Betanzos-Bruma

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Caminos solitarios conducen al peregrino hasta Bruma

Caminos solitarios conducen al peregrino hasta Bruma

The Ecuador of the English Way. The third stage of the route passes through the towns of Betanzos, Mesía and Abegondo. A day as hard, or harder than yesterday. Especially given its length and the steep slopes of its last third of this step. The pilgrim is facing more than 30 kilometers away from urban town centres and with few services on route.

Caressing the terrain of As Mariñas, through areas of chestnut trees, along forest trails and fresh avenues shaded by pine, oak and the non-native eucalyptus trees. Each step moves inland, away from the coast of Coruña, to reach Bruma, the highest altitude point of the Camino at almost 500 meters above sea level.

It is highly recommendable to leave Betanzos well supplied with food and drink, as you hardly pass a single bar in the whole stretch. If the sun is beating down, skin protection will be essential in hikers backpack because there are areas of the route and clearings in which they will be very exposed to the sun. The day already started with a steep climb to leave behind the capital of Betanzos, a prediction of  what the final kilometers of the stage will entail.

The Step (30 km)

Surrounded by the rivers Mendo and Mandeo, the pilgrim resumes the Camino in the capital of the region of As Mariñas. Betanzos, the old province of Galicia, is heritage, tradition and culture, makes the city a must-see. The centre is seeing as the starting point, more precisely at the foot of the statue of the brothers García Naveira, in the square of the same name, although popularly known as O Campo where they celebrate a traditional fair.

The walker is surrounded by porched properties, the Convent of Santo Domingo (XVI century), the neoclassical building of the Arquivo do Reino de Galicia (houses the Tourist Office) and the Public Library, formerly an Orphan School. The fountain of Diana de Versalles, cast in Paris, and the only legacy of modernism, the town’s music stage. Now on the move, thru Rúa do Rollo street, signed with scallops shells on the pavement until you reach a hump that initiates a descent to the old bridge of As Cascas, first mentioned in documents dating back to 1200s. Bombed by the English in 1809 in their advance towards A Coruña, the bridge had to be rebuilt.

You cross the road and continue with a left turn, when you will begin a tough ascent that moves away from the town of Betanzos, a short distance from here, there is a bike shop Ciqlo, 0034881986176. In this stretch, the best guide is to follow the yellow arrows painted on the road. In the middle of the slope there is a huge concrete wall, where you turn right to continue the climb. Near the end of the climb, the silhouette of a metallic pilgrim points its arm to the pilgrimage route, towards Couto. Now on the purely rural path you go over the railway line Betanzos-Infesta via the bridge Campoeiro. You deviate to a new overpass this time over the A-6 which, once crossed, you begin with a right turn down a slope until you reach a group of houses in Xanrozo. The whole route described until here is generally well signposted and runs through asphalt roads. On the contrary the entrance to Abegondo (23 kilometres to Bruma / 64 to Santiago) via Limiñón is not well signposted.

If you need supplies at this point, when you reach a crossroads in front of a football field is a bar about 200 metres on the left. Following the route at the point of the mentioned football pitch (on the left of the road) the ground then turns to an earthy track that leads down to Limiñón bridge. Above the river that flows to the reservoir Abegondo-Cecebre. The CP-105 road, again on asphalt, leads to Cos.

Just at the point of the sign indicating this town, you turn left for a road between meadows, parallel to the river, and that leads to the church and cemetery of San Esteban de Cos. Leaving behind the sanctuary and a small group of houses, the route goes into a wooded area that evokes the “Bosque Animado” (“The living forest” famous book by Wenceslao Fernández Flórez), set in neighbouring Fraga de Cecebre.

There are just a few hundred meters to pass over a small stream-to reach the place of Meangos, curiously curiosly signposted on a car license plate at the foot of a milestone indicative of Compostela. From there, in the old village of Cima de Vila, the route begins to get complicated for the pilgrim. At this point they have covered a third of the stage. Taking a path to the left, on the route of the old Camino. Beginning on grass, but a few meters ahead becomes a muddy, narrow passage that connects with a forest track about one kilometer long. After a variable stretch on the road you reach Presedo. With the next change that alternates between stretches of good ground and earthy paths. Along this path you reach the church and parish of Leiro (14 kilometres to Bruma / 55 to Santiago). On the right side of the temple there is a covered area with benches, barbecues and taps (working).

