This walk is part of the trek El Camino Primitivo - from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela.
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".
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) From the main square in O Cádavo, drop down the northern side using some steps to reach Rúa Rosalía de Castro heading out to the countryside. Follow this street southwest to a sign "Perrelos, Touzon" but turn left along a tarmacked road, Travesía de Meira. This continues southwest into Pradeda and begins the gentle climb up the dirt track to Alto da Vacariza, where we make contact again with the busy LU-530. Don't go onto the road but stay on the right and take the track that bears off along the line of trees. There is an information board at the beginning of the track. This climbs gently through the countryside, with another information board further along. Bear left at a fork, then turn left at a junction where a clear field opens up ahead and near the chapel dedicated to Carme on the left. This local road goes past some tables and benches before dropping down, through pastoral fields to cross a stream and then reach Vilabade. Visit the church of Saint Mary known as the "Cathedral de Castroverde" and the Pazo in the same square. Head out of Vilabade, southwest along the LU-P-1206 until it reaches the LU-530. Turn right and enter Castroverde
(1) Take a path off to the left just before a pedestrian crossing. This heads west through the town coming out onto the LU-P-1207 road near the Town Hall in the Praza do Concello where you will find the fountain A Fonte dos Nenos in front of the church dedicated to Santiago. From the main square head west along Praza do Concello street, past a green coloured building and under a big chestnut tree to reach the local CP 16-11 road. Turn right to go over the LU-530 and take a road down to the left. This meets a local road, surrounded by bushes and trees. Turn right and head southwest into the shade of the trees. Go through the hamlet of San Miguel and continue straight on, past A Penalonga. Here the track comes out onto the LU-P-1209 road. Turn right up the hill for about 100 meters to take another track off to the left. Follow this all the way to a junction, where there is a church on the left but you should turn right to go into Souto de Torres.
(2) Before you turn right to go into Souto de Torres, visit the church dedicated to San Tomé (Souto de Torres in Galician). There is also a pilgrim's cross opposite the junction. Bear left through the hamlet (no shops or bars) and turn right at a junction. The route now heads out into the countryside, over a stream and past Mesón de Fraias. Bear right here along a half-walled road to A Agriña and close to Moreira. At the next junction turn right but then bear left to go down another half-walled road that leads into the hamlet of Nadela (half a dozen farm buildings but no shops or bar). Keep heading west to go through Vilar de Cas. Keep on the 16 LU-P-1203 directly west but bear right at a fork, over a stream to eventually come out onto the CP-LU-2917. Bear left down the road to go through Gondar.
(3) Here, a mobile food and drink trailer is installed in the mornings and until noon, in high season, with tables and chairs. Saint Mary's church is off to the right, as you go along the main road. Follow this road for about 2 km until you reach an open quarry (left and right) and take the track leading off to the right, just after the quarry. This takes us to A Brea but turn left at a sharp junction just before you reach the hamlet and go past Saint Mary's church. Bear left then take a footpath off to the right to reach A Estrada. Keep on this local road with the main road easily visible to the left. At a junction turn left to reach the main road. Follow the main road for about 2 km - signs say "Desvio provisional" - until you reach a crossroads (past the 7 km signs and the crossed-out Carballido sign - indicating Manzoi and O Pondelo). Turn right and then pick up a footpath to the left that goes across country as far as As Casas da Viña.
(4) Head north out of the hamlet then bear left, leaving the houses behind. This track bends left to take a more southwesterly direction and comes out at the LU-530 once again. However, turn right and stay on the right, past a big sign "Por San Eufrasio" bordering a big parking space to turn right again to go between this and a cream coloured building heading north into the trees. This track loops round to the left and crosses a bridge over the noisy A-6 motorway. Keep straight on and turn left at a junction then right at a crossroads of paths onto a footpath near O Carqueixo. This path crosses the busy LU-021 by a bridge and stays heading west to reach the local LU-P-2921 road. Turn left then right onto another broad path that meets another local road. Here, turn right and follow the road Rúa Carril das Flores past the cemetery. Bear right at the junction along Rua da Chanca until you reach another junction. Bear left until you reach another junction and turn right to cross a bridge over a stream with willow trees left and right. The road continues straight on uphill and bends to the left to eventually go under the railway and cross the LU-530. Go straight across and up some steps to reach a major avenue, Ronda das Fontiñas. Again, head straight across and along Rúa Carril das Flores, past a bar called A Seimeira, up some steps on the left before a tunnel, to come out in front of the medieval walls. Bear left and through the archway (the door of San Pedro) to enter the city of Lugo.(A)
D : km 0 - alt. 727m - O Cádavo
1 : km 8.47 - alt. 591m - Castroverde
2 : km 12.37 - alt. 513m - Souto de Torres
3 : km 17.51 - alt. 483m - Gondar
4 : km 24.88 - alt. 502m - As Casas da Viña
A : km 31.13 - alt. 466m - Lugo
The route goes through a lot of hamlets and past farm buildings, so water-filling shouldn't be a problem. The food truck in Gondar will be a break and Castroverde might be a good place for a second breakfast (mid-morning break). Otherwise, this is a pleasant stroll (apart from the stretches on the main roads) and can be taken at a steady pace. There is a good hostel option about halfway along this stage in Vilar de Cas if you want to split the stage (www.apocinademuniz.es). Hopefully, it won't be raining and you won't need your wet-weather gear. If it is sunny, there are plenty of sections in the shade of the trees.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The villages and hamlets all have their churches, chapels and some have fountains. There is plenty to see along the way but this is farming country, so it tends to be somewhat domesticated. Our route takes in the village of Vilabade, primarily to visit to the church of Santa María (the "catedral de Castroverde") but also check out the Pazo (something like an inn). 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!
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.
This stage is the official route and avoids the detour to Friol and Sobrado dos Monxes. There is a fair amount of road walking but if the weather is unkind (i.e. wet and cold) that is probably a blessing. There are a number of villages to go through so plenty of opportunities to chat with local folk along the way. Santiago is getting closer and that will also probably mean more people on the trail but that can also be pleasant and conversation on the road will make the journey more entertaining.
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