The Shipwrecks Route
The unique Route of the Shipwrecks is a route that takes place from Camariñas to Camelle, in just over two hours and where the traveler visits an area of Galicia where a large number of shipwrecks were recorded in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The region of the Costa da Morte, in Galicia, is named for the number of shipwrecks that occurred during more than 100 years in its rough waters. The shipwrecks that have been documented in this area reach an incredible number of more than 1,400 throughout more than a century.
One in particular has been legendary despite more than a century having passed since it happened.
It is the HMS Serpent, a ship of the English Royal Navy, which crashed into Punta do Boi, in Camariñas, on a rainy night in November, already 131 years ago. The poor visibility and the rains were the causes of this enormous tragedy where the sea took 172 souls and only three people survived. The parish priest of Javiña, seeing that the corpses continued to reach the coast, organized the locals and together they improvised a cemetery very close to the coast where they buried the captain and 140 recovered bodies.
Such was the impact of the sinking of the HMS Serpent that it prompted the authorities of the time to improve the lighthouse system along the entire Costa Da Morte.
The itinerary of the shipwrecks route includes the following places:
Shipwreck Route in Camariñas
Travelers depart from this town on a journey that will end in the town of Camelle and where the coast and the Atlantic Sea are the protagonists as we enter our first stop, which would be Cape Vilán.
The Shipwrecks Route in Cape Vilán
It was inaugurated in 1896 and it is the first lighthouse in Spain to work with electricity. It was built as a replacement for a shorter lighthouse that was hardly visible far offshore. Its 125 meters are embedded in the rock and its light enters the ocean at a distance of up to 50 kilometers. It can be accessed through a concrete tunnel made for this purpose, since making open stairs is impossible due to the strong winds in the area.
At the foot of the lighthouse, we find the Museum, where you can find nautical instruments and old light bulbs, as well as the history of the lighthouse on display.
The Shipwrecks of Punta Do Boi
Before reaching the English Cemetery, most tourists make a stop in this area, which has caused so many shipwrecks in the past. It is a time for reflection and meditation on the unstoppable force of nature.
The English Cemetery
It was the parish priest of the town of Javiña who declared, seeing so many bodies reaching the shore, decided to give them a Christian burial. Today you can see the place, delimited by a small rectangular stone wall and in the center a taller one made of the same material. Inside, the captain and his officers are buried, while outside and around, the bodies of the sailors rest.
It is curious to see numerous milladoiros, small stacked stones that were formerly made to mark paths, in the surroundings of the cemetery.
On the way to the town of Camelle, many visitors make a stop at the Church of Santa Mariña, which also has an incredible viewpoint of the coast.
Shipwreck Route in Camelle
Finally, visitors arrive at the town of Camelle, where most of the shipwrecks of Costa Da Morte were legally processed. The biggest attraction in this town is the museum in honor of the sculptor Manfred Gnädinger, who was also called Man or the German.
This route takes just over two hours and if you are hungry by the time you arrive in Camelle, you can enjoy delicious Galician food in any of its restaurants accompanied by a delicious wine.
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