Camino Primitivo Day 12-Ponte Ferreira to Boente

Today would be a 26 km day to the little village of Boente. We had opted to walk past Melide in order to avoid the big town and the hoards of pilgrims streaming in from the Frances.

 

The 72 km Marker

The 72 km Marker

 

As soon as we starting walking out of Ponte Ferreira we came across this ancient little Roman bridge. Not as spectacular as the Old Roman Bridge of Lugo, but equally as old and historic.

 

 

Little Roman Bridge along the Via Romana

Little Roman Bridge along the Via Romana

 

We came across this adorable little shrine to St. James along a babbling brook. Such a lovely, peaceful place.

Shrine to Santiago as you leave Ponte Ferreira

Shrine to Santiago as you leave Ponte Ferreira

 

Shrine to Santiago as you leave Ponte Ferreira

Shrine to Santiago as you leave Ponte Ferreira

 

 

 

 

The path took us along a Eucalyptus forest that looked that it had been intentionally planted. All the trees were very uniform. Again, this would have been a nicer walk if the road wasn’t a tract and was a natural path instead.

Billy and Steven

Billy and Steven

 

Billy and Steven walking through the Eucalyptus forest

Billy and Steven walking through the Eucalyptus forest

 

I didn’t write down the name of this hamlet where we came across one of the ancient, original Cruceiro markers that were used to mark the Camino in past centuries. Just beyond it was the first water fountain we’d come across in hours. It was pretty hot by now, at least 80F and I was glad to come across a water fountain. We still had a long way to go before reaching Melide.

 

Cruceiro (An original Camino marker)

Cruceiro (An original Camino marker)

 

Cruceiro (An original Camino marker) The water fountain is in the background

Cruceiro (An original Camino marker) The water fountain is in the background

 

The scenery was beautiful along this part of the Camino. Rolling hills with green farms everywhere. The majority of the walk was on a hard surface tract and that’s unfortunate. It would have been even more wonderful if this section was still a natural path. Not to mention that it would have been easier on my painful feet. Walking on hard surfaces is the worst thing for plantar fasciitis. I could feel the burning in my feet and my Achilles pain was now acting up again.

 

On the road to Melide

On the road to Melide

 

 

Sierra del Careon-The highest point between between the provinces of Lugo and A Coruña

Sierra del Careon-The highest point between the provinces of Lugo and A Coruña

 

You can see Melide in the far distance. The impending crossroads of several Caminos (The Primitivo, The Frances, and The Norte) and the start of the crowds. It looks so far away!

Melide in the distance

Melide in the distance

 

After a few hours of walking we finally arrived in Melide. Not a pretty city and crowded with tourists and pilgrims. Not the peaceful, solitary Camino that we have been enjoying for the past 12 days. From now on we’d be walking with a lot more people passing by us. Not to mention the turigrinos that jump on and off buses and pretend that they are on an actual pilgrimage. There’s no other way to reach Santiago de Compostela so we just have to deal with the crowds.

 

Arriving in Melide

Arriving in Melide

 

We were hungry by the time we arrived in Melide so we decided to stop at a local pulperia (restaurant specializing in octopus). I didn’t take a picture but I did try their steamed octopus. It was alright but not very flavorful. A little chewy, like overcooked chicken.

Our main course was a lot more appetizing. I had veal steak, Billy I think chose regular beef, and Steven had this chorizo and fried egg dish. We were starving!

 

Nice lunch in Melide

Nice lunch in Melide

 

Boente is a little village about 5.7 km from Melide. We had made reservations at the private albergue Boente. It is a nice place with a restaurant that serves decent food. We had the choice between 2 of the common rooms. One was 2 Euros more and had less beds and real cotton linens! Not the paper or plastic covers that other places have. I opted for the real linen room 🙂 I think there were only 12 beds in that room and it had a big bathroom.

The shower is huge! It had 2 shower heads so you could actually have 2 people shower together. I didn’t realize this until after I’d undressed and was stepping inside. Otherwise, I would have dragged Billy in there with me and cut down on showering time. They also have lockers and each bunk bed had a little shelf with a light and plug for charging your phone. Very convenient. The albergue even has a little pool around back and a nice sized courtyard with a washer and dryer.

 

Albergue Boente

Albergue Boente

 

 

Directly across the street is the church of Santiago. We got a stamp there and I was able to take this picture. It has several statues depicting the different versions of St. James.

 

 Church of Santiago in Boente (12th Century)

Church of Santiago in Boente (12th Century)

 

We did some laundry and just chilled out. Eventually we went to the restaurant and took our time eating dinner. Afterwards, we took a short walk to check the way out of town. This is always easier done in daylight then trying to sort it out at 6:00am when it’s still dark. We didn’t get very far as the Camino continues from right behind the above church.

It had been so warm the last few days that I don’t remember the last time that I pulled out my sleeping bag. I just used the blankets provided everywhere as a light cover for modesty until lights out. The evenings were pleasant, not too hot to sleep and there was plenty of ventilation at every albergue and pension that we stayed at so far. I think we crashed early this night. I don’t remember. But I know I slept well and dreaded having to get up at 5:30 am.

Tomorrow we are off to Santa Irene. There’s rain in the forecast and I’m looking forward to finally having another cooler day. I’d rather walk in rain and temps in the 50sF then this scorching (to us) heat.

5 Responses

  1. Brenda McBride says:

    I am enjoying your blog very much; I hope to begin the Primitivo in about two and a half weeks. I am sorry that you have been in so much pain, but I am glad that you were able to have a Plan B, Plan C…. There should be no reason to regret taking a bus or taxi, sending a backpack ahead, shortening distances between stages, or any other means with which you achieve your goal of reaching Santiago. I walked from Pamplona to Estella a few days ago, so I know how fierce the heat is, and can sympathize. Again, thanks so much for such a thoughtful blog.

    • Irene says:

      Thanks! We plan to do the Primitivo again and next time we will take a few more days to cut down on those long walks. Now that I know that I have foot issues 🙂 Not something I’d ever experience before on any long distance hike. Sucks getting older 🙂

  2. Judy says:

    Oh, Irene, I’m with you about walking in the rain vs. the heat. I’m enjoying your posts and what personal observations you are sharing. Do you happen to have contact info for the Albergue Boente? I’m using your info for the guide I’m creating for self. Thanks for everything. Lovely picture. Especially sweet is the one with the little water feature and St. James.

  3. Hi, I love your blog! I found this post very inspiring. The Camino is a very unique experience, I’d say it was a journey inside myself even more than a geographic trip 🙂 That’s why I enjoy reading other pilgrims experiences and I always find some pallarelisms in what they say. And that’s just amazing!

    So, thank you for sharing this kind of posts with us!

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