Albergue de Bruma

Albergue de Bruma

The church in honor of Santa Eulalia XVIII century is surrounded by the cemetery. It is a good area to stop and regain strength. With revitalized legs and determined to complete the second half of the stage, you return to the path towards Francos along a small group of houses of Matiño. Then a stretch between mountains, very muddy and without steep slopes, it leads back to the county road, which is abandoned a little further along to join a path that runs parallel to the river. Much attention should be paid on this narrow passage that follows the river, because there comes a point at which the yellow arrows disappear from the path.

The pilgrim will be presented with a fork in the path, here you should turn right moving away from the river course via a small slope following the blue markings painted on the trees to reach the road, in Vilacoba (11 kilometres to Bruma). Here you will find just one bar without deviating from the itinerary: Casa Julia (meals on request, 0034981 630 242), also known as Pequeñita, a gastronomic reference on the English Way. It is the last haven before the grueling climb to Vizoño.

The climb begins at the foot of an old and abandoned chapel of San Paio and the nearby Church of Santo Tomé. After the first slope you pass in front of a small recreational area of Vizoño (7 kilometres to Bruma) is a good place to rest as it is equipped with tables and benches under beautiful oak trees. It also has a fountain, although the water is not recommended for consumption. Still climbing, you pass nexto to an isolated stone cross belonging to the church of Vizoño .

The journey continues combining paved roads with dirt roads until you cross the bridge over the motorway AP-9, towards Malata, an agricultural area where you will find numerous farms dedicated to raising pigs and minks. Finally on flat ground, although without trees or cover to provide shelter from the rain or sun you will see the TV antennas in Meson do Vento, a town near the hostel Bruma where you have access to services such as taxis, restaurants, taverns, acommodation, banks, pharmacies, grocery stores or clothing and shoe shops.

Continuing on wide roads, and farms tracks you finally reach the hostel Bruma (26 kilometres to Sigüeiro / 42 to Santiago), the council of Mesía, and where the English Way from the port of Ferrol and La Coruña join. There are still remains of the old medieval pilgrims hospital, adjoining the old chapel of San Lorenzo, still standing. According to studies on the origin of the old building, “there is no doubt” about its age because it was donated by Pedro Martínez and his wife Urraca Rodríguez to the hospital of Santiago "de omni portione nostra ipsius hospitales de Gruma " , in 1175. Also known as "Gruma Hospital" by Father Sarmiento six centuries later.

The centre has no services except for the hostel, however, in establishments in Mesón do Vento will deliver lunches and dinners to pilgrims as is also the case of Mesón La Ruta, also with taxis services (0034981 692 754).

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xacobito 31/01/17 23:02:09
33
Tengo una devoción especial por esta etapa. Lluvia, saliendo de Betanzos ¡¡¡ muuucha lluvia durante casi toda la etapa,... !!!, comida improvisada y compartida bajo un cobertizo entre quienes nos cobijamos allí,... Y los lugareños, aunque pocos.

Recuerdo quedarme bajo un porche de una casita de aldea, a resguardo de la lluvia. Llegan algunos peregrinos más de la etapa anterior que se resguardan también bajo el pequeño porche. Una pequeña mujer, muy ancianita, encantadora, abre la puerta y sale. Nos pregunta en gallego de donde venimos, sobre el día y si vamos a Santiago. Nos invita a pasar adentro y nos ofrece café caliente. Su mirada es triste pero se ilumina cuando ve tanta gente (estamos 3 ó 4). Creo que es la mayor cantidad de gente ha visto pasar por allí en bastante tiempo. Sus pequeños ojitos azules se tornan llorosos cuando nos despedimos de ella. La despedida, tras unos minutos en muy agradable compañia, nos deja algo tocados.

Recuerdo la casi doskilométrica cuesta de Bruma, entre bosque de laurel y como no, ¡ con más lluvia !, aunque calado casi más por la nula transpiración de la capa que por el diluvio que cae fuera, con humor. En plena cuesta aparecen caminantes extranjeros salidos de no se donde, como una sopa, calados, en camiseta, pantalón corto y una botellita de agua. Una de las peregrinas tiene la suerte de que alguno de nosotros lleve un poco de ropa, que nada le protegerá de la lluvia y menos del frio.

