A conversation with James

A conversation with James

Remember I was walking with strangers? Well,  James was one of them. We met for the first time in Ferrol, last April 28. And the following day we started walking together with 7 other people. So, of course, he’s not a stranger anymore, after a week sharing conversations, laughs and struggles on the Camino Inglés.

You can read about James’ motivations to walk with us, as well as his impressions of the whole experience, in our conversation.


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m James, from England. I grew up in Shropshire but now live in London. I enjoy travelling, learning languages, seeing new countries and meeting people. I work as a project manager in the rail industry.

When did you first hear about the Camino?

I first heard about the Camino from my Dad. He talked a bit about the route from Le Puy in France, but apart from that I knew very little.


Why did you decide to do it?

I was looking for an opportunity to learn Spanish that didn’t involve a classroom. One where I could meet people and experience Spain naturally. Walking the Camino seemed like the perfect opportunity and I’m very grateful for being able to share it with the group. To visit Galicia was also a big motivation for me.


Did you prepare somehow?

I didn’t do any preparation. I don’t recommend this approach.

Even though I try to stay physically fit, my legs and feet were not prepared for the amount of walking. By the third day, my left leg became quite swollen and it was a struggle to complete the long days, especially with a heavy weight on your back.

Thinking about what you will carry and doing some walking beforehand is a good idea.


Most people do the Camino on their own or with someone they know. You decided to do it differently, with a group of strangers. Why?

Without the organisation of the two Maria’s, I wouldn’t have done it.

I just didn’t know enough about the route, where to stay and eat, and how it works. All I had to do is turn up, walk, and enjoy Galicia. To do all of this independently would have been a lot of work. Also, walking it alone didn’t really appeal to me, I learned so much from talking to the other group members. You also have to try a bit harder, especially when it comes to speaking Spanish.


Conversation with James

 The group… or most of them, anyway

How was your experience on the Camino Inglés? Is there any particular anecdote you would like to share?

It was great to share the experience with such a friendly group of people. I really enjoyed it. Even after a hard day’s walking I was amazed by the amount of food we ate. In particular Matt’s demolition of 3 bowls of lentils for a starter. Gang and Ewa also had impressive appetites and Greg’s fondness for pulpo (Galician octopus) have all left a lasting impression on me.



You already knew Spanish before our walk. Would you recommend learning at least some Spanish before doing the Camino?

Knowing some Spanish beforehand is an advantage, but I wouldn’t let it stop you from doing the Camino. Regardless of your level, if your objective is to improve your Spanish, you will definitely do that on the Camino.


James’ Spanish words

As I usually do, I asked James to pick a few words that were important to him during the Camino. And this is his choice:

Whilst walking the Camino, the most important words and phrases for me were those of encouragement from a very kind Galician lady:

Ánimo y fuerza: courage and strength
Mente positiva: positive mind
Estás llegando a la meta: 
you are reaching the goal
Campeón: champion
Que descanses: 
you rest
Cuida tus pies: 
take care of your feet
conversation with James





…and we made it to Santiago!

Walking with strangers

Walking with strangers

I spent last week walking with strangers. As an introvert, this is something I wouldn’t have done of my own accord, as it is way out of my comfort zone. Meeting strangers along the way is one thing. But committing to spending 6 full days with a group of total strangers is a completely different story. However, when the opportunity arose, I said yes!


So, why did I walk with strangers?

A fellow teacher, María Ortega, organises Spanish retreats in Spain every year: a few days in a Spanish city, practicing your Spanish language and learning about the culture in a natural way. We met online, maybe just over a year ago, at an online event for language teachers and we started following each other.


One day, she asked me: “Why don’t we organise a retreat together, on the Camino?”. It was a scary idea (I’d never done such a thing), but at the same time I had the feeling it could be an interesting experience, so I said yes. We picked a route (Camino Inglés), set the dates and the rest is history, as they say.


As the starting day approached, fear kicked in and a voice in my head kept saying: “What were you thinking when you agreed to take part in this crazy idea?”


