The Way with Correos
This week there is a new edition of “The Camino ends in Obradoiro”, a project that includes a series of activities about the history of sacrifice and overcoming of a former basketball player travelling the Camino de Santiago. This time it was the mythical Nikos Galis who went to Santiago through the five stages of the Camino Inglés, and from the Post Office Camino we not only transport your backpack from start to finish for each stage with our #PaqMochila but also accompanied you throughout the entire pilgrimage for five days that were so incredible they warranted an article. Keep reading and relive this experience with us.
The first day he found us in Ferrol and we can assure you that it was an emotionally-charged moment, and this was not only because of what we were about to experience but also because the day began with a meeting of two basketball legends: Juan Antonio Corbalán, protagonist of the previous edition of the Camino ends in Obradoiro, and the already mentioned Nikos Galis.
At this meeting Corbalán gave Galis the pilgrim's cane, encouraging him on his new adventure with the saying: "The Camino is linked to a very profound feeling.”
Once the transfer has been made and many photographs taken (it's not every day that we bring together two greats like Corbalán and Galis), we decided it was time to begin our Camino and walk, leaving Ferrol behind us.
Following the arrows and shells of the English Way, we went through an enormous amount of help and good wishes towards the pilgrims from the locals throughout the entire Camino, something that does not surprise us considering the essence of the Camino de Santiago.
At the end of the stage, we arrived in Pontedeume, where Galis was received by the Mayor Bernando Fernández and several members of the Pontedeume Basketball Club, to whom Nikos signed shirts and balls. They all accompanied the ex-basketball player to the Torre de los Andrade, where, apart from finishing the stage, he also signed the Pontedeume Book of Honora.
We begin the second stage stamping our credentials at our office in Pontedeume. From there, we set off for Betanzos for the second stage that, unlike the first, is characterized by a much more rural and natural landscape, somethign that did not go unnocticed by Nikos and his family, who were able to enjoy this nature tour.
At this stage, Galis was accompanied by Gonzalo Rodríguez Palmeiro, second coach of the Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro, with whom he not only shared talks and confessions about basketball, but also made some shots to the hoop.
At mid stage, we made a stop in Miño, a beautiful town where we took the opportunity to eat and relax for a little while before we faced what was left of the stage.
After lunch and dinner, we decided it was time to continue, so we headed to Betanzos, where Diego Fernando, Lieutenant Mayor of the town, was waiting to accompany us in the final section of the old gate of the wall to Plaza García Naveira, where we concluded this second stage.
The third say we started with new company since Nikos would be joined by Moncho Fernández, trainer for Obradoiro CAB, throughout this stage. With him and the rest of Nikos' family, we left from the Tourist Office of Betanzos, where Mayor Ramón García bid us goodbye, in the southwest direction to cross what most consider the star stage of the Camino Inglés.
This stage relinquishes the maritime landscape that we were enjoying and we are immersed in a rural profile. This can be seen especially in the City Hall of Abegondo, where the Camino is in full force in the Galician interior.
Past Abegondo was the most complicated part of this stage, which is between San Paio de Vilacoba and A Malata, the highest point of the Camino Inglés. Once we passed this section, we only had a half an hour to walk until arriving to Hospital de Bruma, Mesía, where we ended the stage in fron of the Pilgrims' Hostel of the Xunta de Galicia, which was curiously first built on the Camino Inglés. There we caught Nikos and Moncho enjoying an extensive and well-deserved chat.
The fourth stage we started, as it could not be otherwise, sending again our luggage at the beggining of the stage with our #PaqMochila, something that was fundamental to enjoy the Camino much more comfortable, especially considering the high temperatures that we would suffer throughout the day.
Once we didn't have the luggage anymore we went to Sigüeiro, at this stage accompanied by two new partners: Oscar Rodríguez, member of the board of directors of Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro and José Luis Baquero, general director of the club.
This is probably the most complicated stage of the Camino, and this difficulty increased with the more than thirty degrees of temperature we had and the nearly 25 km walked under the sun. Luckily the good vibe of the group, with a warm and extremely attentive Nikos Galis, made the heat only an anecdote of another stage, the penultimate in this case, which was much enjoyed by all who were there.
Near the end of the first third of the stage, in A Rua, Nikos was received and accompanied during the section that runs through the municipality of Ordes by its Mayor, José Luis Martínez, and the Deputy Mayor Ana Soneira.
At the end of the stage, in Sigüeiro, Galis was received by Manuel Mirás, Mayor of Oroso, Provincial Deputy and City Councilor Antonio Oleira and Councilor of Education Beatriz Domínguez. With them we concluded the stage, waiting the next day to reach our final destination: Santiago de Compostela.
After the previous day that had been marked by the heat, the last day found us with renewed energy not only bcause the knowledge that we were already very close to our long awaited final destination, but above all because of the incredible welcome that the children of the CEIP do Camiño Inglés gave us.
There Nikos signed autographs and made an interview before starting the last stage that would take us to the Plaza Obradoiro and the Cathedral of Santiago.
The fifth and final stage of the English Way has a characteristic that makes it the best for many people: it is by far the shortest of the five. This is not only positive because it requires us less physically, but above all because a very long stage would be complicated to carry with the eagerness to reach Santiago. Luckily the good atmosphere created by the group made it an unbeatable stage and that the arrival in Santiago was lived as a real prize.
As in the previous stages, at this stage we also had new road partners, in this case were Santiago Yusta and Alberto Corby, players of the Río Natura Mombus Obradoiro .
With them we made the last kilometers of the stage until arriving at the Cathedral, a Cathedral that we had already seen from the distance and we were eager to reach.
Finally, half an hour later, with a mixture of emotions and new sensations, we reached the longed-for place to say, now, yes, the Way ends in Obradoiro!
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