Tag Archives: Stage 2

Rio Covo Beach

When we started designing this Camiño dos Faros, the primordial characteristic was that this should go along the coastline if it were possible. And this is what we have done in this part of the route: open a route that connects ErmidaBeach with this small sandy area called Río Covo, as beautiful as unknown by most of us. We got there after a kind of technical descent.

From that point we went up walking along all the vegetation till we reached the road that goes along the mount Facha.

Port of Santa Mariña

The Punta of Santa Mariña is similar to a small island that somehow closes the bay. We can see there some kinds of sheds, which are small buildings where the entangling gears and other fishing equipment for small-scale fishing are kept.

We stop for a while to take some photos of Punta Nariga, which seems to be even rockier, a huge sandbar that gets into the sea.

Behind these sheds, O Camiño dos Faros borders all this punta to see the coast of “A Barda” and that of O Roncudo and we take the road to go up the Mount Faro.

The House where Eduardo Pondal was born

The “pazo” (“pazo” is the Galician word used to describe big rural houses that used to be inhabited by people from the high classes),  where Eduardo Pondal was born in 1835 is placed in the mouth of the river Anllóns. This poet, contemporary of Rosalía de Castro and Curros Enríquez, described as nobody has done the wonders of Bergantiños. Together with Manuel Murguía, he is a staunch defender of the Celtic print in this land. From that point, the “Pondalian” route starts and it gets to the MountBranco when we review all the works by Eduardo Pondal as his poems are engraved in different stones.

A part of his poem “Queixume dos Pinos”, together with the music by Pascual Veiga, is part of the Galician Anthem and it is the icing of the cake in this stage that we had started in Niñóns.

¿Qué din os rumorosos
na costa verdecente
ao raio transparente
do prácido luar?
¿Qué din as altas copas
de escuro arume arpado
co seu ben compasado
monótono fungar?

Do teu verdor cinguido
e de benignos astros
confín dos verdes castros
e valeroso chan,
non des a esquecemento
da inxuria o rudo encono;
desperta do teu sono
fogar de Breogán.

Estuary of the River Anllóns

At this spot we are witness of how the wind action shapes the really fine sand to form some dunes with whimsical shapes. It is the desert of O Camiño dos Faros. In our route, we will walk over it and we will try not to step on any plant.

This part is a mix of feelings: after walking by the dunes, we walk along a path by the river. This stuary is the habitat chosen by loads of birds such as: plovers, tufted ducks or mallards to stay there for long. We suggest doing this part with binoculars and, if you feel like, go to the observation stand. 

We go on through the boardwalk of Couto towards Ponteceso. This part is full of contrasts, which makes us be aware again of the great variety of treasures in this route. O Camiño dos Faros, every step, one amazing landscape.

Mount Branco

We have walked a lot of kilometers of this stage but there are still 5 left to finish it in Ponteceso. However, suddenly the landscape radically changes, now the sand plays the main role. The mountBranco is the vantage point of this area.

From the viewpoint we can enjoy one of the most amazing views of this Camiño dos Faros: the mouth of the river Anllóns in the estuary of Corme and Laxe. It´s awesome! A place to use your camera for sure.

When we descend the mountBranco we get to the beach Barra, which divides the sea and the river.

At this spot we are witness of how the wind action shapes the really fine sand to form some dunes with whimsical shapes. It is the desert of O Camiño dos Faros. In our route, we will walk over it and we will try not to step on any plant.

Valarés Beach

The beach Valarés, placed in the inner part of the Estuary at the foot of mountBlanco is one of the most popular in A Costa da Morte.

When we get right to the beach, the beach is divided in two small coves, Big Valarés and Small Valarés, which was for long the place chosen for people as a campsite area where free camping was allowed and a lot of families used to spend the whole summer there. The well-maintained pine tree forest surrounding this sandy area is perfect to enjoy a meal or just to make a stop along O Camiño dos Faros.

The history of Valarés is also the history of Titania S.A., which is a Galician mining company created in 1936 and closed down in 1960, which was devoted to the exportation of titanium in Valarés. The mine was discovered in 1935 by the geographer Isidro Parga Pondal, and the brothers Fernández López also participated in this company. Titania was the exception to the tungsten electrodes rush of other mine in the area.

titania

 

This mine provides the inhabitants of Corme and Laxe with an important economic push during the hard postwar years. They had an “economato” (a kind of supermarket where the goods had much lower prices), good salaries for the time and decent working conditions.