But it was too late to change my mind then. I was stuck walking with these strangers.


Who were these strangers?

The only person I knew (and that was only online), was the other María. We soon became “las Marías”.


And then we had 5 men and 2 women, from several places: four from Reino Unido (UK), Inglaterra to be precise; one from Canadá (Canada), one born in China (China) but living in Estados Unidos (USA) and another one born in Polonia (Poland) but living in Suecia (Sweden).


The age range went from the 30’s well into the 60’s. So, all in all, we had quite a diverse group. I didn’t know any of these people at all before and I was not just going to teach them a lesson or two. I was going to spend a week with them! All day. Walking together for hours every day, sharing conversations, meals and even rooms.

Walking with strangers

On the last day, somewhere between Sigüeiro and Santiago. I’m the shadow taking the picture.

As I said earlier, I’m an introvert, and I enjoy spending time in my own company. So, as the starting day approached, I was feeling a bit anxious.


I know people meet other peregrinos on the Camino and sometimes they remain friends for years or even get married (read Julia’s story). But you normally have the choice to walk with someone or not. I did not have that choice and that thought worried me a bit. But I applied the Galician philosophy of Maloserá* and hoped for the best.


The truth is that I soon found out I needn’t worry. Despite being a mixed group of different ages and backgrounds, these people were all lovely in their own different ways. By the end of the week this group of strangers had almost become family and it was hard to part.


I’ll detail our journey in future posts, as I’m still trying to process the experience and I’m not back to my normal self (maybe I’ll never be?). So, for today, I’ll leave you with some thoughts.


I was wrong

I’ll be honest: I didn’t anticipate the effect this Camino has had on me. I know most people talk about the life-changing nature of the Camino and the emotion they feel when they reach Santiago. But somehow I didn’t think I would be so touched, for several reasons:


  • First, I was on the Camino for una semana (a week) “only” and I didn’t think it would be long enough. I thought I would have to walk for weeks to experience all of that, but I was obviously wrong.


  • I’m from Galicia. So, even if I hadn’t been to all the places the Camino goes through, I’m home. I’m not walking on exotic lands. I’m familiar with el paisaje (landscape), la comida (food) and the languages (both Galician and Spanish). Well, it was still somehow different, maybe because I was showing it to others.


  • I’ve been to Santiago many times. In fact, I lived in Santiago for a couple of years when I was in college. I’ve been on Praza do Obradoiro countless times, I’ve crossed it in all possible directions, I’ve heard la gaita (bagpipe) millions of times too… Why would this time be different? Yes, your guess is right: I was wrong!


  • I was walking with a group of strangers and this was supposed to be more of a “work thing” than a spiritual pilgrimage. Of course, I was wrong again! There was no teacher and student division; we were all together in a journey full of lessons to be learned by all of us.






*Maloserá. This Galician word does not have a literal translation. Google Translate will tell you it means “it will be bad”, but in fact it means quite the opposite. It’s an expression of our optimism and you can use it in any potentially negative situation. It means that you shouldn’t worry, that things will be OK, that it’s probably not as bad as it looks, that you are going to be alright…




Today’s Spanish words


Would you like to know how the experience went for the others? You can read my conversations with James and Richard.

And… WE’RE DOING IT AGAIN in May 2024, on the Variante Espiritual of the Camino Portugués!! Full details here.


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¡Buen Camino!

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos |

Day 3 was the last day on our Camino Inglés… for now. When we decided to take our daughters along on this adventure, we thought that maybe walking 20km from Pontedeume to Betanzos would be too much for them. We still wanted to see Betanzos and so that’s where we booked our accommodation for Monday night. We thought we could walk around 10km up to Miño and then take an autobús (bus) to Betanzos (arriva.gal). But we didn’t make any definite decisions.

