Everything that is wrong with the Camino from Requejo to Lubian is right with the stage from Lubian to A Gudiña. I can’t imagine a more beautiful or dramatic way to enter Galicia.
On leaving Lubian, the Camino crosses the River Tuela and takes pilgrims past the 18th-century chapel of Tuiza, from where the big climb of the day begins. From here until the A Canda pass, which marks the frontier between Castilla y León and Galicia, we walked through dense woodland on narrow paths of earth and stone – simply magical.
The A Canda pass is at an altitude of just over 1,200m – a little lower than Padornelo, which we climbed to yesterday. But today’s was an altogether more rewarding climb with no asphalt and no traffic. When we emerged from the trees, we were rewarded with a spectacular panorama – the whole of Galicia laid out before us.
Here, we stopped for a second breakfast and greeted the pilgrims who followed. First Heinrich, who joined us for a snack and a selfie. Then two cyclists – a husband and wife who had spent the night at a Casa Rural in Lubian. They said hello and disappeared down the track into Galicia. Then two young Spanish pilgrims on foot who had been at the albergue last night.
After admiring the stone sign and the Camino stone figure, we began our descent into Galicia. The path down is as steep as the path up on the other side. Unfortunately, this appears to have put some strain on Michael’s quadricep muscles. He’s going to wear tape and a knee support tomorrow – He also needs to learn how to slow down a bit.
Over a coffee at the stylish “Bar On,” in Vilavella, we caught up with all the other pilgrims on their way to A Gudiña and I had a call with Michel Cerdan of the Amis du Camino Mozarabe Via de la Plata. He had some news to share about exhibitions and petitions that are being planned.
The rest of the way to A Gudiña was through beautiful sunken pathways with dry stone walls, occasionally rising up to beautiful heathlands and pastures, where we saw some of the longest-horned cows that I’ve ever come across.
A Gudiña is a fair sized town with a selection of hotels, bars, public facilities, and shops (although sadly, the old parfumeria appears to have gone out of business since my last stop here). On Sundays, however, it’s comatose as only Spanish towns can be. Ther was nowhere to buy food before a couple of open bars started serving a limited menu at 8pm. Fortunately, we over-ordered at the bar that we went to – and the owners were happy to wrap up our leftovers. So we have some food to sustain us for the trip to Campobecerros tomorrow. There are no villages or towns on the way there. Michael thinks we might want to continue to Laza, which would make for a 34km day. It’s doable but I don’t think it’s advisable after the muscle pain that he felt today.