The Coastal Way

Stage 14: A Caridá - A Veiga/Vegadeo

Stage of 26.49 kilometers that runs between the capitals of the councils of El Franco and Vegadeo, also crossing the municipalities of Tapia and Castropol. It is a very flat route, in which the most notable incidents are the descents and subsequent ascents to a riverbed, such as the Porcía River, although at no time there are outstanding slopes. The surface is mostly asphalt, although there is a notable percentage of travel on dirt tracks.

The landscape of this stage is dominated by the coastal plain of western Asturias and by the Eo estuary, which acts as a natural dividing line between Asturias and Galicia and from which very good panoramic views can be seen from the Camino de Santiago. This route crosses numerous small towns, dedicated to agriculture and livestock, where you can see very good examples of the traditional architecture of this area of Asturias, characterized by the masonry works with natural lime plaster, covered with Slate slabs and abundant presence of cabazos, the special type of barn in the extreme west of Asturias. Thus, towns such as San Pelayo, Brul, Tol, A Caleya, Río de Seares or Vilavedelle, to conclude in the last great Asturian town before the Camino enters Galician lands: Vegadeo, an active regional center that emerged in the confluence of the Suarón and Monjardín rivers with the Eo estuary, and which has a lively cultural life.

As it passes through these lands, the Way will pass by some outstanding example of Asturian cultural heritage, such as the bridge over the Porcía River, on the border between El Franco and Tapia, or the Campos palace in Outeiro, an outstanding example of large rural property, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 2006.

The historical references to the passage of pilgrims on this route date for the most part to the modern centuries, there are 17th century accounts that refer to the bridge over the Porcía River. There was a pilgrim hospital, dedicated to Santiago Apóstol, in Salave, near the path officially declared today. There were also pilgrim hospitals in the town of Tapia, in Serantes (already mentioned in the seventeenth century), in Figueras (one of the towns from where you could take a boat to cross the Eo estuary before the construction of the modern bridges), Barres, Castropol and Vegadeo.

It should be taken into account that this publication only describes the Jacobean itinerary recognized as an Asset of Cultural Interest, there are detours, marked on the ground, that allow you to deviate from it to go to the town of Tapia (and from there to the bridge of Los Santos that communicates Asturias with Ribadeo), as well as the towns of Figueras (from where there is the option of taking a boat to cross, as in past times, the Eo estuary and reach Galicia) and the capital of Castropol itself. It is indicated in the description of the itinerary the places from where the detours to these places start, which, as indicated above, counted in past times with shelters and which are cited in several accounts of pilgrims of the Modern age.

Stage description

Start of the stage next to the church of San Miguel de A Caridá, in front of the María Cristina park in the capital of El Franco and the City Hall building of this council.

At the existing road junction in front of the main portal of the temple, continue straight ahead, along the continuation of the main street through which the entrance of the Way to the town is made, leaving the detour to Viavélez on the right. You flank the modern building of the town hall and continue between blocks of houses, among which there is still some house of traditional architecture in the area, configured as a rectangular block of two or three floors, with a pronounced eaves and slate roof.

Leave the detour to the right to reach the As Quintas cultural center, and continue straight on, along the sidewalk of the highway, between more houses and a warehouse.

Upon reaching a curve to the left, next to a sawmill, the path leaves the road, crossing and continuing to the right, along a concrete track that begins just before a white warehouse located on the curve itself. You go down this track until, after the first house that appears on the left, you take a dirt track that starts next to it, and that descends between trees? to the small stream of Salgueiro, which is crossed by a very simple footbridge made up of a slate slab.

Then continue along the narrow dirt track, between trees and ascend until it joins a wider dirt and stone track, along which it continues to the left (the access to the so-called Mingolín mill being located on the right of this detour ), until connecting with the local road, in an area of single-family homes.

Continue to the right, along the shoulder of the road, for approximately 190 meters, until you reach a road junction where you have to take the first road to the left, leaving behind the detour to Pedra. This road that is taken now leads after just 50 meters to the national 634, which crosses, continuing straight ahead, in the place of Novales, by an asphalt road that runs between meadows and the closures of the plots where several houses that are happening, some of them counting with granaries.

Continue straight ahead, leaving a detour on your right. After a sharp curve you cross a small stream, in an area of wide meadows between which you ascend to reach a new crossroads, where you continue to the right, passing by a small patch of pine trees, on the left, and leaving another detour on the right. You will soon reach the houses of the town of A Ronda, after which you continue along the road, along a straight that after about two hundred meters leads to the town of San Pelayo, where modern single-family houses coexist with some testimonies of architecture traditional of the area.

