing a stream the path begins to climb again. As mentioned before there are some yellow and white painted markers here, these again are markers for a walk in this locality, ignore these. The route is still clearly marked even though the markers don’t show the distances anymore, mainly because the route has been diverted away from the main road. No doubt they will get round to putting distances on them at some time in the future.

 

  The route passes through the hamlet of Tabernavella before going into some woods, shortly after that you pass through Calzada and then Calle where the path takes you under a large horreo (grain store) that straddles it. In Calle you will find a couple of cafés.

 

  Soon after leaving Calle you will need to cross over another stream but the footbridge is a little unstable, so beware. Also a little further along the path does have a tendency to flood in bad weather, but if this happens just keep going ahead rather than forking down it. The Camino now passes through the hamlets of Boavista and Alto before reaching the small hamlet of Salceda where you will find a bar and a shop.

 

  Soon after leaving Salceda you will come across a monument to a British pilgrim who unfortunately died, I believe from a heart attack, so close to his final destination. The monument is of a bronze pair of his shoes and people are known to leave little gifts beside the monument. The plaque at the side says “Guillermo Watt Peregrino, Abrazo a dios a los 69 años a una jornada de Santiago el 25 de Agosto 1993, año santo, vivas en Christo". Roughly translated this says "William Watt, Pilgrim, Who embraced god at 69 years of age, one day from Santiago, the 25th of August 1993, holy year, live in Christ”. It’s so sad to think he was so close to having completed his pilgrimage.

 

  Continuing on you now pass through the hamlets of Xen, Ras and Brea where there is a stone memorial to another unfortunate pilgrim, Mariano Sanchez-Coursa Carro who died here on 24th September, again in the holy year of 1993. If you want to spend the night in Brea there is a small albergue that offers dining facilities.

 

  The path now takes you through the hamlets of Rabiña and Empalme where there is a café/bar, a shop and a restaurant. Continuing along the Camino takes you along part of the main road and passing through some woods until you reach the picnic area known as Alto de Santa Irene. If you want to visit the 18th century Iglesia de Santa Irene or stay at one of the two albergues, one of which provides the pilgrim with an evening meal and breakfast, in the village of Santa Irene, go through the tunnel under the main road, otherwise keep straight on along the path.

 

  Walking through some more woods the Camino goes down a gravel track towards the hamlet of Rúa where there are a couple of casa rurales and a hostal to stay in if you wish and a café/bar. About 1.5 kilometres further on you will come to the village of Arca do Pino (sometimes known as Pedrouzo).

  Here you will find a couple of albergues and a hostal which has its own restaurant. There are also a number of shops, a bank and a pharmacy to get those final supplies to take care of your blisters. You are now only approximately 20 kilometres from your final destination.

 

  Some people choose to stay here and make their final journey to Santiago from here, but if you want to take part in the pilgrim mass that is held every day at 12 noon at Santiago cathedral you will need to make a very early start. Most people however, choose to make the journey through to Monte de Gozo, which is approximately 4 kilometres from Santiago.

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                                                        delhommeb at wanadoo.fr -  07/01/2014