Galicia and Return to Somiedo

2 days ago we decided that it might be a good idea to travel further northwards and explore the Galician coast as it is praised to be so beautiful and nice there… Yep – that’s what marketing tells you; reality unfortunately is a bit different…

After hitting the coast road from Somiedo the countryside begins to change slightly and the hills get smoother and smoother and what is called “Rias” (old fjord-like structures) starts to emerge. As such it could be nice, yet the problem is that everything is covered in eucalyptus forest. The same monoculture tree in an endless succession. I read Galicia provides 30% of the Spanish forest – for sure 95% of the eucalyptus population as well… This monoculture is not only problematic as such, being an imported tree it causes a lot of problems as well and being poisonous only a fern (bracken) grows below it – which is neither very good as well… So in total a completely boring sight without interruption. As Galicia used to be a fishing and agricultural country as well most settlements are small and spread out so the whole territory is inhabited without “wild” space in between – meaning walking, hiking, etc. is nearly impossible. In the end we were quite disappointed Trauriges Smiley This kind of tourism is for sure not our cup of tea. If you are looking to rent an apartment, go out to the beach (where there are many!) and eat seafood you might be well off. If you look for real nature – stay away…

In the end we found a camping site which was not so strategically linked to the road network, yet in the end it turned out to be a disaster as well. We got at least 40+ mosquitos, 6 ticks within 5 minutes and the whole site was somehow not very nice…


The electricity installation gives a kind of impression as well Zwinkerndes Smiley


Going down to the beach it was quite sad to see that the coast is covered in litter and many algae (mainly due to agricultural fluids entering the streams) are growing




The typical site of Galicia… Trauriges Smiley


After the night we decided to move on the next day as there was no future. We drove down towards Santiago de Compostella only to discover that the west coast is absolutely the same – small settlements, large roads close to the coast (nice camping 1 km from the motorway…) and eucalyptus.

Seeing this we decided to drive on to our alternative destination “El Bierzo” which is supposed to be a hiking territory and just 3 hours drive away… Going there the countryside got a bit nicer again, yet now the always prominent Camino de Santiago started to emerge. This means that everything is somehow centred around the pilgrims (ok – nowadays perhaps hikers might be more appropriate) and “normal” tourism is neglected. Cities are getting duller and duller again (you can see the amount of “Se Vende” – “For Sale” increasing the more you enter the countryside) and nothing happens. No routes to hike, mostly (rather boring) agricultural land, no nice campsites, …

At 20:00 at night we were finally very disappointed to figure out that somehow this is not what we expected either and so we – after having a final look on the map – decided to go back where we liked it a lot and where it is for sure beautiful – Somiedo!  It took us another 2,5h to go there, but it was worth every km

Just coming down the pass was a great experience


A cool, peaceful night was just what we needed! Wonderful – feeling a bit like coming home.

So for us it is sure: Galicia never again… Perhaps to Santiago, Lugo and Vigo by train in winter, perhaps…

Next day we – being restored to our well-being – started a hike where we stopped last time. Magnificent overhangs


This time a bit more in proportion…


The old path was frame again by moss covered stones


And the views up the valley spectacular.


The landscape here is very amazing and you can see geology at work every step


As a thunderstorm was approaching it got more and more humid by the minute which can be seen in the mist in the air as well


Having this humidity and heat we decided not to walk down to the valley floor again, but just turned at the end for heading back to the camper… On the way we found our very special orchid again. Isn’t she a real beauty?


Being back at the camper we decided to call it a day and watch the clouds emerging and engulfing the mountains Smiley


Some more impressions from here:




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