Day 2, we stayed at Pensión Luis, in Pontedeume. They open their café at 9.00, but we wanted to leave earlier. One of the guys there told us of a cafetería around the corner that apparently opens at 5.00am: a place called Martiño. We certainly didn’t go there at 5.00 to check if they were open. But they were open at 8.00am when we left the pensión to start our day. So we had breakfast, bought a couple of extra things to take with us and left.

Before I started walking this Camino, I had never paid much attention to stage profiles. Whenever I was hiking, maybe I would read a general description of the route and that was it. I just showed up and walked. Profiles were not usually present in what I read and, even if they were, they felt somehow abstract.

Walking from Neda to Pontedeume they suddenly started making sense. So I wasn’t looking forward to walking out of Pontedeume when I saw the profile. And the uphill didn’t disappoint!


Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos

The climb is over… for now

After we finished climbing, we walked through a lovely forest. The weather gave us a break. It was not as warm as Day 1, but the wind had died down and, again, rain was not expected until later in the day. El sol (sun) was shining and los pájaros (birds) were singing. Quite idyllic!


After this, we crossed a road and found ourselves going through a golf course. I wasn’t expecting that and it felt somehow weird and out-of-place. Or maybe it was just me. What I wasn’t expecting either was the hard climb we had to tackle next, through a forest on this occasion. There was a woman on a tractor waiting at the bottom of the hill… I was very tempted to ask her for a lift up to the top!

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos


We then continued on paved roads through rural areas for a while until we decided to had a short break at one of the many picnic areas we saw today, by the medieval puente (bridge) over the río (river) Baxoi. We refilled our bottles at the fuente here and ate the churros we had bought earlier in Pontedeume.

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos

After this bridge we walked for a few minutes through a forest area under the motorway bridges before we entered Miño, a lovely coastal town with plenty of tiendas (shops) and cafeterías.

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Graffiti under the motorway

We stopped for a toilet break and to drink something that was not water. After eating the churros, we were not hungry and so we didn’t order any food. But we got a pincho de callos with our drinks.

Callos is a typical Spanish stew. As is usually the case with all traditional recipes, there are almost as many versions of callos as cooks. But they all have the same 2 main ingredients in common: beef tripe and garbanzos (chickpeas), as well as a bunch of spices.

I must say the callos tasted heavenly, like pretty much everything else we ate during those 3 days. I guess that’s one of the side effects of walking for hours.


So, now we were in Miño and we had to decide whether to keep walking or skip the rest of the stage and take a bus. And we took a vote: it was still early, the weather was holding up and our energy levels were OK, which means we decided to continue walking up to Betanzos (guess who was the only one who voted against it? Hint: teenager).

The rest of the stage, from Miño to Betanzos, goes through tiny villages and it’s mostly (or all) on paved roads. Just like days 1 and 2, it was lonely out there, our company just the odd caballo (horse) or perro (dog).

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Ingles: de Pontedeume a Betanzos


When we finally made it to Betanzos, our first priority was to find a place to eat, because it was getting late. Restaurant kitchens usually close at around 3.30 or 4.00pm and we didn’t want to wait until la cena (dinner) for a proper meal. There are many places to eat on two narrow streets off Praza Irmáns García Naveira. We tried one of them (I think it was Mesón Sabín) and they agreed to serve us, although I’m sure they were getting ready to close. ¡Gracias!

Among other things, Betanzos is famous for its tortillas de patatas. We got to taste one of them and a few other things as well. Again, everything tasted delicious!  (http://www.expansion.com/fueradeserie/gastro/2018/08/06/5b617442ca4741f5728b45e0.html)

After food, we headed to our accommodation. Shortly after we had arrived, it started raining, although it was not as bad as the previous day in Pontedeume.

As I explained before, we had to go back home on Tuesday in order to allow the kids some time to do homework and study for exams they had right after this short break. So, we got up early and explored Betanzos a bit before taking a bus back to A Coruña. There is a lot to see in Betanzos! (click here for more info).

Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos
Camino Inglés: de Pontedeume a Betanzos

My plan is to go back at the end of this month to complete it. So you’ll have to wait a bit for the rest of the story…


Today’s words of Spanish for the Camino


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Camino Inglés: de Neda a Pontedeume

Camino Inglés: de Neda a Pontedeume

Welcome to Day 2 of my Camino Inglés: de Neda a Pontedeume. If you missed Day 1, you can catch up here.

On Day 2 of our Camino Inglés, we had planned to walk from Neda to Pontedeume, but the weather forecast was not good. In fact, we were on orange alert, with gales and heavy rain… or temporal, as we call it in Spanish.



We woke up to strong winds and grey skies. We checked our weather app again and the chances of lluvia (rain) during the morning seemed to be slim. The owner of our pensión looked quite sceptical when I commented that we might be lucky and make it to Pontedeume with no rain. But, in any case, we decided to leave and see how things went.

Neda was still asleep. We refilled our bottles at the fuente (fountain) outside the concello (town hall in Galician) and kept going.

Iglesia de Sta. María de Neda

We were in Paradise!

Refilling our bottles

The second day was the complete opposite of the first one. On the one hand, there was the issue of the weather. The rain held off until we make it to Pontedeume (phew!), but el viento (wind) was so strong that we could hardly walk at times. We would just hold on to each other so that no one fell, and we tried to keep moving.

This was not one of the windiest moments of the day


On the other hand, the terrain was quite different too. While Ferrol-Neda was mostly flat, Neda-Pontedeume was a bit of a rollercoaster, constantly going up and down. And I discovered that walking uphill is not one of my specialties!

My youngest daughter tends to be a fast walker. My husband is not, generally; but today he was in a hurry to make it to Pontedeume as soon as possible, before the rain started pouring. So the two of them walked in front.

Between the uphills and my tendency to stop and take pictures, I was constantly behind. My older daughter (the grumpy teenager), was kind enough to slow down and stay with her poor, slow mother. And that’s how we walked most of the time.

For me, the only good thing about the uphills is that, occasionally, you get rewarded with stunning views like these:

This stage was mostly through rural areas, either tiny aldeas (villages) or forests.


**Warning: rant ahead

A lot of the forest areas we crossed today were full of eucaliptos (eucalyptus). I often read other pilgrims’ posts in blogs or social media, about walking through an eucalyptus forest: it’s always about the wonderful smell, how nice it is and how much they love it.

Sorry, but I can’t agree on this one. I do like the smell of eucalyptus, but not in Galician montes (forests)! For me, eucalyptus equals economic interest, destruction of native vegetation and increased risk of fires, among other things. In short, a total disregard for the environment. So, walking through an eucalyptus forest (in Galicia) saddens me greatly **end of rant.


To stop or not to stop

Anyway, after going up and down a few times, we got to Fene, a larger town with cafeterías and other services. We took a vote and decided to continue.

More uphills, villages and eucalyptus. After one of these uphills through eucalyptus, we came to a couple of yellow arrows painted under a bridge, that seemed to indicate that we had to get off the path we were following. That didn’t seem right. So, after a couple of minutes’ deliberation and checking maps, we decided to stay on the path. Good decision: after a bend, we could see a stone marker a few metres ahead.

Shortly after, we came to an industrial state (Polígono Vilar do Colo) with a big Gadis supermarket and a bar-restaurante on the other side of the road. So we crossed and enjoyed a well-deserved break. Once inside we realised the place is linked to a petrol station (or gas station, depending where you are from) and small convenience store.

After the break, we went back out into the wind and continued our walk through some more villages until we came to this crossroads:


More decisions

Again, like in Day 1, we had to decide: continue on the “regular” Camino (right) or take the Camino complementario (left). The latter added almost 2 km to our day, the first one included a dangerous spot, according to the information panel.

Yesterday we were all in agreement: skip the Camino complementario.

Today, it was hard to decide. On the one hand, nobody wanted to add unnecessary kilometres to our day. But we didn’t want to take risks either. Or at least, the more responsible adults didn’t; teenagers didn’t really agree. So, we took the longer route, which includes plenty more uphills. Yay!

