This walk is part of the trek El Camino Primitivo - from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela.
The route is a delight with a succession of descents and ascents surrounded by domesticated rural scenery. If the weather is kind, this stage is as enjoyable as any other and much easier on the feet that the previous stage. This is authentic Galician hinterland with a warm welcome from folk all the way along the trail.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) After a hearty breakfast, we leave Fonsagrada up the Rúa Maior and down the other side to join the main road (LU-530) leading south out of town, opposite a petrol station. Just past the petrol station, bear right along Rúa das Rodas that takes us back to the main road about 300m further on. Turn right along the LU-530 until you reach a turn-off to O Padrón on the right, just in front of some fir trees. Here you'll find the church of San Xoán but follow the country lane out of the hamlet, that runs parallel to the main road until you reach a crossroads and join the LU-530 again. Turn right along the road, past the cemetery and round the bend to the left to a junction on the right. Take the path that bears off right from the main road and make your way through the woods. This path joins the main road again, goes round a bend to the left and heads off from the road on a marked path on the right. This heads west to go through Vilardongo.
(1) The hamlet is over to the left as our route continues southwest on a footpath across open country. We get close to the main road again near the hamlet of Pedrafitelas. However, we continue on country lanes and paths that curve left and right to eventually go through Montouto and finally join the LU-530 again. Turn right and follow the main road for about 100m with wind turbines in front (wind farm de a Carba) until you come to a track heading up the hill to the right. This will lead to the Dolomite of Montouto and the remains of the hospital and chapel of Montouto.
(2) From the chapel, keep straight on at a junction, then follow the path as it bends left to head south, keeping to the left of the hill and the wind turbines. This path eventually comes out onto the main road about 4km after Montouto, where you'll find the Casa Mesón for food and drink. Follow the main road west and take the road into the hamlet of Paradavella and another church dedicated to San Xoán. The Casa Villar restaurant is located on the main road. Our route continues on the main road for about 50 meters then takes a footpath off to the right heading uphill. Very shortly, the path bends left to run parallel with the road and meets it again after half a kilometre from behind some farm buildings. Back on the LU-530, the route heads uphill for about a kilometre until it reaches a turn-off to the left indicated A Calzada. This local road goes down to a crossroads. Head straight across, bearing right to reach the hamlet of A Degolada. Here there is a church dedicated to Saint Mary and a cemetery. Head south past the cemetery to come shortly afterwards to a stream crossing. The path continues south, crossing a local road near O Couto, then there is a climb along the path )known as the Cuesta del Sapo) meeting the main road near a junction. Bear right along the LU-530 to enter A Lastra.
(3) In A Lastra there are a couple of bars and the church of San Xoán. Just past the church, bear left onto a local road, then left again in front of some farm buildings. Here we join a forest track that ascends to Alto de Fontaneira, ending once again on the man road. We follow it for half a kilometre to Fontaneira, where there is a nice bar and a church dedicated to Santiago. The route takes us out of the hamlet on the main road, heading southwest, going slightly uphill with open views to the left of the road until we reach Alto de Caballín. After this, we take a footpath leading off to the right, into a pine forest. Finally, in a forceful descent, we arrive at O Cádavo. Right at the entrance is the good pilgrim hostel of the Xunta. O Cádavo is the capital of the council of Baleira and has all the services. This runs southwest for a couple of kilometres into the village of O Cádavo.(A)
D : km 0 - alt. 954m - Fonsagrada
1 : km 4.54 - alt. 908m - Vilardongo
2 : km 8.51 - alt. 1025m - Chapel of Montouto
3 : km 17.03 - alt. 798m - A Lastra
A : km 24.02 - alt. 727m - O Cádavo
There are several small bars along the way, so plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and fill up your bottle. Most bars will also sell you food and drink to-go, but it's always good to share a table with other folk and have a chat. There is a mix of paths, tracks and roads so footwear might be an issue if you prefer to use trainers on the tarmac. Otherwise, the daily routine should be good enough to get you to your destination without too much difficulty. Take care on the roads and make sure you wear high-viz clothing if the mist is down.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
If the weather is kind, you'll have plenty to keep you occupied and there are some chapels and villages to visit. There might be some wild berries and mushrooms on the way but make sure you know what you are eating. Take time to enjoy the scenery and to chat to the people you pass, this is not a race and plans should be flexible. Don't leave any rubbish and don't damage the environment. Keep to the Country Code and respect the farmers, vegetation, animals and rivers. Don't take any plants or stones home; take photos (they last longer and you can share them). Say hello to fellow walkers and help anyone who needs it. Take care of yourself and make the most of the moment!
This stage starts gently but soon becomes tougher as it ascends to the border with Galicia. This is where we say goodbye to Asturias and begin our journey across Galicia towards Santiago de Compostela. This is a long day but full of interesting encounters with people and places along the way. The change of region is also noticeable in the markings and villages the route goes through.
This stage runs through rural Galicia, with at least seven villages en route and plenty of places to stop for a rest (or even to stay the night if you want to split this stage into two or three mini-stages). Likewise, there are plenty of chapels, churches and fountains to visit. Our route follows the original way to Vilabade, which includes a visit to the church of Santa María, known as the "catedral de Castroverde".
This stage has highs and lows, reaching 1,041 m above sea level (3,415 ft) and droping to 209 m (686 ft). The route goes past a wind farm on the tops and crosses over the dam that holds the water of the Salime Reservoir. Some spectacular views and changing countryside make this stage one to remember.
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