The Sanabres is also part of the Via De La Plata Camino, and in my opinion, one of the best parts of north west Spain and Galicia.
Most people start in Ourense (where the hot springs are), as it is the 100km mark if you want to get a Compostela Certificate. However, it officially begins at De Granja de Moreruela. At this junction, you can choose to go north and join the Frances Camino at Astorga, a route that many take if they want to get to the Cruz de Ferro. However, I took a left and went on the Sanabres, through the olive groves and vineyards. Walking on rocky roman paths, we climbed the mountains and walked through many medieval villages and wheat fields, past monasteries, churches and castles. In Santa Marta de Tera, you can find the oldest known carving of St James dressed as a pilgrim.
This Camino is mostly through forests. There is some road walking but you soon forget this when you reach the forests. Food can still be an issue, so it is advised to carry snacks and extra water with you. The Sanabres is quite mountainous but this is what gives you the beautiful views, and I was over-awed by the autumn colours when I reached Galicia. The Xunta albergues are mostly large and modern, but few have any cutlery, crockery or pots and pans, so you can only cook there if you carry your own stuff (which none of us tend to do) They often have the push button showers and are mostly un-manned, so you get a key from the bar across the road or something.
**NOT TO BE MISSED:
MONASTERY OF OSEIRA – run by the Trappist monks. It will be the experience of a lifetime, staying in the original pilgrim accommodation to the side of the monastery.
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