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Return to Camino de Santiago / Camino Frances Photo and History Galleries



Map of the Camino de Compostela / Camino Frances in Gallicia, from the Ediciones Edilesa guide to Santiago de Compostela


It's quite a long haul from Santiago de Compostela to Leon and one really needs more than one car day to allow for exploration and appreciation of the beautiful mountain scenery in the central section of the route.  One possible stopping point is Samos, where the village beside the fast flowing river and  the huge monastery of Santo Domingo de Samos has a pleasant ski village feeling, and a couple of hotels ( one is the Hotel a Veiga - tel 982 54 60 52, fax 982 54 61 13 )



Melide - the compact church, and the cruceiro (right) which is claimed to date from the 1000s and to be the oldest in the NW.  As the road climbs into the mountains the churches get tinier - one almost senses the hand of San Francesco, who indeed did once pass this way (1213 - 1214) on a pilgrimage to Santiago.  Also the building materials change to slate and cementless uncut flint stone walls.



Portomarín - the main door (with musicians as in Compostela Cathedral) of the fortress like Templar Church of Saint Nicholas, which was moved stone by stone up the hill in the late 1950s when it's valley was dammed and later flooded.  There is a tympanum annunciation over the north door - missed by Team Paradox - anyone out there got a pic?

Two pilgrims arrive at the huge monastery of Santo Domingo de Samos.


Up and through the "altos" of Poio (1335M) and San Roque (1270M) - cold and windy, beautiful mountain shrubbery and a strong smell of shit everywhere (seriously).  Then it's Cebreiro (1300M), the last pass before the descent past the Cistercian Abbey of Carracedo (closed) and the Templar Castle at Ponferrada .


Cebreiro is a real "mountain pass village", and it's got a good feel - even though it's of necessity a nic-nac place!  Unusually the Dom bought a (neck hanging) nic nac - shown on the right (it's about 7cm across) - to give the real scallop shell he had been given at la Casa del Buen Pulpo in Compostela some company.


Amazingly, the large group in the church of O Cebreiro (below) were lustily singing a hymn in English (choir outing? they weren't walkers - their bus was round the corner as was team Paradox's Peugeot).  The church has its own Miracle of the Eucharist legend.








With many settings like this, it's easy to see why this is a very popular section of the walk to Compostela (especially if you get bussed up from León to the top of the "hills" at the start ! ).


This link will take you to an 8 day walk through the beautiful "final 110kms" of the Camino - roughly the part covered on this page - with maps, hotels and luggage transfers all taken care of



Map of the Camino de Compostela / Camino Frances - from the excellent MSM book "The Roads to Santiago de Compostella"



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