camino ingles

Day 3 – Pontedueme to Betanzos

DISTANCE: 15 miles, 43k steps, 24km

WEATHER: cold this morning but a lovely afternoon in the afternoon sun.

TERRAIN: This certainly feels more like Galacia now.


I was wide awake at 4.30am but it felt rude to get out of bed that early. So I snoozed for another half hour. At 5 am the act of “squirrelling” commenced. This means you quietly gather your stuff and take it to a common room where you can pack your things without disturbing the sleeping pilgrims. But, this hostel did not have a common room! After going back and forth to collect my things (like a squirrel), I was faced with a pile of stuff in the small bathroom.

I was looking forward to brewing a hot coffee by the harbour before I began my walk… it was not to be. The lighter did not work on my jet oil (note to self, buy a lighter today!). As this is a fishing port there are early morning fishermen everywhere and it didn’t take long before I found a cafe. I do like Spanish coffee (much better than the Nescafé sachets that I’d brought with me!).

After a very steep climb out of Pontedueme (knackering!) I am rewarded with a milestone telling me I’ve got 83 km to Santiago! Best get a move on!


7.25am – I hear a rumbling in the bushes. It’s pitch black so I stop in my tracks and point my feet towards the noise (shoe lights are wicked!). A family of about 8 wild pigs run right in front of me from one side of the track and vanished into the woods. It scared the shit out of me and I had to catch my breath and get myself together. Perhaps I should knock this wild camping idea on the head? I never knew there would be pigs on the trail!

8.14am – Trail magic! Some kind soul had left a few cool boxes in the woods filled with orange juice cartons and water. How great is that?

8.55am – A little robin joined me on my trek through the woods. I made a mental note to charge my shoe lights as they ran out of juice just after sunrise.

10 am – I was listening to a little voice (let’s call her Julie, who said: “enjoy the cafe stops along the way”. I took a long break in Mino as I charge my phone, tend to a bleeding toe and rest my weary bones. Oops! I left the cafe without paying and the lady ran after me! I felt awful and make a promise to myself that it will never happen again!

10.30am – the sun comes out and warms my face. The Woolley hat is replaced with my baseball cap and I have a new found energy. Strange looking penis shaped flowers caught my attention, so I took a photo to show my fellow pilgrims later. I’ve not seen a soul yet!

12.31 – I’m sitting on a bench on the outskirts of my final destination, Betanzos and I’m taking a moment. I’ve not seen a single pilgrim all day and in all honesty, it’s been lovely. I spoke to a cafe owner who said I was the first pilgrim today, perhaps it’s because I left so early?
Betanzos is calling…


1.25pm and I arrive at the hostel. It’s quite new and I’m the first one here! I take a hot shower (bliss!) and then head into the town centre in search of the main post office. After this mornings episode with the pigs, and it is so cold I’ve decided to send my tent on to Santiago. A very helpful post office man sorted me out with a box for my tent, sleeping mat, pegs, groundsheet etc and I waved goodbye to €14. I’ll see my package again on Saturday. I feel relieved! What was I thinking?? The whole package weighed 2.6kg (5.72 lbs!). My back and hip will thank me tomorrow!

I get back to the hostel around 2.30pm to find my little Camino family in my dorm. Life is good as they tell me they are planning to cook tonight and asked me to join them. An Italian wants to cook? Who am I to refuse such an offer?


10.15om. We’ve had an amazing night. Tapas meal with my Camino family (there were only microwaves in the hostel and no cookers). Alan from Oz joined us. I ate food I’ve never tried before and enjoyed Vino Blanco.there is a long-standing joke about Susie and Alberto getting married and having kids, which has been the main source of amusement this evening! Alan gave me a huge hug as he left us to go back to his hotel. I think he appreciated the hospitality tonight.

A fab day! Lots of hills and more tomorrow! Bring it on!

SPENDINGS – €54.20

  • Snacks for the journey €3
  • Breakfast €2.50
  • Cafe in Mino €1.50
  • Pina Zumo €1.50
  • Send tent to Santiago €14.90
  • Hostel €6
  • Lunch for tomorrow €8 including wine for tonight
  • Dinner tonight was a tapas feast €15 (worth every penny)