The Camino de Santiago Part VII

We are now to July 26th on the calendar, two days prior to reaching Santiago de Compostela. I was feeling as though there was not enough time to fully enjoy the quiet countryside, because our guide books told us that the last long stretch into Santiago is fairly urban. And after being in many small town and villages with crops, orchards, sheep, cattle, horses, and farms peppering the countryside, I was not looking forward to being in a larger city again.

Let’s enjoy the final moments away from civilization in a series of pictures on the way from A Coruña to O Pedrouzo:

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Beautiful stone home in a small town with gate and Camino symbols: scallop shell and cross

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Another wonderful home on the way to O Pedrouzo

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Typical stone church with Romanesque doorway

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Woodland scene near A Coruña with ferns

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One of many corn fields that we passed along the Camino in Galicia

I remember O Pedrouzo well, because the pension we stayed at was barely acceptable. (Most of the places we stayed were reasonably priced, clean, and very pleasant, so this one stands out as one of two that we would not stay at again on a future Camino.) Imagine arriving in town after a very hot day on the road, checking into your room and discovering that there is no hot water to take a shower before dinner! The owner seemed fairly unperturbed. We didn’t eat there at all, given that things were not great in the accommodations department!

O Pedrouzo itself is a very small town that may have come into being because of the Camino. There is a main drag through town with various small pensions and restaurants. The location is lovely and affords beautiful views of the surrounding farms and countryside:

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Very happy cactus near the church we visited after dinner in O Pedrouzo

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Church in O Pedrouzo with adjoining monastery

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Monastery staircase near the church in O Pedrouzo with beautiful flowers

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Bucolic scene and view of O Pedrouzo from the outskirts

In Part VIII we’ll be making the final journey into Santiago de Compostela. Here are a few photos of the area just before reaching the long urban stretch to the main plaza in Santiago with the cathedral and other beautiful buildings. It is a very majestic square, filled with people who are thrilled to be arriving at their destination!

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As we got closer to Santiago de Compostela, there were more and more pilgrims joining the throng. That is because the various Camino Routes come together shortly before Santiago. This also made it harder to be alone with one’s thoughts, because large groups of young people were on pilgrimages as well. And they tended to be quite rowdy. That is why I cherished these final moments of real quiet such as you can see here! The forest canopy in the upper photo made you feel as though you were in a cocoon.

forest-scenes-coming-into-santiagoA big stand of beautiful (cedar?) trees with ferns and other shrubs next to the roadside

I plan to post the next part within the week. Hope you are enjoying this trip through Basque Country, Castilla y León and Galicia.