Our biggest decision was whether to take the direct route of 14km to Casa Dozon (ie the short cut) or the scenic route of 22km via the ruins of an old monastery. Guess which one the tour guide said we were taking? What do you reckon. Well it was the short route. Two reasons for doing this – Val had walked that way before and we were also aware of the number of people that might be coming through to the Albergue and we wanted to guarantee getting a bed. The short route guaranteed we would be here before the long route.
There’s really not much to say about today that I haven’t said already – quaint towns, beautiful flowers, ferny glades and even a long gentle hill. So instead of saying what the walk was like let me show you how beautiful it was for the most part.
Now this little dog was a sweet little thing. Two behind a fence started barking and they were quickly joined by two loose dogs. One looked as though she wanted some attention but was very very nervous. I put out my hand (very cautiously) and she wasn’t happy. When I touched her she went to snap but didn’t bite. I offered my hand again and she came closer. Eventually she trusted me, licked me and then lay down on the road for me to pat her. I wonder what had happened in her life that made her so scared of people.
One thing I have not mentioned other than briefly is breakfast. It’s a hit and miss affair really. It seems that in the small villages, there may be a cafe/bar open and there may not be. Even if you are told one will be open, it’s still unpredictable. They just don’t do mornings very well here. Bummer if you are a desperate coffee addict. We were looking for the cafe this am we were told by our host would be open at 7am. Nah, not open. So we walked onwards. In the small town of Cotelas we found one open. This fellow is another enterprising character who has worked hard to let pelegrinos know of his business. What was so nice to see was the he really took pride in his place. He advertised well too with posters on light posts/trees we had been passing the day before. He offered taxis for tired broken down pilgrims. Great guy and a nice start to the day. Chorizo and toast is quite sustaining washed down with a glass of leche caliente (hot milk) – I just can’t get a taste for coffee.
One of the other delights of the morning was the woman who was out watering her large veggie plot. She saw me taking her photo and Val started talking to her. She was most concerned that her photo would be shown around the world and her Sombero was broken. Not with a broken Sombero!! I love these little exchanges that would be just lost on my without my translator. It’s part of what the whole trip is about for me.
The one disadvantage of the short route we took today was we needed to walk for about 5km along the side of a major road. We were on a track beside it so separated from the traffic. But we were out in the open and had the noise of the traffic as companions. Soon we had some company. I wonder what the Spanish equivalent of Brown’s cows is.
So much for our haste to get to the albergue. We were the first to arrive and so got the best bunks – we’re tucked in a little corner of a large room of 10 bunks. Señor Draughtsman has arrived looking very tired and we have the 6 French people who were dining with Cesar yesterday when we arrived at his spider’s lair. There are also a couple of young Spanish blokes and a couple of oldish German men. No Herr CLACK CLACK to be heard anywhere – he has probably finished his Camino now.
Tomorrow will be our longest day of 27km as we head to Silleda. Hope I sleep well tonight with all my new roommates.