El Camino Fonseca

Northwest via Ourense

Rio Tera, Up the River Valley

Previous Page | Route Index | Next Page

Tábara to Puebla de Sanabria

Palacios to Puebla de Sanabria then on to Requejo at the foot of the pass: 13June 2006

I left Palacios at 7am, just as it began to rain heavily. The path was through woodland with knee high grass in places so the half hour walk to Remesal was not very pleasant.

remesal

This very small village has a place in history because of the meeting here in 1506 between Ferdinand of Aragon and his son-in-law Philip the Fair. Ferdinand's wife, Isabella of Castile, had recently died and there was a struggle for the succession to the crown of Castile. Ferdinand and Isabella's daughter, Juana, was the heiress but, because of her mental illness, control of Castile was likely to pass into the hands of Philip and his Burgundian court. The meeting was inconclusive and Philip died suddenly in Burgos a few months later. Philip and Juana's eldest son later became Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Charles I of a united Spain.

Otero

The Camino leaves Remesal and takes a grassy track alongside dry stone walls. This path was still very wet from the rain and my legs remained soaked.

The newly constructed motorway then forces the Camino to divert to the right until a bridge allows it to be crossed into more woods. The Camino then goes down to Otero de Sanabria where there is a church with a large covered area by the door which will give some shelter. The rain had stopped by now and the Camino follows a road under the motorway to the mainly ruined village of Triufé.

Triufé Triufé

There was quite a lot of restoration work going on in the village but as yet not many inhabitants. The church here has a large porch and I used this to have a mid morning rest and to replace my wet footware.

view of Puebla

The Camino passes through the village and then takes a road to the left towards Puebla. From this road there are good views of the fortified hill town which is the administrative centre for the region. Unfortunately you can also see the major roads which will lead you into the town.

Our road crosses the motorway, yet again, and leads down to the N525. The only way now is along the hard shoulder of this busy road to a roundabout and the road leading into the town. There is about 2km of this unpleasant walking until you reach the bridge over the Rio Tera and enter the old town. In the suburbs I was able to replenish my supplies of Compeed and bandages at a farmacia.

From the bridge there are two ways up to the town centre. The direct way is by a series of steep steps but I chose a gentler, but still steep, way through the streets where I could do some shopping for food.

Puebla Church

My reward for all this effort was to find that the whole town centre was a building site. Several roads were blocked off and the plaza was being relaid. I went to the Town Hall to obtain a stamp for my credencial and, after knocking on several doors, managed to find someone to do this. The office I found by chance was to do with the upkeep of the countryside of this region and the young official here was interested in my journey.

I noticed that he used a digital camera for his work and he kindly let me borrow his laptop to transfer the photos from my camera onto a USB memory stick to free up the camera's memory. He also explained that, because of the major renovations being carried out in the town centre, administrative departments were in temporary offices and the pilgrims' albergue in the basement was no longer in use. There was some basic accommodation in a nearby convent but I had already decided to move closer to the foot of the pass to give me an easier time next day.

Puebla church

A picnic lunch was taken in the shade of the castle then there was a steep descent to cross the river and head towards Requejo. At first I took the signed route along the river bank but the overnight rain had made this difficult. More heavy rain started and a farm worker advised me that the path ahead along the river was flooded. I therefore took to the road for two hours of walking in the rain. Near Terroso I was able to shelter for a while in an abandoned building site then continued on to Requejo to look for accommodation.

Requejo

The Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) stamped my credencial and I was directed farther up the hill to the albergue which was left unlocked. The albergue was in an untidy state and had not been cleaned after a previous party. I would have to leave it to find a meal so I walked out into the rain and booked into a hotel just across the road.

After a long soak in the bath (luxury) and a siesta the rain had eased so I set off to look for a meal. The town was very quiet as if it was having a day off and I had great difficulty finding anything substantial to eat. I eventually settled for a chorizo sandwich and watched some football on an out of focus television. Not the best night I have had on the Camino. Requejo has the reputation of being a friendly town but the rain and the attraction of World Cup football seemed to have kept most of the inhabitants indoors.

There were more violent thunderstorms during the night which would have added to the flooding of the tracks near the village. This was confirmed by the pilgrims who followed me into Lubián next day.