Metal Carbide Factory /Crossroads at Hospital.
Here the direct route to Muxia separates from the Camilla Fisterra and heads off to the north i west, A distance of some 27 km. (See Stage 5 for the route in reverse, from Muxia to Hospital).
Turn Left for [600m] metres to pass in front of the metal carbide factory whose giant chimneys, spewing smoke into the surrounding sky, are visible for miles around. Trucks laden with ore thunder up and down the main road between here and the factory and port at Cee.
The factory is an incongruous neighbour to the nearby hill fort and prehistoric stone the Pedra Longa with it's ancient carvings made 3500 years ago.
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This stands alongside the primeval pathway which bears witness that pagan pilgrims walked this route long before the Christian era dawned. This is also the highest point of today's stage and the first time the sea opens up to view. Luckily for us, we leave the main road and factoiy here to follow the path of our pagan forbears. We pass over the silent and isolated moors for a mystical 12. I kilometre journey that evokes a sense of timeless reverence for the natural world. A world under constant threat from our insatiable consumer demands. These ancient moor lands are dotted with megalit hie tombs (Mamoas) and the presence of our ancestors and the spirit of St James can still be felt in this timeless landscape.
0. 6 km CAMINO REAL Turn off Right! Opposite the factory car pakonto these remote high moors. The path now slopes gently downhill [1. 9km] through scrub land, mostly gorse and heather with pockets of young forestry to:
1. 9 km MARCO DO COUTO / CRUCEIRO
Here we cross over a secondary road that joins Buxantes with Figueiroa/ Dumbria. The splendid wayside cross is 18th c. And adjoining it is a medieval marker stone with the initials RC. A reference, perhaps, to the original Camino Real. After [600m] [An alternative path veers right to join a track that goes in a straight line due West to the Ermita San Pedro Martfr] the recommended way marked route veers Left along the contour line for [1. 4km] before dropping down into: