A very strong wind picked up last evening which was howling all night and was still raging this morning.
I wrapped up with fleece sleeves under my raincoat, my buff head band over my ears, and my sock gloves keeping my hands from freezing. It was a different sort of cold from the frosty mornings of a few days ago, not so raw but definitely very chilly. I stowed my walking poles as it is very difficult to use them efficiently with my thumbs locked into the socks and also a very strong wind can blow them off course and in front of my legs which could cause a trip.
My notes described the walk as ‘being on top of the world’ which would have been fabulous on a balmy spring day, but not quite so great when battling through a gale force wind. The surroundings were marvellous – big undulating hills covered in heather and gorse with views for miles around. A huge reservoir came into sight with bright sapphire coloured water.
My head started to hurt from the cold so I wrapped my infinity buff around my ears and put my hood up – I am setting trends all along this camino! I was striding at quite a pace and was enjoying walking without my poles for a change, but after around 12 km I started to get an ache in my back and as soon as I put the poles into action it disappeared immediately. I passed everyone in front of me, was given swift chase by a spanish guy who seemed not to like me (a mere woman?) passing him – but I joined in his game and kept him at bay until we came to a very severe and long descent on shale, at which point I slowed right down for safety’s sake and let him rush past. We exchanged a few words – he is from Santiago de Compostela, so I complimented him on his city as I ate his dust.
The first stop was at 20 km in the tiny village of Campobecerros, where I stopped at the first cafe and ordered an extra large Cola Cao (hot chocolate) and a bacon butty. A well deserved treat. Slowly but surely my latest walking companions arrived and all were compelled by the aroma of my bacon to order it for themselves. I think the friendly señora at the bar was quite pleased with my choice.
The walk continued on quiet road and beautiful mountainside track until I made s stop at a tiny village where a very kind woman called Marisol offered passing pilgrims refreshment and snacks on a donativo basis. We had a lovely chat. She has walked all the caminos that pass through Galicia, but only within Galicia. It made a nice break before reaching my destinstion at 36.1 km.
The Xunta albergue is in a modern building with very good facilities. 32 places in 4 dormitories with separate bathroom facilities. No privacy in the shower but my affront at facing this indignity last year has faded a bit. I just got on with it – as a good pilgrim should. Fully working kitchen and disposable sheet and pillow case. 6€.
One of the guys that had already arrived looked vaguely familiar, and when I heard him speak I immediately recognised him. We had walked a few of the same stages on the camino Portuguese last year and stayed in the same albergues in Villafranca de Xira and Santarém. What a very small world!
The last couple of nights I have eaten with Dutch Marga, who has now dropped back a stage, German Wilfried, Swiss Peter, Danish Orsen (I know that will not be how her name is spelt, but it is how it sounds) and Paul. I really thought I would lose Paul’s company today because we wasn’t planning to walk this long stage, but here he is again, so I still have the last member of my long ago pilgrim family.
The wind is forecast to be very strong again tomorrow and we have a severe climb for the first few km’s, so a hard morning coming up…
Distance according to Wikiloc – 36 km
Accumulated elevation uphill 584 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 1,051 metres
Total distance walked 1,146.3 km, average 27.3 km per day
Poor Maggie your really had a hard and difficult morning. Wonderful photos however, the best yet, if I may say so. I think the colours are amazing. The reservoir is awesome. The sight of you striding off ahead of a hot blooded Spanish Male must have made his heart beat faster and he was going to show you, Biddy!! Hope you have a good evening and a great sleep. I’m still enjoying your blog so much. Buen Camino
Sorry to hear you had severe wind!
Sans the heather, replacing it with sagebrush, your vistas resemble Wyoming! Beautiful pictures. Happy for you that you were able to stay kind of warm–smart packing! Buen Camino!
Wow, fabulous photos!. Determination is something you have heaps of Maggie. Go girl! xxx
What stamina you have, a shame these last couple of days are hard going. Wonderful photography as always and an interesting blog. Hopefully Paul will keep right on to the end of the road with you?
I remember the gale force winds on the Meseta… good grief… in the hills and up the mountains it just has more bite….the pictures are lovely. I admire your stamina. Ultreia
Amazed at the way you are munching through the kilometres come hail, shine and wind, not to mention the ups and downs. The 1100 km mark now in your wake. Invincible! By the sound of it your Danish dining companion is probably Aase, a fine traditional name for a Danish wench. Weather is topsy turvy all over Europe at the moment, but you seem to be having an unfair share! Looks to me as if you just made it across wuthering heights. Beautiful.
Keep thinking of lovely warm summer ahead with friends and family, a horse and a shaggy dog and the wonderful memories and satisfaction of your epic camino. Nearly there!
What a hard walk and such a long one today. You’re doing so great, I’m gobsmacked. Pretty fields. Awesome views and colors. Hope you day after this one is lots better. ❤ ❤
I hope the weather improves for you soon Maggie. It doesn’t seem to be affecting your photography. In fact I think your pictures are getting even better, if that’s possible. A long day for you. Love reading your blogs even tho I don’t always comment. You are my morning or evening newspaper.
Difficult weather today and worse tomorrow. Good luck Maggie
I am a fan of the buff-under-hood style as well.
Great post. I enjoyed imagining the macho Spaniard being left in your wake. And yes, the pix are superb.