Continue straight ahead, leaving a detour on the right hand side and a public space where a sports court is located, and on the left hand side there is a stone laundry. The route continues between houses and a large house, until reaching Valdepares, after passing a nave to the left.

At a first crossroads that appears when you reach Valdepares, you continue straight ahead, to then continue to the right at the next fork in the road you come across, arriving shortly after at a crossroads, with a small vegetable island in the center, in which you continue to the right, between traditional houses, until you come to the N634 national road. Continue to the left, being able to cross the road and walk, parallel to the road, about 75 meters inside a landscaped area in the center of Valdepares, next to which there is a sports field, a stone cross The school building is also located in this area. From this point it is possible to reach the parish church of San Bartolomé de Valdepares and the Fonfría palace in a few meters, one of the great testimonies of the cultural heritage of the El Franco council, built from a strong tower from the 16th century.

After crossing the green area, the Camino de Santiago crosses the national highway and continues along an asphalt road that continues straight ahead, perpendicular to the national road, leaving the small park behind.

This road runs between meadows, stone plot closures, a small laundry discovered on the left, and houses scattered around the places of A Barraca and Moye. Continue straight for about 800 meters, leaving several detours on both sides, until you reach the town of El Franco. This is a very flat area, dominated by extensive meadows.

In El Franco, you continue along this local road, between modern houses and other traditional ones, among which it is possible to contemplate the small quadrangular structures with a conical or hipped slate roof topped by a large stone or bow, which correspond to old wells Water.

You come to a junction with another road in a curve where there is a small playground. You then continue to the right, until you soon reach another crossroads, where there are several houses, one of them with a small hut. Continue to the left at this junction, along a paved road that leaves several houses behind and that leads to the place of El Visco between meadows. You pass in front of a row of three buildings, after which the Camino deviates to the left, passing to circulate along a dirt and stone track that borders the main house of this complex, entering a forest of ??, which then it gives way to a eucalyptus plantation, through which it is circulated, in descent, until it ends at the national road N-634.

You cross this road and continue straight on along a dirt road that descends to some houses, in the place of Porcía, which you leave behind, circulating parallel to the Porcía river, approaching a large stone bridge that crosses it. Before reaching the bridge, you pass under the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.

After leaving the chapel behind, the Way continues to some houses, after which it joins an asphalt road, continuing to the left, towards the bridge over the Porcía River, built in stone blocks and with three large openings, on the border between the councils of El Franco and Tapia.

After crossing the bridge, from which you can see a beautiful panoramic view of the Porcía river and the avenue on its shore (as well as the water channel for feeding the nearby Porcía mill, which runs parallel to the river), you continue straight ahead along a local road, between several buildings, in the place of Outeiro, until after 60 meters you take a detour to the right, along a concrete track that ascends between single-family houses, one of them with a tap available to the pilgrim, and that after about 120 meters gives way to a flat asphalt track, which will soon pass near the Palacio de Campos, declared a Site of Cultural Interest, which is on the left hand side of the route.

We continue through a flat area, between meadows and some houses, leaving two detours on the right, and finally arriving at a fork in the roads, with the two-storey building of the old Campos schools located in the middle of the roads. The road that continues straight ahead leads to the capital of the council, Tapia, through a variant of the official route.

The route declared an Asset of Cultural Interest continues to the left, arriving in a few meters on the national road 634. From now on, it will circulate in a southerly direction, already directly towards the connection of the coastal road with Galicia in Abres.

You cross the road and you come to a space from which three paths start, having to opt for the central one, a paved track that runs between a group of houses, in the place of Lavandera.

On your right you pass a house with two palm trees in front of its facade and continue straight ahead for more than 600 meters, between meadows and some houses, until you reach a curve where you must continue to the right and then and after only 70 meters turn left, in a curve in which there is a laundry, in the place of Picón.

Shortly afterwards, you pass next to an agricultural holding, after which the path becomes a dirt track, which runs, on the level, between extensive meadows (flanked on its right side by a continuous plant barrier made of scrub), merging 60 meters later with another path, both continuing to the left, next to a pine plantation that soon gives way to a landscape dominated by meadows, with a small patch of pine plantations. After 700 meters, you reach the local road TC-2, turning to the left, going up to a flyover on the highway. On the right-hand side, before the climb, there is a motor racing circuit, the Tapia kartódromo.

