I bid farewell to my fellow Canadians and went ahead, hoping to see the alto at Monte de Gozo. I understood the monument there would be impressive, but had no idea what it would look like. I went past industrial buildings, large empty fields, and stands of forest, but still there was no sign. Often, there was only a narrow shoulder and no sidewalk along the road, which surprised me since it was so close to Santiago. After I emerged from a stand of eucalyptus, I entered San Marcos, a rural area with large houses, gardens, and plots of pasture, where cattle and sheep grazed… From Page 192, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days. You will see from my photos on this post that care had to be taken while walking along some of the busier roads as you got closer to Santiago de Compostela. I was a little surprised.
Now, I’ll continue my journey on the Camino de Santiago as I arrived to Lavacolla, 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, San Payo to Lavacolla, I was walking during the late morning on my spring Camino Francés and late afternoon on my summer Camino del Norte. As I mentioned in my previous post, Lavacolla is home to the Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ). If you’re a pilgrim, it could be a little difficult getting to the airport at certain times. Please make sure you have the correct bus timetable because it’s a long walk back from the old city of Santiago de Compostela, or even the hotel and albergue complex at Monte de Gozo.
This was during a quiet sunny afternoon on my Camino del Norte. Welcome to Lavacolla.
The Iglesia y Cruz de Benaval in Lavacolla sits on top of a hill. Let’s take a look around…
The Iglesia was dedicated in 1840.
One last look at the bell tower from the….
very quiet plaza on a late afternoon in early August.
Because of it’s close proximity to Santiago de Compostela and the large albergue and hotel complex five kilometers away at Monte de Gozo, today, Lavacolla doesn’t have many pilgrims staying the night there. It mostly caters to airport passengers.
Now why am I showing this photo of a stream?
I don’t want to offend anyone but this is likely the most historically significant spot in Lavacolla. It was here, in this tiny river, that pilgrims in the Middle Ages bathed before walking the final stretch to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. The origin Lavacolla comes from Lavamentula which means…ummmm… how should I put this? Well, it refers to one’s private parts. Mentula is latin for phallus and colla refers to scrotum. Maybe, we better move on.
I hadn’t seen many hórreos lately. This is obviously a more modern version.
Leaving Lavacolla on my Camino del Norte. At least I wasn’t alone.
This was during my Camino Francés which was much busier in the late morning.
Not all the route was peaceful. Part of the stretch to Monte de Gozo follows along industrial buildings such as these. As I mentioned, the path was rather narrow. Be careful!
This upcoming, mostly straight stretch, to San Marcos is over a kilometer long. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop here on the edge of San Marcos. In case you’re wondering, that was the first time the words phallus or scrotum were mentioned anywhere on this blog. On my next post, On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, San Marcos and Monte do Gozo, we’ll finish the gradual climb to Monte de Gozo and visit the monument. Please join me as I take you closer to Santiago de Compostela.
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