Unlike the Mediterranean coastline there’s no buzzing atmosphere on this part of the Atlantic coast there are just charming fishing villages with some unspoilt beaches, and historical sites, however, this rugged coast also has its run-down places. 

Some days we are treated to great views of the green mountains or the right the ever-changing colour of the sea but so far we haven’t been brave enough to take a dip but with the weather finally changing I’m sure we will, but before we leave Foz, John needs a haircut and we go in search of a Spanish SIM card because our data is running out fast.

Quick trim up

Cervo is a very small place with inter twinning streets that lead us past the beach and up to the lighthouse. It’s here we notice the signs detailing the aim to regenerate the area by turning the village into a living museum, but as we sit eating lunch looking across the bay you wonder how they manage this with at least 70 homes advertised for sale, it’s a seems rather ambitious.

One of the 9 Lighthouses along this coast, Cervo

Photo – Lots of empty and unfinished buildings here’s

The aire in Viveiro doesn’t have great reviews but we decide to see for ourselves, however at 2.30 pm it’s already noisy and if like the reviews suggest it turns rather seedy by night full, we opt for driving a few more miles along the coast to Playa de San Roman. 

Beach at Playa de San Roman

Parked up behind what seems to be the only bar we spend the afternoon reading up on the area, walk along the beach that we have to ourselves, and then stop off at the bar for a drink, where we are given the most delicious free Tapas.

Parked up for the night at Playa de San Roman

Reading up on Spain and we discover that Alfonso XIII born in 1886 became a promoter of tourism in Spain when he had trouble finding accommodation for his wedding guests so hence the construction of the Hotel Palace in Madrid which then lead to him supporting construction all across Spain, shame motorhomes weren’t around then he might have done a better job at getting the services right for the aires!!

Playa de San Roman

He was also instrumental in the housing of immigrants abroad with streets named after him. One of these streets is Alphonso street in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, built especially for Spanish immigrants in the mining industry. 

The next day we pull into several places but none of them looks appealing so we keep driving. 

San Sadurnino topping up with water

San Sadurniño is a small village and we stop here for lunch. We could stay here for tonight but the aire has just 2 bays which are also used for the services as well.

Arco da Pont Nova, Betanzos its a steep hill

The aire for Betanzos is along the river near the industrial centre and like most of these places, it’s busy with people going to the bar, hopping on and off the train, and walking in the park behind us. 

One of the several squares in Betanzos

We enter the old town of Betanzos through the Arco da Pont Nova which is the original gateway to the town, and, not surprisingly, found near the Pont Nova bridge that we cross. The old town is built on a steep slope and it’s quite a walk to the top so thank goodness narrow streets are meandering upwards to take the strain off our knees!!

We walk along the river in to Betanzos

Ambling up the hill it’s evident that lots of the places are closed and look like they need some attention.

This area has a gothic feel to it as we pass the houses on the Rua da Cerca.

Having visited countless religious places before we decide not to go into Santiago de Compostela however we do stay at the Aire which has amazing views across the city. 

Aire at Santiago de Compestola

Life seems to revolve around this city as we sit and watch the sun go down and the lights come on.

Amazing views towards Santiago de Compostela
Lovey chap that runs this site definitely worth a visit

Stopping at Padron we park next to the river and pathway that for centuries, thousands of pilgrims have travelled along the Saint James Way, finally reaching and entering the iconic Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. 

Padron

And it’s whilst having our lunch we see lots of the pilgrims pass by, old, young, some hobbling and some with the inevitable walking sticks and scallop shells on their backpacks, each with a story to tell and their reasons of why they are doing the walk.

Padron having lunch watching the fish and walkers passing

There’s a market in Pardon on Saturday otherwise we could stay here
Interesting bike repair station at the aire in Padron
Aire in Villiagarcia de Arosa

Its Saturday so we want somewhere quiet to stay and a few of the places we pass are near roads so we just keep driving, when park for the night shows an aire on the island of Villagarcia de Arosa it’s a bit out of our way but we decide it’s worth taking a detour. With the directions taking us away from the town we begin to wonder if this is the right way as we are heading to a dead-end and what looks like the gates to someone’s garden. 

The house is owned by a Spanish family who charge motorhomes €10 a night but there are no services, however, it’s worth the peace. 
Villiagarcia de Arosa our view out to see

In our broken Spanish we call the mobile number on the gate which is promptly opened to reveal the most amazing view out to sea. 

We sit outside for dinner where we can see the Rua lighthouse that stands on a rocky islet in the heart of the Arosa estuary.
A short walk from here we find a beach bar with different views of the island. 
Testing the water its getting warmer
Different view of the island

Tomorrow we say goodbye to this interesting region of Spain. Along with the weather, which is slowly changing, (well at least the rain has stopped) and finding somewhere to stop that we are both happy with, has been challenging at times, we don’t want to be kept awake by load, and sometimes drunk people or the screeching of tyres that isn’t what we came here for, however, John sleeps through anything so is oblivious to some of this, holidaying here in a hotel or caravan is a different experience from a motorhome.

Coordinates for North Spain

Cervo 

San Cibrao

N 43° 41′ 38

W 7° 26′ 20

Viveiro 

N 43° 42′ 57 

W 7° 37′ 24

Playa de San Roman 

N 43° 42′ 58

W 7° 37′ 25

San Sadurnino

N 43° 31′ 53

W 8° 4′ 26

Betanzos

N 43° 17′ 3 

W 8° 12′ 50

Santiago de Compostela

N 42° 53′ 31

W 8° 30′ 5

Pardon 

N 42° 43′ 56

W 8° 39′ 40

Villiagarcia de arosa

N 42° 32′ 18

W 8° 52′ 30

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