Al salir de la cuesta y cruzar el puente de la autopista, la cuesta por la que el camino discurre ya en pista, se suaviza. En un bosque cercano se oyen motosierras y crujidos de árboles. Pronto los dejamos atrás y el ruido cesa. Las nubes se deshacen por encima y deja de llover. Solo unos instantes se deja ver el cielo azul. Pero rápidamente y por momentos todo queda envuelto en una espesa bruma. Casi no hay visibilidad. Caminamos dos juntos. Son casi las 8 de la tarde a la altura del desvío a Castro Maior (otro lugar que visitar), donde nos detenemos a esperar a dos peregrinos "compañeros de cobertizo y almuerzo" que hace tiempo hemos perdido de vista. Recuerdo ese aislamiento, en medio de la nada, el silencio y esa paz, y el frescor de la bruma.

El Hospital de Bruma está casi completo y vuelve a llover. Benigno se afana por ir colocando a la gente. La peregrina de la cuesta ha logrado encontrar refugio allí y busca, tiritando, a quien le ha prestado la ropa, con una sonrisa helada aunque va entrando en calor junto a la chimenea,.... y junto a otros muchos. Para nosotros es todo un misterio como había llegado tan rápido pues se quedó atrás. Lo importante es que llegó. Allí la esperaba su hija. La etapa ha finalizado. Estamos a cobijo, en un albergue acogedor, recordando ya con nostalgia, las incidencias de la jornada, tras poner todo a secar con papeles de periódico.

Allí, en el Albergue de Bruma, una de las Peregrinas que iniciaron en Ferrol desiste de seguir caminando. Sus pies no le dejan. Pero su fuerza de voluntad no se disipa ni por un momento. Su Camino continúa, aunque de otro modo. Se las arregla para llegar a Sigüeiro y organizar una quedada con algún peregrino cómplice que no supimos quien es aunque todos intuimos quien pudo haber sido el compinche de tal confabulación. Allí espera y prepara una cena en lo que ahora es un albergue privado. Coincidimos, "misteriosamente", los 8 peregrinos de Pontedeume allí. Y... de nuevo en Santiago, llegando todos juntos. Entra a duras penas en Santiago por su propio pie desde Sigüeiro. En la Oficina del Peregrino, ella solo pidió que le sellaran la Credencial, no recogió la Compostela y no precisamente porque no se la hubiera ganado sino porque para ella el verdadero valor estaba en su Credencial y en sus sellos, como recuerdos de su experiencia: Fue su primer Camino.

Llegamos a la Catedral poco antes de la Misa del Peregrino. Alguien de la Oficina del Peregrino comenzaba a mencionar el número y la procedencia de los peregrinos que, como individuales, ese día llegaron a la tumba del Apóstol (y pasaron por la Oficina). Entre ellos, estaban los 8 peregrinos que desde El Ferrol entraron en Santiago por el Camino Inglés.

Era la primera mitad de Mayo del año 2013.

Buen Camino, Peregrinos !
5/5 estrellas
3 3
Rita
Rita 07/02/2017 17:13:55
0
Que hermosa narración. Me abruma lo intenso que suena todo ,ya incluso en el papel. Yo haré el camino Ingles en abril, junto a mi hermana, leer esta historia me llena de emoción y expectación ante lo que viviremos nosotras. Gracias por contarlo.
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Sin avatar
xacobito 01/02/2017 17:03:24
0
Aaah si!! La dureza de la etapa ! Pues eso, que depende del estado fisico de cada cual y de las circunstancias... yo estuve muy ocupado disfrutándola con la lluvia, con niebla,... barro,... parando cada 7 km prácticamente. No tuve problemas con los piés. Con las botas si pues ellas llevaban un Camino muy largo y este más corto y el desgaste hizo que los contrafuertes me empezaran a hacer bastante daño en los tobillos. Cambiadas y asunto resuelto.

Realmente es una la dos etapas más exigentes pero creo que disfrutándola, y se disfruta de verdad, la dificultad queda en segundo plano. Era la primera mitad de Mayo. Con calor es peor.

Gracias a vosotros por tan cuidada web.

Buen Camino !
0
correjaco
correjaco 10/07/16 11:57:19
10
una de las etapas más completas por ser camino auténtico, para mi, después del Salvador y Primitivo por supuesto.
5/5 estrellas
1 0
Marisol Sabroso Remacha
Marisol Sabroso Remacha 04/07/16 14:33:15
00
es una etapa preciosa, pero os avisso rompepiernas¡¡¡¡¡
0 0
Marisol Sabroso Remacha
Marisol Sabroso Remacha 29/06/16 16:47:21
10
ahora al lado del albergue de Bruma ya hay un restaurante genial
1 0
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