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Camino de Santiago, Day 13: From Sarria to Palas de Rei

Wall of the Santa Maria Church in Sarria

Welcome to the post about the 13th day of our Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage by bike, which happened on the 6th of June 2015. We did this stage of 50.57 Km or 31.4 miles from Sarria to Palas de Rei in 7h and 58 min, of which 4h 2min were of actual moving time.

This was a nice bike riding day in the company of new and old friends. Marcelo, Alice and I left the hostel in Sarria just before 8:30am and went to look for a place to have breakfast along the way out of town. As we were pushing our bikes up the “Rúa Maior” we walked passed a small Café / Restaurant called “La Taza Magica” (The magic cup) and decided to stay there for breakfast. About 15 min. later Fernando arrived coming from Samos where he had spent the night before.

Dr Guy Heron on road selfie time.

After our delicious breakfast we’ve moved on, but made a short stop a few hundred meters away at a public market place were Fernando bought a box of delicious cherries for just € 3.00.

Bridge over an arm of the Belesar reservoir, near Portomarín.
Uploading the picture to the EyeCycled Facebook page.

As we were making our way out of town we met Guy, a MD from Sydney, Australia, who was also cycling the Camino all the way from Saint Jean. I understood Guy had purchased sort of a cycling package in Australia which included all hotels along the way and the transfer of his luggage from town to town. All he had to do was to follow the schedule imposed by the travel company that sold the package.
I am mentioning this because it might be of interest to other people to know that there are such options and I believe there are such packages available not only for cyclists, but for walkers too.

Town of Portomarín in the background

Anyway, Guy joined our little group for this day making it the biggest group I’ve cycled with throughout the entire Camino. It is not easy to cycle in a group as everybody needs to respect each other’s pace, but this day everything worked remarkably well. We took it a bit easy as well, as we were not under any time pressures and we’ve made several stops.

Marcelo and Alice crossing the bridge to Portomarín.

There isn’t, honestly, much to write about. About 3/4 of the 50 Km we did this day were made on the LU-633 (the same one I failed to take when I took the wrong way after O Cebreiro). After leaving Sarria we made a quick stop at a petrol station in Paradela, which is about 16 Km away and then continued towards Portomarín for another 10 Km (about 26 Km from Sarria).

This staircase is actually the sole remaining part of the original 2nd century Roman bridge which was destroyed by Doña Urraca.

In Portomarín we stopped to stamp our Pilgrims’ credentials, take photos of its “fortress-like” church (Church of San Juan of Portomarín) and to eat something, together with some ice cold Spanish beer. Portomarín is a lovely town and well worth staying, if you can.

The 12th century Igrexa de San Nicolás. From left to right, me, Alice, Marcelo and Fernando.

Our short stop in Portomarín lasted for perhaps 30 min and then we were on the move again. We did another stop at the village of Gonzar, at a road side bar called “Descanso del Peregrino”, for a cold drink and, between the 5 of us, we ate most of the cherries from the box Fernando was carrying since Sarria. We were also joined for a few minutes by 2 female pilgrims from Germany who, upon knowing Guy was a doctor, asked for some medical advice.

Always something interesting to see

About 5 Km after Gonzar, at a locally known as “O Hospital” the LU-633 appeared to end at a roundabout. We then crossed over the N-540 and took a small, unnamed road, towards Ventas de Narón.

Typical ants along the Camino. You’d be better not to piss them off.

On this small road we crossed through some interesting small villages like Ligonde, Airexe, Portos (with the huge ants sculptures), Lestedo and Os Valos. This was a nice stretch of road with lots of trees and interesting things to see. After Os Valos we took the N-547 all the way to Palas de Rei for another 3 Km. Palas de Rei Sign Upon arriving in Palas de Rei, we have first looked into staying at a hostel called Albergue Buen Camino. I didn’t go in, but Fernando and Marcelo did and they came back out not very impressed. We then decided to stay at the municipal hostel of the town, which was €6 for the night. The hostel was clean and good.

Municipal Hostel (Albergue) in Palas de Rei

Since Guy already had accommodation in Palas de Rei as part of his Camino package he didn’t stay with us in the Albergue, but he joined us again the next day on our way to Santiago. This is where this post about the 13th day of the Pilgrimage ends. Short and sweet this time… 🙂 Please indicate if you like it or not by clicking on the stars on the bottom of the post and feel free to leave comments, questions or to get in touch through the contact form.

Day 13, Camino de Santiago, 6th Jun 2015
Click on the picture above to open the Flickr Album for this day.

Thank you for your time!

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