Pilgrim of Saint James. Stage 8 – 78 Km.
From Allariz (Orense) to Lalín (Pontevedra) or Sarria to O Pedrouzo
Bicigrinos of Saint James, travel with bikes to Santiago. Apparently, the stage does not involve any difficulty: affordable mileage and comforting landscapes. However, the first 13 km to Ferreiros (where there are more false plains and higher than the descent), the impossibility of maintaining a constant rhythm due to the undulating terrain and the frequent change of floor turn this day into something more than a mere rural walk.
In this first section we passed by a fountain decorated with Pelegrín, the mascot of the Xacobeo’93. We move along a path between low stone walls and chestnut trees towards Cortiñas (boundary 102), Lavandeira (boundary marker 101.5) and Brea (boundary marker 100.5) to reach a false 100 kilometer mark and, a few meters further on, true, crowned with stones and bathed in graffiti. It would be enough to start on foot at this point to get the Compostela … but the pilgrimage is much more than a signed certificate.
In slope, we reach Ferreiros. We descend by paved road to the immediate Mirallos (milestone 98). The Camino goes by asphalt to A Pena and later to Couto and Rozas (milestone 97). We passed Mercadoiro and the itinerary visits Moutrás. After a slope and asphalted tracks, we descend to Parrocha and Vilachá. A sudden descent brings us to the river Miño, dammed by Belesar (milestone 90). The bridge, more than 350 m long, brings us to Portomarín with white facades and gray roofs.
The old city of Portomarín is submerged in the Belesar reservoir. The village had to be rebuilt in 1960, on a safe hillside.
The milestone 89 guides us along a path that climbs peacefully on the slopes of Mount San Antonio. We ascend approximately 1 km and begin to level between pines and meadows.
From one walkway to another, we reached Toxibo (boundary marker 85.5), passed a picnic area and pulled to the nearby parish of Gonzar, where we took a track that climbs Castromaior. Up to the height of the Sierra de Ligonde, a height difference of 335 m is surpassed, but it is easily passed. Only a demanding slope of 700 m at the exit of Castromaior, after which we arrived at Hospital da Cruz, village of the parish of San Mamede de O Río (boundary marker 78.5). The next population we visit is Ventas de Narón.
Travel with bikes to Santiago. In gentle ascent, we reach the milestone 76.5, which announces the Sierra de Ligonde. We enjoy a good stretch in descent. Just before entering Ligonde you will find the famous Lameiros Cruise Ship (1670).
At the exit of Ligonde, we go up the slide to Airexe. Then we reach the village of Portos (milestone 71) and the parish of Santiago de Lestedo (milestone 70.5). Later comes A Brea, Avenostre and, later, O Rosario, a place where pilgrims prayed a rosary before the sight of Monte Sacro. A few meters more and we arrive at Palas de Rei.
The section of the stage between Palas de Rei and Arzúa has a «rompepiernas» profile, which makes it a real challenge. Endless slides and magical scenarios such as the Catasol river to Ribadixo da Baixo and Arzúa, where in turn connects the Camino del Norte.
Between Arzúa and the Cathedral of Santiago they measure almost 40 km. The Concello de Arzúa cedes the witness to O Pino in a comfortable way, with easier slopes and by tracks always close to the N-547. The eucalyptus populate, more and more, the Galician landscape. The particular meadows follow each other. We travel by tracks covered with litter and prone to get dirty soon after it rains.
In O Pedrouzo, pedaling becomes serene. End of stage and at the gates of Santiago.
Enjoy with us this stage Bicigrinos of Saint James.