Total distance 609.5 km
Daily average 29
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 685 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 702 m
I think there were seventeen in the albergue last night, only one of whom I had met before – Slovakian Peter. Most were still fast asleep when I left this morning, except for the German couple who had left around 06:30. I set off at 07:15 under a grey cloudy sky. It was another good day for walking off road, mostly through woodland, with a great deal of elevation – up and down, over and over again.
I stopped for a drink and met with two young guys from the UK and a Slovakian girl and later I came across two more new Germans. The French seem to have thinned out now.
I made a mistake in the middle of a eucalyptus plantation this afternoon, adding around 1.5 kms to my journey, but it could have been worse. The first half of the walk, into Cadavedo, was very well marked, but the arrows diminished a bit after this point. The hospitalero from the albergue in Soto de Luiña had been very busy with his yellow paint, marking just about anything that didn’t move (and maybe a few things that did!). He gave us a talk last evening about the options for the following stage, and recommended following the coastal route.
I have seen advertising for a couple of days for a newish private albergue in Luarca, but without any mention of cost and without contact details. I was thinking in a very sceptical way that when I arrived I would be faced with a 15 or 20 euro charge and wouldn’t want to move on because there is nowhere else very close – the municipal albergue is a few kms out of town. However, when I finally arrived I found a lovely establishment that is clean and sparkling with 24 beds, kitchen, washer/dryer, two lovely bathrooms and very central in the town. All for 10 euros – excellent value (except the wifi is too weak to be of any use).
The weather was a bit ‘iffy’ today. When I stopped for my morning break there were a few drops of rain and some very threatening clouds, so I took the opportunity to put on my shoulder cape just in case. That did the trick and kept the rain at bay for the rest of the day until I was almost at my destination, when I got slightly damp. The sun even put in a brief appearance during the afternoon and the cloud parted to show some blue sky.
The horreos (grain stores) in this area are huge and high rise. Most are about 3 or 4 metres square and propped at the level of the first floor of a house, whereas in Galicia they have been only around 1.5 metres wide and maybe 3 long and about a metre off the ground. When I was speaking to Javier the vet, he said they were built not only to keep out rats but also to keep out humidity, so perhaps they need to be higher off the ground here as there is more rain. Any other opinions, as always, gratefully accepted.
I am now just over half way through my 40 day journey and only two days away from my really big adventure of going ‘off camino’ for seven days between Ribadeo and Ferrol. This diversion gave me many sleepless nights of anxiety in the planning stages, but now that it is almost upon me, I am feeling rather laid-back about it – que sera, sera.