Sticking with the coast

Wednesday 5th August, 61.2 km, Villaframil – Viveiro

A long day (for us). Now we’re really off the Camino del Norte, despite seeing a sign for it and the Camino do Mar above a shop. Bev went in to see if we could get any information about the Camino do Mar. No luck as far as that was concerned but we did get a nice-looking sello with a picture of a bicycle on it.

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Too much traffic, with trucks coming by too closely, for Bev’s comfort. I seem to have a more fatalistic approach, learned on the roads of India: what will be will be. We never got higher than 175m above sea-level but there still felt to be a lot of climbing. I felt fairly strong today and relished the challenge. (I’ll get over this foolishness soon.)

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Viveiro was busy but the tourist office was helpful. We got directions to the Orange store where I recharged my phone for the last two weeks – we must have spent too long on the phone to Andrea or Nicolas and used up the cash that was supposed to make the renewal automatic. The tourist office also told us about accommodation at a convent. The building looks stunning but the accommodation didn’t exist. We searched out another tourist office recommendation but they were full.

Checking for rooms at a hostelria (?), where no rooms existed either, Bev got help finding and booking a space in the Hotel As Areas. Not cheap but not too bad considering a full tourist town.

When we settled down a bit, Bev started to feel unwell so I went out and bought some food to eat in the room. All she had was a banana and then slept away the night. I think it was a long, hot and tiring day for her and a good rest will take care of her.

Thursday 6th August, 37.9 km,  Viveira – Ortigueira

A somewhat brutal day. I was surprised since I didn’t feel tired after the long previous day but I struggled with everything today. Bev, who was pretty worn out last night, seemed to have recovered well. Ah, youth!

A little over 50% of yesterday’s distance with 90% of the elevation gain.

Friday 7th August, Ortigueira

Lazy day apart from indulging Bev in a walk to the beach. Longest two kilometres ever. Nice sand beach, long and fairly deserted. May have been something to with the cold wind and frigid water. There was one old man floating on his back in the water and it was so cold that we didn’t notice until he came out that he was naked.

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The FEVE metre-gauge line runs through Ortigueira, as it has most of the places we have been along the north coast. We are planning to come back on this train to Bilbao for our flight to London. The first day on the FEVE, from Ferrol to Oviedo, has 72 stops en-route.

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Saturday 8th August, 52 km, Ferrol

Not really sure yet about today’s ride. I’d left the Garmin on and discovered at the beginning of the day that it was out of juice. I used the dynamo to recharge it as we rode but at each uphill, where speed dropped below what is required for the dynamo to charge anything, the Garmin powered off. So I think I have about 10 different rides for the day. Total distance, though, was 52 km, according to the road signs. We started at 10:30 am and arrived at the tourist office in Ferrol just after 4:00 pm, with the usual stops for lunch, to catch breath, to take photos. Not many photos since it didn’t seem that spectacular. Hills and trees and clouds, with the rain holding off.

The newer houses have red tiled roofs and the roofs themselves are inclined reinforced concrete slabs. Older houses have what appear to be split and shaped tiles.

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There is a surprising number of fish in most of the rivers we cross.

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Checked in to the Hospedaje Ferrol, with our own separate single rooms (all that was available). Went to the Gadis supermercado to restock for tomorrow (which is Sunday so most places will be closed) and also got a couple of microwavable meals (lasagna and canelloni) and a bottle of milk (it’ll be a wild Saturday night). We’ve been missing the milk.

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