After crossing the overpass on the A8 motorway, a few meters later take a detour to the right, along a dirt and stone track that runs between pine trees and meadows, for a little less than 600 meters, until it joins the AS-23 regional road , which you cross, continuing straight ahead along a wide forest track, first between pine trees and then, after some meadows, between eucalyptus trees. Further on, the Banzao stream is crossed by a modern concrete footbridge, which leaves on the right a small stone bridge, with a single span, called in the area Puente Romano.

You continue straight ahead, passing shortly after over another stream, through a concrete platform. This track ends up converging with another, in a curve, following both head-on, next to a eucalyptus plantation. Continue straight ahead, at the next crossroads, and you come to a flat area between extensive meadows. At other crossroads that appear later, continue straight ahead and finally reach a local road, continuing to the right. Thus concludes an itinerary of more than two kilometers along land consolidation tracks, which cross a flat area with wide perspectives, right in the border area between the councils of Tapia and Castropol.

The road leads after a few meters to the town of Brul, the first town in the Castropol council through which the Camino de Santiago runs.

The Camino borders the village of Brul, taking the first detour to the left that is found when you reach the first houses in this nucleus. We continue along an initially asphalted track, which soon gives way to a dirt path, which between meadows and some trees, ascends gently, leaving a first detour ahead on the left, connecting after 600 meters of travel with an asphalt road, which continues to the left, skirting a modern gas installation. Continue along the road for about 200 meters, passing a grass football field on the right. After the field, turn right onto a paved road that leads to Barrionuevo, in the town of Tol.

You cross an area of single-family houses, agricultural holdings and old traditional houses, next to which there are several examples of wells covered by stone structures with a conical or hipped roof, in slate. It finally ends at the AS31 road, at a junction where there is a disused laundry.

Continue to the right, now along sidewalks, between a large house, with a large cabin, until you reach the parish church, in which the slender tower stands out, topped by a dome, which is located on the entrance to the building. In the green space that surrounds the temple there is a fountain.

After the church, continue along the AS31 road, leaving a detour to Serantes on the right, continuing along a sidewalk that leads to the building of the old schools, today in part reconditioned as a pilgrim hostel.

After the schools, continue along the shoulder of the road, which rises until it passes a small river, after which it continues to ascend, leaving a detour on the right and later another on the left towards Villasebil. Approximately 240 meters later, after some houses in the place of A Granda, the AS231 road is left, turning left onto the local road CP1, which leads to Castropol. From the front, along the AS231, it is possible to continue, by an alternative to the official path, towards Figueras, where the tradition of crossing the Eo estuary is maintained thanks to a barge, today a modern boat, which allows crossing that natural border between Asturias and Galicia and reach Ribadeo.

The official path continues, as indicated, to the left, along the local road CP1, through a very flat area (soon leaving a detour on the left), between meadows, which then give way to a pine plantation and which it ends up entering, through a more rugged landscape, in areas next to trees ??, ascending after a kilometer to an area of buildings, in Campo de Péligos. After some houses, you take a detour to the left, and you can continue straight on along the alternative path that leads to Castropol, from where, as in Figueras, there is the possibility of crossing the Eo estuary in a boat that sails towards Ribadeo.

Continue along a paved track that, after some houses, joins a curve with a local road, then the route runs between the houses in the As Campas neighborhood, passing by a large hut on the left. At the end of the straight, in the area known as A Cruz, you come out onto another local road, and you must continue to the right, in the direction of Barres and Figueras, leaving a farmhouse with a granary on the right. Continue along this road for just over 100 meters, then take a detour to the left, along an asphalt path that soon becomes a dirt and gravel track that runs between meadows and pine trees and that after just 130 meters deviates Again to the left, along a path that passes next to a house, running at the beginning between the green hedge that limits the property of that construction and a slope of land.

Then it passes through trees, sandwiched between side slopes of land. We descend, leaving a first detour on the right hand side, and later another, to finish reaching the Fornelo esa stream, before which (on the right hand side) the remains of the old Monte mill rise.

The stream is crossed by a wooden footbridge and then an ascent begins along a narrow dirt road, with abundant outcrops of stone on the road, between trees. This path connects, after 270 meters, with a forest track, continuing to the left, next to a eucalyptus plantation. Further on, it joins another track, continuing straight ahead, between more eucalyptus trees and gorse bushes. After another 330 meters, approximately, you come to a paved track, continuing to the left, ascending to a bridge that crosses over the train tracks.