Eventually, we joined the “regular” Camino, walked through Cabanas and crossed the bridge that gives Pontedeume its name.

We had booked a couple of rooms at Pensión Luis, so that’s where we headed. All the rooms have private bathrooms and the price is €15.00 per person.

After dropping our mochilas in the rooms, we had lunch at the restaurant they have downstairs (menu for €9.00; tasty and abundant).

After lunch we went out with the intention of exploring Pontedeume, but it soon started raining and rain gear was back at the pensión, so we went to our rooms. Good excuse to go back to Pontedeume.

Anything is possible during the Carnival. While we were having lunch, a group of ancient Romans came into the restaurant. They parked their vehicles outside. Later, while the Romans were still eating, a gust of wind dragged chariots and horses all over the street.

For more info about Pontedeume, click here.

Theme of the day

On Day 1 we say at least 6 “tanque de tormentas”. I must admit I don’t remember ever seeing one of those and I had to check out what they were. Apparently, these structures generally hold water from storm water runoff and release it gradually, reducing damage from erosion and other physical changes.

On Day 2, we kept seeing a different type of construction: lavaderos. Women used to gather around them to do their laundry in the past. According to this article, Cabanas council has been repairing some of them, not just because of their historical value, but also to turn them into meeting points and rest areas for pilgrims.

Day 1: tanques de tormentas

Day 2: Lavaderos

It was again a lonely day. I think we encountered a couple of people only: a woman in Fene saw us while we were deciding whether to stop or to continue, she thought we were lost and showed us the way. And later, we saw a guy on a tractor. That was it! And we saw horses again.

Will the weather improve for Day 3? Will there be a new theme? All will be revealed in the next post.


Today’s words


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Camino Inglés: de Ferrol a Neda

Camino Inglés: de Ferrol a Neda

Before I start my account of day 1 on the Camino Inglés: from Ferrol to Neda, let’s get some practical info out of the way.




  • For a more “traditional” guide, with very detailed information on the route and background information, I bought The Confraternity of St. James‘ Guidebook, by Johnnie Walker.

I bought both of these books in the digital version. Then, at the last minute, for some reason, I decided to buy a paper one, in Spanish. Don’t ask me why… I’m not really sure. Of course, I am aware of the advantages of digital books in terms of space and weight, but I still prefer browsing through a paper one. I think that was why.


  • So I got “Guía del Camino de Santiago: Camino Inglés”, by Antón Pombo. It does include a whole chapter about Santiago (around 20 pages) and also the route from Santiago to Fisterra and Muxía (close to 40 more pages). So there was a lot of book we were not going to need on this occasion, but I still decided to take it along. Being a book lover, I struggled with the idea of tearing the book apart and taking only the pages we needed, as I’ve read that some people do.



  • Ferrol: we stayed at Hotel Real Ferrol (calle Dolores, 11). We chose it because it was one of the few places that offered a family room and the location was great too. We paid €45 for the four of us in a very spacious room with 2 double beds and a private cuarto de baño. All new and clean… the perfect choice for us!


  • Neda: Pensión Maragoto, not far from the albergue. As well as the rooms, they also have a cafetería-restaurante, where you can have a menú del día for €9.50. They open at 8.00am in the morning. We had our breakfast there before heading off to Pontedeume on Sunday.


Sábado, 2 de marzo. De Ferrol a Neda

After el desayuno (breakfast) and a bit of walking around Ferrol (check Empezando el Camino Inglés), we headed towards Muelle Curuxeiras, the starting point of the Camino. Despite reading about it before, my initial instinct was to look for the stone marker closer to the water. I had read on forums about previous pilgrims having trouble locating it and others explaining where it was exactly and I was still looking for it in the wrong place. Then I remember and so we crossed the road… and there it was!

