This is the queen stage of the entire Primitive Way, as it is the one that requires the most physical effort. But the difficulty is compensated by the fact that it is also one of the most beautiful. At this stage we start from Pola de Allande and we will begin to ascend until we reach the top of the Puerto del Palo, with just over a thousand meters of altitude, from where we appreciate spectacular views of the valley of the river Nisón and the nearby mountains of Lugo that indicate the proximity of the Galician territory, to end in the Asturian town of La Mesa.
We leave Pola de Allande by the road to take the path that goes down to the fertile plain of the river Nisón, 1 km from the petrol station in the direction of La Mesa. In a slight ascent we leave behind the villages of El Teixu and Colobreu, under holly trees and strawberry trees. We cross the bridge over the Fonfaraón stream that takes us to the Reigada.
The ascent gets harder and harder and the feeling of loneliness is more and more evident. We crossed the river a couple more times over wooden bridges and climbed up to the road. After walking 100 metres, we leave the road on the right to take a stony path and begin the ascent to the Palo Pass. The ascent is hard but rewarding. A little before the top you will find a fountain that will quench your thirst.
From the top the scenery is breathtaking. After taking a well-deserved rest and enjoying the views, we continue along a path on the right hand side, crossing paths with the pilgrims coming from Borres through the variant of the Ruta de los Hospitales.
Along the mountainside there are numerous ditches and scars, as well as an artificial lagoon, the result of excavations undertaken by the Roman Empire to supply itself with gold.
We continue along the stone path, the power line will accompany us until we reach Montefurado, a lonely but beautiful village of slate houses. Here you can visit the chapel of Santiago, which houses a curious carving of the Apostle.
We continue climbing towards the Sesto de la Fuente. Already at the top, we cross a small pass and start the descent towards Lago. At the entrance to the village, past the cemetery, there is an imposing yew tree, next to the parish church of Santa María.
Our next objective will be Berducedo, where we have 4 km soft, which we will be grateful. We pass a crossroads and reach again the AS-14, which we will leave on the left at the height of a pine forest.
We pass Berducedo and take an uphill path marked GR-109. When we reach the top we turn left and cross a pine forest that leads us to the local road that takes us to La Mesa, our end of the stage. Here we can visit the church of Santa María Magdalena, surrounded by a beautiful landscape disturbed by the installation of several wind farms.
The ascent to Puerto del Palo (1,446 metres) is quite hard, especially from La Reigada onwards, with a drop of more than 600 metres. There are not many water points from Pola de Allande to La Mesa, so we recommend you stock up before you start walking.