ROUTE ALTO DO COUTO – SEOANE
FRIDAY, MAY 7
This last stage of Camiño do Courel is the perfect dessert, taking us through the botanical jewel of the mountains: the Devesa da Rogueira. This small space of 300 hectares, facing north, concentrates more than 90% of the species of flora in Galicia. The variety of ecosystems and different climates that converge cause the Atlantic and Mediterranean flora and fauna to live together in total harmony. Birches, beech, chestnut, oak … a myriad of different forests where the sun’s rays barely enter, an intact nature that we go through in our descent.
+ 586 m, -1251 m slope
the botanical jewel of Galicia
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We begin the stage in Alto do Couto, where a wide path leads us into this paradise. In the upper part we can see beech, yew, holly, ash and beech trees that, in autumn, create a unique atmosphere of reddish tones, in a practically inaccessible forest.
The iron richness of the area can be seen in another interesting geological point: the Fonte do Cervo, stone wall of several meters from which two sources flow: one of calcareous waters and another of ferruginous waters from the neighboring Formigueiros that stain Red all the rock.
In the middle part of this Devesa da Rogueira we can see species already more adapted to the Atlantic climate such as large oaks, hazelnuts and blueberries. In total, 21 different types of forests in just 3 square kilometers, which explains the important biodiversity of the devesa.
In the lower part we find typical vegetation of the Mediterranean climate, with many aromatic plants and a beautiful chestnut forest. The Rego da Rogueira collects all that water that falls from the devesa to give drink to the fauna that lives there, both reptiles and small mammals, roe deer or wild boar.
We finish this route through the spectacular Devesa da Rogueira with a comfortable path to the Moreda Nature Center, where a series of panels describe the characteristics of the devesa in a very didactic way.
From there we ascend the Monte Cido, from which we have a wide panoramic view and we will descend, leaving Esperante and its campsite on the right, to the last key point of this stage.
The Ferrería de Seoane (or Locay) is one of the most important civil buildings in the mountains, although the visit is not possible except on very specific days. Founded in 1808 on the banks of the Lor River to supply guns and military weapons to the army of the time, take advantage of the force of this to give movement to the machinery. On the one hand, the water moved the air bellows that kept the oven at 1200º C. On the other, the hammer (mallet) of more than 300 kilos that was moved by another axis 8 meters long. They emphasize the 2 towers of the building that conform the “banzado”.
In 1918 it was acquired by an emigrant from O Courel, who made his fortune in Cuba, whose family currently supports it. During those years it became a hydroelectric power station that supplied light to nearby towns until the end of the 20th century.
Attached to the ironworks, in another quiet nature environment next to the river, the Os Eidos Chiringuito is open during the summer. In the great esplanade in front of it, the Filandón of Courel Music is celebrated in August, which values the lyrical, musical, ethnographic and gastronomic heritage of the region.
We leave Ferrería along the path that takes us to Seoane, where we will end this Camiño do Courel, which will remain marked for a lifetime.
|Km Stage||Point||Height (m)||Km Total|
|0,0||Alto do Couto||75,2|
|1,1||Devesa da Rogueira||1250||76,3|
|2,4||Water source of Cervo||1356||77,6|
|5,9||Moreda Nature Center||730||81,1|
|11,5||Seoane do Courel||633||86,7|