But before we started walking towards Neda, there was one more thing to do: pick up our credenciales from the tourist office, which is conveniently located right next to the stone marker. There is also a farmacia there, in case you need to get any last minute tiritas (plasters) or paracetamol. And if you haven’t had your desayuno yet, there are also a couple of cafeterías here.

We went through the arch into Rúa Carmen Curuxeiras. I’ve been trying to find out who this woman, Carmen Curuxeiras, was; but apparently it is unknown. Also, in case you are wondering and getting confused, rúa is the Galician word for calle (street). You may see both used.

Anyway, this part of town is called Ferrol Vello (Old Ferrol in the Galician language) and it really lives up to its name! Almost the first thing you see after walking under the arch is a few collapsed buildings (or about to collapse).


Walking through Ferrol Vello

These are not too bad!

Out of Ferrol

So we walked through Ferrol, past the Parador and iglesia (church) de San Francisco, along the rúa Real and cantón de Molíns, and past iglesia de las Angustias. The last stretch out of Ferrol was not particularly appealing, with modern/boring buildings on our left and army property on the right, blocking the view of the sea. Eventually, you get to enjoy the view, walking by playa (beach) de Caranza.

Then, it’s a busy road for a while until you reach an industrial state, where you have to turn right. There is a Lidl supermarket here, in case you need to buy anything. We already had some fruta, galletas and frutos secos (fruit, biscuits and nuts), so we kept going, but not for long, because we got to a leisure area with benches and we decided to take a short break, have a snack and enjoy the view.

According to this, there’s a cafetería behind Lidl where you can get your credencial stamped. Well, the sign actually says you can get your Compostela stamped; I guess that’s a mistake. It also says it’s the cafetería of a tanatorio or funeral home. None of us needed a toilet break and we were not too keen on hanging out at a funeral home, so a bench outside was good for us. There’s another bar right on the Camino if you keep walking just a bit longer.

After the break, it was not so nice again, going through an industrial area with busy roads and roundabouts, before walking through villages. We passed the monasterio de San Martiño but it was closed, so we kept going.

Monasterio de San Martiño

We kept walking

Decisions, decisions…

After going through a forest area, we came to this:

Left or right?

Map detailing the 2 options

The Camino complementario on the right was longer (it adds close to 1km) and the main reason to take it was to see an old water mill. We’ve seen a few of those before, so we took the “regular” camino on the left and over the bridge. After the bridge, you have to go down some stairs and then you are in a nice promenade by the water. We had almost made it through our first day!



Now we only had to decide which bridge to cross

The old bridge?

…or the new bridge?

We went for the old one and so we got to see this 300 year old magnolia tree:

We quickly found our accommodation, left our mochilas in our rooms and went to have lunch.

A couple of games while waiting for the food

Calamares a la romana

After lunch, a rest and a ducha (shower), we went to have a look around. The park area across the bridges has one of these “playgrounds” for adults, with equipment to exercise instead of slides and swings. Well, the girls still had plenty of energy to play around and compete to see who could jump higher or do more pull-ups. I really envy them!

Up the road from our pensión, there is a Día supermarket. If you are not stopping for the day in Neda, you will pass it as you continue on your way. If you are spending the night in Neda and need to buy anything, don’t leave it till the next morning, as it will be closed.


 I didn’t know this, but apparently Neda’s bread is famous and they even have a monument to it!

On company and weather

I think we only encountered one person during our walk, an old man keeping an eye on his sheep. Our company during the day… horses, cows, sheep and goats!

Day 1 was a nice and easy start to our Camino Inglés. Despite the rain the previous night, the weather was bright and sunny, with very pleasant temperatures… not really what you would expect at the beginning of March. The forecast, however, was not good. There was an orange alert for the next couple of days, with gales and heavy rain. In fact, we could already see it changing in the evening: it was becoming increasingly windier and the sky was getting grey. According to our weather app, there would be no rain the next morning, at least not any significant amount. We were a bit concerned about walking through forests and branches falling… but that’s for Day 2.


