Stage 11, S Memede del Camino – Melide
Soon we reach the very close town of Sarria, where we have all the services we need. We cross the bridge and access among its streets to the uptown where the shelter and the church of the convent of Santa Maria Magdalena are located.
Upon leaving we gently descend the streets until crossing the railroad tracks and then the route takes us into a forest of beeches, oaks, pines and shrubs. The corredoiras follow one after another and a beautiful landscape surprises us again and again at every turn in the Camino. We reach a road area a bit before arriving at Barbadelo, through which we continue to the next town, Rente.
We pass through many small villages, and corredoiras succeed one after another. In some sections we have to cross water streams jumping over improvised bridges made with loose stones. The route in this section intersects continuously and we travel sometimes through stretches of land and sometimes through stretches of asphalt.
After crossing the village of Brea we find the indicator of the kilometer 100, minimum point from which the pilgrims on foot can get the prized Compostela (vandals have taken care to leave their mark and spoil it unfortunately).
The exit of Ferreiros is an asphalt descent, in whose end one can find its modest church and cemetery.
We alternate road sections and corredoiras, passing through cattle farms and small villages. The cow dung and its characteristic odor will accompany us in our transit through this area. We can see many of the typical wooden granaries used to protect the grain from moisture and rodents.
After Vilachá, we begin a sharp decline of about 2 km that effortlessly presents us in front of Belesar reservoir, and from its shore we can have a nice view of Portomarín.
Crossing the bridge of the reservoir we get near a large and photogenic stairway that provides access to the village for walkers, we will have to make a detour down the road. Former Portomarín was buried under the waters of the dam, and a new village was built on top of a hill. The awesomeness is that they had the holy patience to disassemble the church stone by stone and then assemble it in the new town, if you look carefully you can still see the numbers with which the stones were marked to follow the same order in the assembly process.
At the exit of Portomarín and after crossing the road, going through a branch of the reservoir and after 2 km, we pass through Gonzar. After that, there is a small rise, and we head to the next village, called Castromayor, in whose entrance and to the right you can see a hundred-year-old eucalyptus. After crossing Castromayor begins a steep climb that leaves us in the road leading to the village of Hospital de la Cruz.
The route runs close to the road. To reach Ventas de Narón it is necessary to cross a complex road junction. Until Palas de Rey we will pass through many villages, such as Ligonde Airexe, Portos, Lestedo, Os Valos and O Rosario.
Discoursing on a continuous up and down, we reach Abenostre, and from there we rush to the final stretch through paths and corredoiras, overcoming the small mountain pass of Rosario, and then descending to Palas de Rei.
Through asphalt we descend into the valley of Pambre river and after traveling two long kilometers, we take a detour to the left, which makes us pass through the villages of San Xulian, Pontecampañas and finally Casanova. The boundary of the provinces of Lugo and A Coruña is located near from there.
A piece of road, with remains of ancient Rome, leads us to Leboreiro, and after 6 kilometers of pleasant stroll through paths and corredoiras, after going through the old town Furelos we finally find Melide, famous town where you must stop at pulpería Ezequiel (restaurant specialized in octopus). There we can taste an exquisite galician-style octopus.
In the highest part of the city we find the hostel (free, you pay as you will), where to store our bikes we have to use the stables that are in the back of the hostel.