Well there you have it – another day on the Camino complete here in Spain.
An easy stroll (as per the guidebook) from Portomarin to Palais de Rei in just 24.6km (39,984 FitBit steps) in about 5hrs.
Leaving the hostel at 8am after a beyond big and humid and horrible sleep – we began the day with an amazing eggs and bacon breakfast complimented with a much needed coffee.
The hostel was great, don’t get me wrong – the humid hell of the room was sort of out their control. Thee was a dog and a rooster up the street making a racket all night and one of our other 6 roomies shut the window turning the place into a sauna within an hour. Yuck. The hostel owner was a riot – quite the busy body with his introductions to the house rules, demonstrations of everything including how the plug-ins work, and his need to have us add the dates to all the stamps in our pilgrim’s credential before he would stamp it for us! Any other day this would have humoured us – as it was we were standing sweating with heavy packs on in the sauna hostel and he needed to get on with it lol
At about 845am, the boots hit the trail with a number of small villages dotting the route ahead. This means you don’t have to carry much water and food is easy to find so you don’t need to carry much of that either – yahoo less to carry, is less weight in the pack, is happy feet!
The trail in the morning was a long uphill then quite a bit of time in the cold, cold wind at a higher elevation. By the look of the sky and bite of the wind, I was sure it was going to rain, but the Yahoo Weather App was right again – no rain. Yahoo!
Beyond the cold, the trail was not too exciting. Sadly, it was a lot of walking beside the main highway and among the crowds of pilgrims.
We have for sure noticed a couple things in the last 2 days as we near ‘the end’ in Santiago … there are more and more pilgrims and more and more garbage on the trail and more and more pilgrim graffiti. I am not impressed with any of this of course but it is the Way, not my Way so I keep on walking and try not to judge those around me for dropping their KitKat wrappers or writing ‘see you in Santiago, Bill’ on Camino way markers. Hmmm
Trail highlights of the morning:
By afternoon the clouds had blown over but the pilgrim crowds were still pretty thick – it was far and few between that there was a gap in the trickle of other walkers. Neat to notice more people walking to Santiago with their dogs, and a few full out long distance runners to Santiago too.
Some highlight from the afternoon:
At about km 17 or so, a cafe con leche was in order and some proactive foot love. The dust of the path was getting my sweaty feet gritty, so some glide was needed before grit turned to rub which turns to blister. A switch over from running socks to compression socks also helped keep the dogs from barking too loud.
Oh and I met a friend too! Yesterday it was a wee kitty and today … a chicken.
Before resuming the path, a traffic jam had to clear up .so I took my time (waiting for the crowd/herd to clear and the patties to dry a little on the road before I was the one to step in it) ….
By 3pm we were toasting another awesome day from a sunny pub in the village square of Palas de Rei, listening to church bells, and making decisions about what to have for dinner.
Our evening ended with a bit of excitement – we were getting ready to tuck into bed when our hostel last night (Albergue Castro) advised we were given the wrong beds. So in pajamas, we packed our gear and moved down a few floors. To a much smaller room actually which I love! Only 4 beds not 6 as we had been in, which means only 3 potential people to keep me up snoring all night instead of 5. On the Camino these are the little things you celebrate!
At least we got beds at Albergue Castro, our original booking at Albergue San Marcos was a bust. They were very rude about me not calling to confirm the day before and basically kicked me out saying ‘goodby, good bye’ when I tried to check in. Some nice lady heard this and said they paid for 6 beds but now only need 4 and we could have the other 2. The San Marcos meanie said no and some other things I couldn’t translate and again said to me ‘good bye’ (a word she clearly knows in English as she uses it a lot). Well in Camino fashion this means we were not meant to stay there, so we found the place we should – Albergue Castro, and we had a great sleeps. Thanks very much San Marcos grumpy lady.
Ok off to Arzua – just a quick 29km away in 24C clears skies and thank goodness humidly below 50%. We will check in later.