On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Portomarín to Ventas De Narón

April 22, 2013 — 10 Comments

We walked together, and at first, I enjoyed having someone to talk with. Michael was friendly and spoke English well, but he had a tendency to ask very personal questions, considering we had only met a few minutes earlier. He wanted to know about my job, my finances, my girlfriend, among other things. He asked for details, which I thought was inappropriate, so I managed to switch the topic of conversation to the Camino. He asked where and when I had started and how far I walked every day. I told him I averaged about forty kilometers a day which he replied was easy; he said he wouldn’t have a problem. Yes, it was easy for him to say considering it was his first day on the Camino and he was carrying a backpack about the same size as someone would find on a Labradoodle…  From Page 179, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days.

Now, I’ll continue my journey on the Camino de Santiago as I left Portomarín, 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).

If you arrive to Portomarín late in the day and tired, you may want to consider staying there. A good climb is ahead with no albergues for 5 kilometers. On my last post, On The Camino De Santiago in Portomarín, Spain, I climbed up the ancient staircase into the “new” town of Portomarín. Although it was still morning, I felt sluggish after my two breaks. I continued and crossed the arm over the Río Miño and back up another hill. Here I sweated profusely and was glad to reach the highway and a gentler climb. This is where I walked with the pilgrim in the aforementioned passage. According to the Codex Calixtinus, the first Camino guidebook dating to the 12th century, a brothel was once in this area.

Senda Portomarin, Fabrica, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

Here, the Camino followed the senda beside the highway and took short strolls into the forest and farmland.

Farmland Portomarin, Toxibo Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



Farmland Portomarin, Toxibo, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



hórrero in the hamlet of Toxibo. Along this stretch, the Camino ventures through a few very small communities.

horrero, Toxibo, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago





 The Iglesia de Santa María in Gonzar was undistinguished.

church Gonzar, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



After climbing to an alto, this was the wide path through scrubland. Ahead, you can see a van waiting for pilgrims who were part of a tour group. These vans would wait for pilgrims at various points and actually skip stretches of the Camino. The vans and tour groups are more noticeable as you get closer to Santiago de Compostela.

Path Gonzar, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



 At the highway and the 80 kilometer bollard.

bollard Gonzar, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago


 This was a lively group ahead, singing and chanting as they walked. They were with one of the tour groups and had just started walking in Portomarín.

path Gonzar, Ventas De Naron, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



farmland Gonzar, Ventas De Naron, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



The scrubby land here was less suited for farming.

path, Ventas De Naron, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago





A favorite view with a field of mustard, as I approached the village of Ventas De Narón.

mustard Ventas De Naron, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



Ventas De Narón with the Casa Molar. From what I understand, it has private rooms and an albergue. It would be a good place for pilgrims to stay who want to get an idea of life in the hamlets of Galicia.

Casa Molar Ventas De Naron, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago



This view shows the difference between the scrubby hillside and the more fertile farmland down below.

Farmland Ventas De Naron, Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop just west of Ventas De Narón. On my next post, On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Ventas De Narón to Lestedo, the sun continued as I walked, and, sometimes struggled, through the warmest afternoon so far on the Camino. Please join me as I take you closer to Santiago de Compostela.

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 and Amazon pages have 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.


10 responses to On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Portomarín to Ventas De Narón

  1. This is wonderful Randall, I skipped to page 179 in my book to read along. Yes, I just got my book back over the weekend…enjoying every bit of it too 🙂 Thanks for the visuals and explanations, my friend.

    • That’s great! You skipped Chapter 9 😉 Thanks so much. Glad you’re enjoying my book and my blog 🙂

      • Do you mean “Day 9” on page 100, are you kidding me? I skipped forward and read that at the very beginning. Hahaha 😀

        Seriously, I’m having fun reading your book…I’m finding myself back-tracking or going forward- when you have a post where you refer to the book…your blog adds to the book’s charm.

        • Thanks Meesh. I really appreciate your kind words. We won’t discuss Chapter 9 here on my humble blog 😉 That’s great you’re enjoying my book. The blog is more involved than I had originally anticipated. I’m glad to see you and more people visiting and hopefully, enjoying Camino My Way. 🙂

  2. A little objection about van assisted walking… I am on the “downhill side” of middle age…am not a hiker, but enjoy the challenge of long walks. I suppose some of the van assists do skip part of the Camino. NOT the group I was with. I walked only the last 100 K of the Camino the first time I went. Actually if you count the time and the kilometers I walked when I was lost, I walked a little more than the 100k and a little more than the group from which I was separated most of the time because of my slower personal pace. Buen Camino! IMHO this is a wonderful blog and I look forward to reading your book. Buen Camino!

    • Sorry, I wasn’t trying to infer that every tour group skipped parts of the Camino. I also know it’s a necessity for many who are have injuries or are short of time. I’m glad you enjoyed the Camino, Karen. It’s a rewarding experience, especially for those who enjoy long walks. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoy my book. Buen Camino.

  3. Looking at the photo of the singing pilgrims, I wonder how will I take over such a group on a stretch narrow like that… Shall I pick up their pace until the path widens or may I ask them to allow me to go ahead?

    • Peter, you mean you don’t want to listen to the singing pilgrims? It could be quite enlightening. These were quite friendly and I believe I passed them when they stopped for a break. Peter, the path is never narrow for long on the Camino. Buen Camino 🙂

      • Peter Pfliegel April 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        Randall, I don´t have any objection against singing, I think, I will sing on the way, too (when nobody can hear it 🙂 ). I just had to refer somehow to the photo but the emphasis was not signing but on the group blocking the path. When I go, I like to go fast.

        • Peter, most people are very friendly. There are times they might not hear you though, even if you’re close behind. Just say excuse me and they will let you pass. Don’t forget to look around you too as you’re walking 🙂

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>