The flight wasn’t as early as last year’s one. I could take a sleep in, as long as we were both in Dublin Airport before 12.30. I was back on the Camino with my brother again, mi hermano! And this time we would tackle part of the Ferrol leg of the Camino Ingles before travelling back to A Coruña. From there, we would walk to Santiago and then on to Finisterre. It feels strange writing about it now as I am removed from it. But I will try to give my best account of the few days away.
We were both excited. In fact, that is an understatement. We had received our Celtic Camino certificates the previous year and walking from A Coruña would provide us with a Compostela…my 3rd, and Ray’s 2nd. I hoped for some good weather but the forecast was looking grim. We had come prepared, however, and no amount of rain was going to stop us from this walk.
Dublin Airport was bustling. It always is. Terminal 2 is like a microcosm of Dublin, people always on the go. We head straight for security and look for our gate. Our flight was to Santiago de Compostela, I should have said. I had hoped to fly to Vigo but there was no flight available on this particular date. Not that I’m complaining. The flight was full of pilgrims, groups, and businessmen. You could tell the pilgrims by their zip off trousers and rain jackets. I seem to have gained an ability to spot a pilgrim from a mile off, even in an airport.
The flight was perfect and having a window seat made it all worthwhile. Looking down over Howth as we take off, I wonder when I will walk that great looped walk next. There is talk of a 30km Fingal Coastal Way but it is at the planning stage at the moment. However, the future is bright.
We arrive in Santiago at 4.30pm Spanish time and after the usual confusion switching from Irish to local time. we grabbed our backpacks and headed to the doors. The very handy Empresa Freire leaves outside the Airport every 30 minutes for the Bus Station. We took one and naturally enough we met folks from Ireland bound for Ferrol. At the bus station, Monbus travels to Ferrol quite regularly and I had a good chat with Lar from Co. Meath. He had walked the Camino Frances from Burgos last year and wanted to walk something different while earning a Compostela. A good choice.
After 90 minutes, we arrived at the Estacion de Autobuses in Ferrol. We said our goodbyes to those who we met on the bus, hoping that we would see them the following day. We had booked a hostel not far from the bus station, Hostel La Frontera and here we watched the first half of the Liverpool v Barcelona semi-final.
But before that, we took a walk to the start of the Camino Ingles. The Way is very well waymarked from the off with arrows and stones markers. It starts on the Paseo Mariña where there is a large stone marker. From there, I and Ray took a few photos before following the arrows back to the hostel.
I was eager to start the first day but I had the rain gear close to hand ready before we started out. Most of the folks we had met were stopping short of Pontedueme, preferring Narón, Fene or Neda. I hadn’t thought of stopping short which I suppose was a little bit selfish on my part. Nevertheless, we had a hostel booked in Pontedueme and we would take it easy.