You then go down and on the sharp curve to the left that follows, you take a detour to the right, along a dirt track between trees, which progressively narrows between high slopes of earth, then passing next to a deposit of water and among extensive meadows, being able to contemplate from here the first views, to the right, of the Eo estuary and the sea, as well as of the Santos bridge that connects Asturias and Galicia, all from an elevated position.

Continue along this track on the slope of Mount Valín, flanked by eucalyptus plantations, passing straight ahead at a first crossroads, and soon heading south, to finally connect with an asphalt road, continuing straight ahead, parallel to the Eo estuary, which is on the right hand side of the road. The path continues along this road for more than 600 meters, until it continues straight on at a curve, deviating from the road and continuing along a dirt road.

You continue along this path for about 250 meters, between bushes and some trees, until you reach the road again, continuing along it, to the left, parallel to the train tracks, reaching a group of houses, in the Place de Venta, with a bifurcation of roads (on both sides of the building of an old inn), having to continue on the one on the left, along the local road, in an area with splendid views of the Eo estuary and the towns that they pull it off.

You arrive at Lantoira, with some huts among its houses, and, always along the road, you go down to a crossroads above the Rio da Pasada, in an area where there are several large houses, with their huts, and the ruins of a great construction, in the place of Augueira.

The route continues along the road, without taking any detour, between traditional buildings, huts and modern houses, until you come to a crossroads, where you must turn left, parallel to the estuary, between meadows and plantations of corn, reaching the town of Vilavedelle after 1.3 kilometers.

On the right hand side, the group formed by the chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Consolación and the school building, from 1921, continues, then the route continues through the upper area of the town, until after a hut, you turn left, passing under a railway bridge, to the left of which is the train station of this town.

We continue along an asphalt road, without taking a detour that appears to the left, at the beginning of a sharp curve that is taken, to pass by a cattle shed, leaving some houses and a hut on the right, in the place of A Cruz de Vilar, an area with good views over the Eo estuary.

It circulates in part parallel to the train tracks, beginning after the last houses an ascent. We pass a detour on the right, further on, while a few meters later, at another fork in the road, take the one on the right, already descending through the so-called Caleyón dos Lobos, passing by a small nucleus of houses, in Rio from Seares, with a few heads.

The path becomes a concrete track, which descends to another set of buildings, among which a painted hut stands out, in which the construction date, 1924 can be seen. At this point it connects with the local road CP3, in a curve, having to continue to the left, in the direction of A Presa, bordering the Siares river, which is crossed by a modern passage with a single span, and leaving the town behind.

You ascend between trees and bushes, remaining on the right, at a lower level, a set of large house with chapel and hut, in the area known as Acasúa.

Continue ascending the slope of Mount Cavaleiro to another small population center, A Casía, which you cross, then take a detour to the left, towards O Turel, which you do not take, following the path along the road, straight ahead, between some houses and excellent views of the estuary. You then arrive at another nucleus of houses, Presa, among which one with an elongated floor plan stands out, which on its façade towards the road presents a niche with an image of a crucified Christ, as a Calvary, of great interest .

Crossing this nucleus, after a curve, a stone fountain-laundry is left on the left. It continues ascending and in the next curve several buildings appear, being able to contemplate to the right and below the facilities of the A Veiga/Vegadeo shipyards, next to the estuary. At this point there is the transit between the councils of Castropol and Vegadeo.

The ascent continues for a few meters and you reach the first houses of the municipal capital, A Veiga/ Vegadeo, from which you get a good overview from this point.

Then the descent towards the center of A Veiga/Vegadeo begins, along La Galea street, between houses with one or two floors, some with galleries and others with wrought iron balconies in their main holes, which ends up leading to the AS-22 road. , after having left the Jovellanos school buildings on the right.

At this point you turn left, crossing a modern concrete bridge over the Suarón River, where there is a sculpture by the Asturian artist Luis Fega, entitled “Abrazo”.

After crossing the bridge, continue towards the center of the town, along Paved Street. Soon it crosses Calle Palacio, having to continue straight ahead, along Calle Empedrada and then along Alameda, flanked by 19th and early 20th century houses, with two floors, with an abundance of cast iron balconies and galleries, and which after a curve it leads to the A Veiga/Vegadeo town hall building, the end point of this stage.

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