Continued from Exploring Neda.
When I saw Nancy eating breakfast at Pensión Maragoto, she was already packed up and ready to head out for the day. I move a little slower in the morning, so I told her I would see her along the way. The laundry I had washed and hung on the windows was nice and dry, so I packed up and started walking around 9 a.m. I shot a quick video from the room before I headed out.
(See more details of Pensión Maragoto on previous posts.)
The Neda to Pontedeume stage was 18.7 km (11.6 miles) and followed the Ria de Ferrol for the first segment.
It was a peaceful walk along a boardwalk by the Ferrol river.
Read about River Belelle at http://caminoingles.mobi/QR/CAMING10
The shells and arrows from Neda will lead you to the old part of town where I saw that pilgrim-dedicated church the night before. The church didn’t have that rosy glow I saw at sunset, but I took another photo of the plaque.
This is the Santa María de Neda parish church, where you can find the image of Christ known as Cristo da Cadea (Christ of the Chain) as it has a chain around the body which secures the cross. Read more about this church at http://caminoingles.mobi/QR/CAMING09
I caught up to Nancy while she was doing the QR code thing with her phone near a water fountain.
Apparently, the water in Neda is what makes the bread so delicious! And there is a festival of the bread of Neda every September. Read more: http://caminoingles.mobi/QR/CAMING11
The breakfast toast was good, but I didn’t realize the bread was so special. LOL! (See Pensión Maragoto’s breakfast menu at the end of this post.)
We filled up our water bottles at this fountain and continued the walk together.
After a while, the sun was out, and we were ready for a break. Luckily there were two pilgrim-friendly bars next to each other for a potty stop and second breakfast.
I just ordered a café con leche, but they usually included a free pastry. This was another nice surprise of the Camino Inglés—just €1 for coffee and a free treat!
When the pastries were packaged like this, I brought them with me for a snack. I learned it is always good to have something to eat, just in case you are hiking in a zone with no cafés.
Nancy had unlimited data on her phone plan, so she took advantage of the QR code signs along the way. This was a fun way to learn about things. This particular sign mentioned a Museo Do Humor (Humor museum) down the street, which we walked by after our break. Read about it here: http://caminoingles.mobi/QR/CAMING13
I absolutely love quirky museums, but it cost a few euros, and we were wanting to keep walking. The arrows pointed the way, even on the homes in the neighborhood we walked through.
According the QR code for this site, the public water fountains “are important elements related with the paths where the walker and the pilgrim can quench their thirst, cool down and rest for a moment.” Read more about the fountains at: http://caminoingles.mobi/QR/CAMING14
Nancy and I took a quick water and shade break here, because we were about to experience the 1,000 + feet elevation gain through the forest of Fene.
Read about the fraga (forest) here: http://caminoingles.mobi/QR/CAMING17
As soon as we left the forest, it was HOT! I used my umbrella for shade.
There was a lot of up-and-down during this stage, and we were both getting tired from the heat and climb. We caught glimpses of water as we were winding down a hill in a residential neighborhood. Little did we know there would be a beautiful sandy beach below!
Nancy and I thought we were in heaven when we saw this lovely view, as well as a restaurant, conveniently located right on the beach!
It was time for a cold caña and some hot tapas.
After lunch, we asked the restaurant owner whether we could leave we could leave our backpacks inside so we could play at the beach. The water was cold but it was SO refreshing!
This is when I learned that Nancy’s trail name is Pokeyhontas. She likes to walk slow and take her time.
Nancy has walked many trails in North America including the full length of the Appalachian Trail. She even walked the European Peace Walk through six European countries during its first year. She chose the trail name Pokeyhontas since she’s from Virginia (where Pocahontas lived) and because of her slow pace.
It was cool to be walking with such an experienced long-distance hiker. My vibe on this Camino was to take it slow. I didn’t train beforehand like I did for my first Camino, so I was a little out of shape. My body told me to take it easy, split stages, and don’t rush. So, it was a blessing to meet Pokeyhontas on my first day. My walking pace is usually a bit faster, but I like to lollygag in the morning and take lots of photos on my walks, so our pace evens out in the end. Perhaps my trail name should be Lollygagger!
Up next, exploring Pontedeume.