On Day Two, you’re sure you’re a pilgrim. We expected an easy coastal saunter, and this day proved that while the Camino Inglés is a shorter walk, it is not necessarily easier. From Neda, it was a lovely walk along the river with the water glinting in the early light and birds in song, until the markers took us through a hamlet of medieval-looking houses, some of them with markers of when they were built – Año 1796!
We walked through rural suburbs with houses and gardens just beginning to bloom and saw lavaderos and fuentes for the first time. Drinking water is provided from a fountain or pipe, and the large trough is for washing clothes. They are not for washing feet, bathing or watering your horses!
A Baking Angel!
En route, despite the substantial breakfast we’d had in Neda, the smells of baking bread and cakes drove us crazy. If we weren’t on a pilgrimage, I would say we were hangry! It was a baker’s van, with a lovely baker who insisted on giving us a hot fish empanada (pie), bread rolls and some cream cakes!
A steady rain started and the air was thick with the scent of gum trees, and the forest floor was full of freshly sprung ferns. I could have been home in Australia! It had rained all morning from Neda to the top of the climb, but now the rain stopped as we walked downhill. Out of the forests, we walked along rural roads and tiny hamlets, seemingly deserted with the occasional dog tied on a long lead. Passing under a stone archway, we emerged at the other side of the headland to the beaches at Cabanas and Magdalena, with Pontedeume on the far shore.
It’s a short walk down to the beach, so we went down to the sea and paddled about in the shallow waters.
We crossed the 14th-century bridge into Pontedeume. Looking down the river to the sea, past a flotilla of little and larger boats you can imagine the Atlantic. Looking down into the water, between reflections of clouds, you may see schools of little fish flitting about in the swirling eddies. At the end of the bridge, is the familiar Camino sign alongside a sign for the municipal market and the albergue, both of which are in an old, repurposed fish warehouse on the waterfront. If you want to take a look at a map of Pontedeume there’s one in my sketch maps.