On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Mercadoiro to Portomarín

April 13, 2013 — 4 Comments
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The morning was cold, but the sun was out, and it looked to be a nice day. The farming odor was strong, even more pungent than the evening before. The walk was pleasant, through farmland, patches of forest, and hamlets—so many, I couldn’t tell them apart. The Camino followed a paved country road, with one diversion around a section that was being repaired. Finally, one small stretch of the Camino in Galicia was being worked on. I could show them at least a dozen more that needed it… From Page 177, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. Although I didn’t know it at the time, my walking through the mud, for the most part, was over. There were bright, sunny skies ahead.

Now, I’ll continue my journey on the Camino de Santiago as I leave Mercadoiro, Galicia. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).

On my last post, On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Morgade to Mercadoiro, I finished up a sunny evening walk and began the next morning after a memorable stay at a small albergue in a Galician farmhouse. After gently descending from the Alto Páramo, I arrived at the hamlet of Mercadoiro which was engulfed in a light morning fog.

Church Mercadoiro, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

I could be wrong, but I believe we’re supposed to turn left here.

Arrows Mercadoiro, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Hórreos

I also wrote on page 177, “Hórreos are elevated, rectangular storage bins designed to hold grain and keep out rodents and small mammals. There would be many along the Way to Finisterre in various conditions, with some elaborately decorated.” Let’s take a closer look…

Horreos Mercadoiro, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Horreo Mercadoiro Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Typical of the older buildings in these hamlets. Some were still standing and in use. Others sat in ruins.

Home Mercadoiro, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

 The aforementioned diversion.

Detour Mercadoiro, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

 Fog and farmland on the edge of the tiny hamlet of Vilacha.

Vilacha farmland Mercadoiro, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

First views of Portomarín. From here, the trail descends steeply. In this area, you’ll also notice the first eucalyptus trees.

Portomarin, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

After the descent, the Camino arrives at the highway and the 90 kilometer bollard.

Rio Mino bollard Portomarin, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

A Little Recent History

Dating back to Roman times, much of the settlement of Portomarín was along the Río Miño at the bottom of the Miño Valley. In the 1950’s, construction began on a dam on the Miño, Encoro de Belesar, that would generate power for the area. Prior to flooding the valley, many of the major monuments, including the church, were taken apart, stone by stone, and reassembled at the new townsite on the side of the hill. This was a major undertaking but not everything was moved. The resulting reservoir is the Embalse de Belesar.

Rio Mino Signs Portomarin, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

The water was high when I walked, but in late summer, the remains of the Roman bridge, and houses and other buildings can be seen. I don’t know if you can tell, but there is not a high rail along the edge of the bridge, or between the lane and the walkway. I remember a large truck passing by and making me shake enough to grasp the rail.

Rio Mino Bridge Portomarin, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

I didn’t stay long on this bridge and just took a couple of photos. I wish this one was a little better.

Rio Mino Portomarin, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

From the other side of the bridge I could see this structure ahead. I had no idea what it was, nor did I realize how amazing it would be.

Roman Bridge Portomarin, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

We’ll take a closer look on my next post, On The Camino De Santiago in Portomarín, Spain. I’ll also take you through the historic Camino town of Portomarín. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads page has reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.




About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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4 responses to On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Mercadoiro to Portomarín

  1. My first comment here…the ultimate test (((drumroll)))) Wonderful post Randal!l

  2. Thanks you for visiting and commenting. I’m getting closer to Santiago de Compostela, at least here on my blog 🙂

  3. I’m amazed at all the wonderful pictures you managed to take and save for posterity….at the time did you foresee to post them here on a website?

    • Thanks, but these were all taken with a little point-and-shoot Nikon. I never anticipated a book, let alone a blog. I wish many of the photos were better but thats all I have at the moment. I’m happy right now rediscovering the Camino on my blog. Learning a lot more too.

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