The Original Way
Stage 9: Grandes de Salime - El Acebo
Last stage of the Camino Primitivo in Asturias, which runs entirely through the council of Grandas de Salime, from its capital to the provincial border with Lugo, in the Alto del Acebo.
The route, of just 13.19 kilometers, is made in continuous ascent, stretched out and not very steep (except for the final climb to the top), saving in the distance a difference of about 600 meters.
It runs mostly on dirt or gravel paths, the percentage of asphalt roads being low (only 2.91 kilometers of the total). The small towns of Cereixeira, Castro, Xestoselo and Penafonte are crossed, and among them wide natural spaces, in which it is frequent that the path runs between authentic vegetable galleries, very pleasant to walk.
The cultural heritage is formed for the most part by small chapels (such as those of Malneira and Padraira), parochial churches of great interest such as that of Penaseita, and good houses typical of the traditional architecture of the area. Also noteworthy in the town of Castro is the great archaeological site of Chao Samartín, declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2014 and to which a modern interpretation center is linked in which a good part of the pieces of interest located in the different archaeological excavations carried out in the fort.
The historical references to the passage of pilgrims focus on the hospitals that gave them help during medieval and modern times. The existence of a hospital in Cuiña is documented, just before reaching the Alto del Acebo and from which nothing remains today.
After passing the Alto del Acebo, the Camino Primitivo enters the province of Lugo, its next great stop being the town of A Fonsagrada.
The stage begins in front of the Grandas de Salime town hall, continuing towards the collegiate church of San Salvador, which is flanked by the narrow Calle del Carmen, between the portico of the temple on the right and buildings to the church.
Soon, on the ascent through this route, you will arrive at the Chapel of the Immaculate, built in stone and which preserves the belfry with a bell, attached to a building with an elongated plan, with a shield and portal based on a semicircular arch. It is the Casa Román.
- Related item: Casa Román
You keep going up the street until it connects with the main road. You cross and continue straight ahead, along an asphalt road, flanked on the right by a stone wall that closes the plot, between meadows and some isolated dwellings, with a raised granary on the right. A little further on, on the right-hand side (and after having left a detour to the right by another path), the Carmen chapel is located, preceded by a deep portico, and that inside it preserves an interesting altarpiece from the 18th century.
- Related item: Capilla del Carmen
After the chapel, continue for about 60 meters along the concreted track, without deviating, until leaving behind a few houses, the last of which is of a certain age, as indicated by the fact that it has an oven attached to the building, visible from the outside.
After leaving this house behind, continue straight, without taking a detour to the right, along a path that is concreted for a few meters but then leaves the way to a dirt path, which runs between meadows, delimited in some area by scrub and in another (later, under a house on the right, located higher) by stone walls. After about 450 meters, it reaches the vicinity of the regional road, with which it does not connect, but continues along the path, to the left, parallel to the road, which is on the right hand side of an upper bound. Continue along this path, sometimes delimited by slopes of earth and stone walls, for about 350 meters, between a dense mass of trees ??, finally joining the AS-28 road, continuing to the left, along a narrow dirt path parallel to the roadway, until crossing, in a detour, the carriageway of the detour of the road that leads to Escanlares and Robledo, after which we continue, already along the shoulder of the AS-28, for about 140 meters, until you pass in front of a dairy industry, located on the left hand side of the road in the direction in which the Camino de Santiago runs, in the place of A Farrapa.
After leaving this industry behind, cross the AS-28 and continue for about 170 meters along an asphalt road that draws a curve to later re-link with the regional road. It corresponds to the old route of this road, in an area in which it was regularized and therefore ceased to be used.
Back on the road, continue to the right, along the shoulder of the road for about 80 meters, after which you take a detour to the right, along a dirt path that ascends and passes through some trees? ? and bushes, between meadows, to arrive 480 meters later at a farmhouse, in the place of Xuntacasa, past whose buildings you pass, continuing straight on, without taking a detour to the left towards the road. The path continues along a narrow dirt path, between meadows and scrubland, which gently descends two hundred meters later to the first houses in the town of Cereixeira.
- Related item: Cereixeira
At this point the road becomes asphalted and joins a local road, continuing along the shoulder of this road, to the left, arriving later, after the last houses, at the road link with the regional AS- 28, continuing along its shoulder for about 200 meters, leaving behind a car park, on the left, and on the right a building with an elongated floor and dedicated to hospitality.
After those two hundred meters of travel, the road is crossed, in the place where a road starts in the direction of Vilarello. Right next to the beginning of this road, a dirt path begins, along which the Camino de Santiago continues, in principle parallel to the AS-28 road, separated from it by a meadow, in an area known as A Pezoa.
The march continues along this path, at first among trees and then through extensive meadows, the Path being limited, on both sides, by wooden stakes and wire. After just over half a kilometer, take the first detour to the left, continuing through meadows first to later enter the gallery made up of the existing trees on both sides of the path, which is also delimited at some point by stone walls. You arrive at the Chapel of Hope of Malneira.
