On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Lavacolla to San Marcos

May 20, 2013 — 10 Comments
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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.

road sign Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

The Iglesia y Cruz de Benaval in Lavacolla sits on top of a hill. Let’s take a look around…

Iglesia benaval Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

The Iglesia was dedicated in 1840.

church inscription Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

 One last look at the bell tower from the….

church bell tower Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

very quiet plaza on a late afternoon in early August.

plaza bandstand Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

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.

river Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

I hadn’t seen many hórreos lately. This is obviously a more modern version.

Horreos Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

 Leaving Lavacolla on my Camino del Norte. At least I wasn’t alone.

path Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

 This was during my Camino Francés which was much busier in the late morning.

pilgrims Lavacolla Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

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!

road San Marcos Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

trees road San Marcos Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

This upcoming, mostly straight stretch, to San Marcos is over a kilometer long. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

senda San Marcos Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago
San Marcos road  Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

sign San Marcos Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

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.

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.

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10 responses to On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Lavacolla to San Marcos

  1. A wonderful post (as always) I’m amazed you managed to keep track of all of these treasured memories – a beautiful touch to also post these photos with your detailed explanations.

    • Thanks again. I updated my audio journal throughout the days which really helped. Some photos, though, I leave to speak for themselves 🙂

  2. “Lavacolla. – Lavamentula”
    Oh, now I get it…the Pilgrims had to wash their privates in the stream. Lava means wash – makes sense…not offensive, rather *cleansing* that in the Middle Ages personal hygiene was observed. 😉

    • Sorry, I should have explained it better. Is it too late? Lavare is latin for wash and lava for soap. I didn’t get into it on my post, but Christians were known to bathe infrequently and even ridiculed members of other races and religions who kept better hygiene. Thanks again 🙂

      • Nope, it’s never too late to learn… One of my favourite quotes:

        “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
        – Mahatma Gandhi

        Interesting that the Christians didn’t bathe frequently Ewwww Glad things have changed. Thanks for sharing, I did not know that. Thanks for the brief explanation, I feel cleansed. 🙂

  3. Peter Pfliegel May 22, 2013 at 4:33 am

    ‘Colla’ sounds for a Czech close to ‘kule’ which is a slang but not offensive term for testicles. Thus for me the Lavacolla is quite understandable 🙂

  4. I have the same church photo and a GPS position for it and yes it is in Lavacolla and the name of the church is Iglesia de Benaval/San Pelayo.

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