Monday, 3 August 2015

Church of San Juan, Santianes de Pravia

The church retains some of the pre-Romanesque windows built into the Romanesque walls. The original pre-Romanesque baptistry is virtually unique being square and set in the ground - the font is Romanesque. In both cases the water would have been poured over the person being baptised.

The west end has been restored in recent years, there is also a replica of a Visigothic panel. The base of a pillar from the original church is near the east end.

In the museum there are artefacts from the site as well as the fragment of the word-labrynth. The candlestick is enamelled and is believed to be from the 13th century.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Pravia and Santianes

On our way home we stopped in Pravia for a few days. An interesting town and not far from Santianes which we also visited.

The statue of Silo Rey (Silo King of Asturias 774-783) stands in the plaza near the church of Santa Maria. At his feet is a replica of the letter-labrynth which reads in Latin 'King Silo made me' in whichever direction it is read. A fragment is in the museum in Santianes.

The church had recently had a floral decoration for a festival, very similar to the well dressing floral displays in Derbyshire. The petals are pressed into damp clay to make the picture.

The church of San Juan Apóstol y Evangelista (St John the Apostle and Evangelist) Santianes is Romnesque. The original pre-Romanesque church, dating from the reign of Silo, was begun in 774 and completed in 783. Parts of the original church may be present in the Romanesque building. Santianes itself was the capital of Asturias, when it was moved from Cangas de Onis by King Silo in 774, before moving to Oviedo under Alfonso II in 791.


The letter-labrynth

Silo Rey


Santa Maria la Major

Floral picture


Church of San Juan

L:- from the west

R:- from the east

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Typical tracks and village roads

So after 280kms we finally reached Santiago where we met several members of the Pilgrims' Forum, attended the English services and visited parts of the old town. Then it was time to begin the long trip home, a story in itself, to follow shortly.........

Typical tracks and roads we have walked along over the past weeks.

May 31st - Sigueiro to Santiago

At one point we thought that we might have to split this final stage in two but our feet recover each day so we decided that we would much rather walk right through as planned. Perseverance and determination win the day.

We left Sigueiro at 8.10, after breakfast, with plenty of water and some food. A cool start again and damping slightly as we walked up the first hill so it was ponchos on, then off but we kept the pack covers on. The tracks today were kinder to our feet again although finally we were walking on tarmac.

There is a good bar just past the back entrance to the San Vicente (it might even be shared with them) so we went for drinks. They served really good coffee here , in some places it has been far too strong for either of us. We saw a peregrino from Meson Novo twice during the day, once here in the bar, but then only one other peregrino until we reached Santiago.

Our socks were slipping so we sat by a field side to eat our croissants and changed our socks completely. We did not intend to get blisters at this stage!! not having had any so far. Passing under the motorway there was a swallows nest similar to the one seen in 2011. We passed the only marker to retain its distance plaque and also the new lavadero (public laundry place) built in 2013.

It was 13.30 when we finally reached the cathedral in Santiago and then the Rúa do Vilar, the queue was out to the street so we skipped the Pilgrim's Office and went to our hotel (booked with our ferry crossing). Lunch, siesta then back up to Rúa do Vilar. The queue was not too long so we joined it and were registered and received our Compostelas as May pilgrims. (A record number we learnt later).

A great sense of relief - we made it; achievement too - we had walked 280kms in all from Ribadeo round the coast and then the camino Inglés; and gratitude - for all the kindess we have met on the way, the prayers of folk supporting us and last (but not least) our family for only expecting occasional contact and believing that 'no news is good news'.

The river and church - leaving Sigueiro

Swallows nest

View towards Santiago

The only marker still showing its distance

New lavadero

First view of the cathedral.

Convento do Carme

old town, Santiago

May 30th - Calle de Poulo to Sigueiro

After breakfast we took the taxi from Ordes back to Calle de Poulo (no-one in sight) and started walking at 8.55. The temperature was good for walking as we set off although it was very warm later. Parts of this stage were hard on our feet again, especially the section with granite chips on the long forest track and the road through the industrial estate.

Before this we noticed a new vending machine selling drinks, useful for those who need it and stopped ourselves in the nearby bus stop to eat our snacks.

Four pilgrims passed us on our way and when we reached Sigueiro there were 3 more. We were booked into the new Hostal Sigueiro and here there were a number of other pilgrims as well as (later) a large number in the old hostal which is managed from the new. After a long siesta we sat on the hostal's terrace overlooking the river before going to look for water and supplies for our final day.

Calle de Poulo


Right: behind the hostal in Sigueiro

Monday, 6 July 2015

May 29th - Ordes

In Ordes we had a good hotel again (the Nogallás) where we had lunch. Sopa then chicken - and for the first time we had a choice between chips or boiled potatoes which was good. Siesta and then we hung our washing out on the balcony facing the plaza, the washing line was finally useful and needed. Below the plaza was a small park with fountains and little play areas which we liked and the church had a font with a scallop shell lid which was interesting. Apart from that we did not walk far as we wanted to save our feet for the final 2 days. Drinks and cakes in the hotel cafe and then supper was in the 'Tunel' on the plaza near the hotel.

View from our window



May 29th - Meson do Vento to Calle de Poulo

Our plan for today was to walk to Calle de Poulo and then go to Ordes for the night. The new signing from O Meson Novo worked well and we followed the road to rejoin the Camino, which was road walking too at first.

A cold drink at the cafe-bar O Porto, the site of the pilgrim sculpture and also a huge dinosaur at the other side of the road. There was a cool breeze, some good track and more level walking with 3 cafe-bars open on this stage. We stopped again for drinks at the bar Novo in Buscas and then at the O Cruceiro in Calle de Poulo (closing day Monday).

The photo of Buscas is typical in many ways of our Camino, we have seen very few people as we actually walk and fewer pilgrims. I had remembered a particular big field but could not remember which stage it was on, today we walked round it - near Calle de Poulo. Our feet still felt bruised easily by the roads so we called a taxi to take us to Ordes rather than road walking for a further 3kms.

San Pedro - Ardemil

Dinosaur - O Porto

Pilgrim - O Porto

A Rúa - Buscas

Shady track

Calle do Poulo bar

'O Cruceiro'