- Related item: Capilla de La Esperanza
After passing the chapel, cross a local road and continue straight on (leaving the access to the town of Malneira on the right (which the Camino does not reach), along a dirt track between trees, which after a journey of About 160 meters, you pass an abandoned house on the right and come to a crossroads, having to opt for the one on the left, a dirt track that runs between oak trees, stone walls and some closure made of slabs of driven slate.
After a little more than 500 meters, you pass to an area of meadows and the track turns into a paved road, after a detour to the left that leads to the AS-28 road. From the front, you can reach the town of Castro in a few meters, which you cross in an East-West direction, without taking any detour, first passing under some cattle sheds and then entering the center of the population, passing in front of the chapel of San Martín and Santa Bárbara.
After passing the chapel, the route continues along a concrete path flanked by stone walls, with meadows on both sides, and then, between houses of one and two heights, after which, at a crossroads, we continue to the left, approaching the exit of the town, among its last constructions, reaching a section in which the path is flanked on the right by a stone wall and on the left by an alignment of driven stones, after which you reach a road that To the left it leads to the AS28 road and to the right to the exhibition center linked to the Chao Samartín fort, which is reached by following this path after just 160 meters.
This center is the perfect starting point for a visit to the exceptional castro del Chao Samartín, declared a Site of Cultural Interest and one of the great heritage assets linked to the Camino de Santiago in western Asturias.
At this intersection with the road, the Jacobean route continues straight ahead, along a dirt track initially encased between stone walls that flank both sides of the road, then passing through it between meadows on the left and oak trees on the right. Without taking any detour from those that lead to towns such as Padraira, continue straight, passing through areas where the path presents a box strongly marked by the side slopes of earth on which stone walls are sometimes arranged. After 1.2 kilometers along this path, you will reach the hermitage of San Lázaro de Padraira, large and with a portico.
- Related item: Capilla de San Lázaro
After the hermitage, continue straight on, along the path that was coming, between trees and some meadow, arriving after another 850 meters, to connect with the regional road, continuing to the right along a narrow dirt path parallel to its road , for 85 meters, and then deviate to the left along an unused road that leads to a house, continuing straight ahead, without taking the detour to the left that starts from the construction itself, and re-linking after a total of 280 meters, with the AS-28 road, continuing to the left.
A journey of approximately one thousand six hundred meters begins here next to the road, being for the most part (except at the end of this journey) along a narrow path separated from the road by guardrails. Leave the detours to Monteseirín Grande and Pequeno and Pelou behind, and continue on a steep ascent that will lead to the town of Penafonte, the last population center that will cross the Camino de Santiago Primitivo as it passes through Asturias.
- Related item: Penafonte
Upon reaching this town, take the detour to the right that leads by road to the town, then take the first possible detour to the right, in front of some two-story houses, along a concrete track that, in strong sloping uphill, it leads to the cemetery and, behind it, to the church of Santa María.
- Related item: Iglesia de Santa María
The church presides over an open space, with a 1932 laundry located opposite it. Behind the church, in the background, stands the so-called Casa de la Peña, located right next to the rock that gives the town its name.
- Related item: Casa de la Peña
Leaving the church behind, continue straight ahead, crossing the center of Penafonte, for later, at a fork in the road (leading the left to the As28 road), take the one on the right, which ascends along a concrete track to, after passing the last houses of the town, continue straight ahead along a narrow stone path, steeply ascending the slope of Monte do Zarro, and that about 100 meters later continues straight ahead at another crossroads.
You ascend between pine plantations and increasingly wide views of the mountainous ridges of this border area between Asturias and Galicia, where wind farms are frequent. The path is well delimited by side slopes of land, on the right bank. After 1,200 meters, it joins a wider track to access the A Curiscada wind farm, which is on the right-hand side. Continue along the same road, to the left, reaching 80 meters later on the AS29 road.
Cross the road and continue straight on, in a road junction area. As soon as you pass the other side, you take a detour to the right, along a narrow dirt and stone path that is accessed after passing a gate. The last Asturian section of the Camino Primitivo begins here, which will lead to Alto del Acebo and Galicia.
We continue along the path ascending between bushes, gorse, and under the alignment of the cordal where the windmills of a wind farm are erected. After a curve to the left, the Way remains parallel to the top line of this mountain range, for, 750 meters after starting the route, it reaches another gate that is crossed, the path converging on a track that continues towards turn left for about 200 meters, then at another junction of tracks, turn right and, between pine trees, go up to Alto del Acebo, connecting with the wind farm service track, whose mills are on the right and left of the Camino de Santiago.
You cross this track and continue straight ahead, along a dirt and stone path that runs through pine trees and 360 meters later continuing straight ahead, leaving a deviation to the right. Just 200 meters later, just after leaving a detour on the left, you will reach the limit between Asturias and Galicia, continuing from here on the Camino Primitivo through the province of Lugo.