 

Nowadays, some remains of the port can be seen and some parts of the pools where the “rutilio” (titanium oxide) was separated from the sand, however these remains are in bad condition. Apart from the titanium, they tried to process the sulphur from other mines, but they stopped doing it because many workers started suffering from hair loss and having some spots on their skin. Not very long after, the titanium rush came to an end and in 1960 the mine definitely closed down.

 

Regarding this mine,  Luís Giadás published in El País, on June 6th, 2010 that: “The mine brought an end to hunger in all the estuary of Corme and Laxe”, he confirms. The cards of the beneficiary of the “economato” and the interviews carried out to 20 neighbors that formed part of this enterprise are basically the only information we kept about the mine. In a deeply wounded economy because of the Second World War, the uses given to the titanium were suspicious for the workers, who didn’t know what they were working for. Some of them believed that the material was used by the pharmaceutical industry. Some others thought that it was used to make the coarse striking surface on the edge of a matchbox. Some of them were convinced that it was used to cover the bullets as the tungsten carbide did. “Most of the material was sent to the Basque Country, for the enterprise, Unquinosa, run by German people”, pointed out Giadás, who doesn´t not dare to explain how far Titania S.A. provided the war in Europe with the material required. “In this mine, what is hushed up is more interesting than what is said”, he states.

In Valarés, first, the stone wokers built a port hid not only for the titanium but also for smuggling. The women in O Couto, a place near Valarés, women learnt how to mix cement to help the men to build. When the mine started to be used as a natural resource, these women were the ones in charge of carrying on their heads the “bacías” (kind of plastic bottles) with the precious mineral, always mixed with the sand the low tide left. Women made less money than men –on average was 15 pesetas (a coin used in Spain before the euro), in the 1940s- but as men, they were covered by an insurance from the very first day of work and they were paid their extra hours. “Titania S.A. was a very modern factory if we compare it with those of that time. When this mother-lode rush is over in the 1960s, the discrete place Valarés was used for cigarette smuggling. The beach is kind of difficult to see from any spot.”, Giadás explains.

The “economato” of Titania S.A., which sold basic foodstuff to the employees who paid a price much lower than that of the market, made the years of rationing be less hard. The surpluses of flavor and oil were resold to buy shoes. There are still some neighbours who are paid the pension for all the years they worked in the mine. “In an economy that was mainly dependent on the agriculture and the sea, the mine was the first contact with the secondary sector”, Gaiás states. Most workers didn´t stay long because the salaries in Valarés, good for the time though, couldn´t be compared with those of the French and German factories in the 1960s.

Facha Mount

The route takes us along the mountFacha by using a broad forest track easy to walk along, something that we really thank after walking the kilometers we have already done.

When reaching the peak, the views of the Estuary are worth a stop. On the left, Corme, in front of us, Laxe and the coast of Camariñas till the MountBranco, that is the half point of O Camiño. On the right, Camana and the mouth of the river Anllóns…all the route that is left, saying amazing is not fair enough! 

From this point on, the route becomes smoother towards the beach Valarés.

 

Ermida Beach

Ermida beach is the biggest beach in Corme. It is placed at 1km far from the village taking the road that leads to Gondomil. It provides the visitors with a parking area and with lifeguard services.

We can see on this beach, apart from its complex dune area the small island Estrela, which is the set of an endless number of legends where we can see the remains of a small “castro” and an old chapel dedicated to the Virgin Estrela.

We walk along the beach and go on along the coast towards the beach Río Covo, another amazing discovery along Os Camiños dos Faros.

Osmo Beach

This is the beach that is usually used by the so-called family tourism that looks for calm and good baths in these waters that are actually cool as the rest belonging to the estuary. This beach provides the visitors with showers, and a lifeguard service. At the end of the beach, there is a “furna” that is used for the young people in the village to celebrate one of the most unique festivals in the area, “A noite dos encantos da furna do Osmo” (the night of the enchantments of the Furna in Osmo)