Saturday, 27 June 2015

May 19th - Espasante to Ponte Mera and San Andrés

We left Espasante on the 8.37 train to Ponte Mera and set off from the station there just after 9.00am. (No sign to the village but it is the middle road straight downhill.) For the first time we had to get our ponchos out as it started to rain. However it quickly stopped to our great relief.

We followed the road signs through Ponte Mera towards San Andrés (purple 'monument' signs) and at the only place we saw an unmarked road the locals said we needed the next one round the bend (in sight from the other at the bend) with both a purple sign and a red sardine. This day we found that the directions, printed from another walker's blog, all worked.

As expected this is all road walking, uphill for 9kms, so it was slow but steady. There were one or two shortcuts off road and on track but these were so badly churned up that it was easier to walk the road. There were lovely views and a convenient heap of logs for a bocadillo (our tin of sardines on bread). We continued climbing ever upward past the Capilla de Socorro and eventually to a fairly flat open area where we stopped for another short break. Again the only place where the 'sardines' marked an off-road section was so churned up through the forestry that we went over the bank and back on the road, as had others before us. There was a level section which passed the turning to Cedeira then the final 3kms which are all downhill. We avoided the steep drop from the hilltop cruceiro, which looked as though it was almost vertical when seen from below, and kept to the hairpins on the road (adding about 3kms to the distance) reaching San Andrés at about 14.15. We found a friendly cafe (14.30) where the owner cooked us some lunch while we went to the church, a little further down the hill. The church itself is very small and simple and with a cruceiro outside. The views from the cafe were good and we could also see the cattle being rounded up for their TB testing, a further conversation point. We had seen the vets earlier when we were stopped on the moorland. Total distance via hairpins 15kms+, plus a further short distance to the church and back to the cafe then up to the road for the taxi, itself making 16.5kms in all.

Looking up to the hill

Looking back

Looking back again to Ponte Mera

Looking up to the same hill, near the top

Road signs

Capilla de Socorro

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