Today’s words

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Empezando el Camino Inglés

Empezando el Camino Inglés

Empezando el Camino Inglés means “starting the English Way”. Why starting? you may ask. Well, because I didn’t get the chance to finish it… yet. And because I’m not telling you the whole story today. But let’s start from the beginning.

When I first decided I HAD to do the Camino, my first question was: which one?


Why the Camino Inglés?

Somehow, the Camino Francés didn’t sound so appealing. Maybe because it’s so popular… I don’t know. I’ve always had a tendency to go against the flow and NOT do stuff for the simple reason that everybody else was doing it. So maybe that was it.

Then, the obvious choice was the Camino Portugués, as it passes almost right in front of my doorstep. I’ve walked parts of it, although just as day trips or hikes, and not as a Camino experience. But I still was not convinced.

And then I started reading about the Camino Inglés and my decision was made! The English Way was the one followed by British, Irish and other northern pilgrims from the 12th century onwards. So, in a way, it made perfect sense for me to walk this route, since I lived in Ireland for 15 years.

Anyway, “where?” was clear. But “when?” was a bit more complicated. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I’ve had to cancel this Camino a couple of times. And now the Carnival gave us a few days off; the perfect opportunity to finally do it.

The plan was for my husband and myself to walk for cinco días (5 days) and leave our dos hijas (2 daughters) with their grandparents. But… all of a sudden, a week before our start date, plans changed and that was not an option anymore. So, we could either cancel (again!) or take the kids. And we went for the second option.


Change of plans

The decision to take the girls affected our initial plans in several ways:

  • First. We were not able to walk for 5 days, because they needed some time to do homework and study for exams before going back to school el jueves (Thursday). So we walked tres días (3 days) instead: sábado, domingo y lunes (Saturday, Sunday and Monday), starting in Ferrol and finishing in Betanzos. El martes (Tuesday) we did a bit of sightseeing around Betanzos before returning home.
  • Second. Our 2 mochilas were a bit heavier than planned, because we split the girls’ stuff between them. The girls only carried a small day-bag with some snacks.
  • Third. We pre-booked all our alojamientos (accommodations). There being four of us and two of them being girls close to adolescence, we thought that was the best choice for us (one of them turned trece (13) this week and the other one had turned once (11) a week before our Camino).


Getting to Ferrol

We made our way to Ferrol el viernes (Friday), March 1: train to A Coruña and then bus to Ferrol. The train and bus stations in A Coruña are very close to each other, so it’s an easy switch. There are trains going from A Coruña to Ferrol too. However, we found that they took longer than the bus and they were not so frequent.

Empezando Camino Inglés: waiting for train

For train routes, schedules and tickets, you can check RENFE‘s website. And you can find buses covering A Coruña-Ferrol (but also Miño, Betanzos and Pontedeume), on ARRIVA‘s website.

Anyway, el viernes was a school day. So, by the time we got to Ferrol it was dark already. It was also raining a bit. That means that, basically, all we did was find our hotel, do a bit of last minute planning for the next day and go to sleep early.

El sábado we got up early, got ready and went out looking for a place to have breakfast.

Breakfast in Ferrol

We had company while having breakfast in Ferrol.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this really was a sign of how our Camino was going to be: we encountered more animals than people…

After breakfast, we walked around Ferrol for a short while, before we headed to the starting point of the Camino. Some parts are a bit run down and in need of a lot of care, but there’s still some amazing and interesting architecture. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


This is the stone marker signalling the beginning of the Camino, quite close to the tourist office, in the port area. From there on, the route is very well signposted. You can’t get lost!

We bought our credenciales from the tourist office.

For more tourist information about Ferrol, you can check https://visitferrol.com

And that’s it for today! Don’t forget to come back for the rest of the story…

Read all about Day 1: Ferrol-Neda, Day 2: Neda-Pontedeume and Day 3: Pontedeume-Betanzos


Today’s Spanish words


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¡Buen Camino!