Total distance 902.7 km
Daily average 28.2
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 631 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 598 m
There were eventually six in the albergue last night, all female. It was spacious accommodation with lounging and dining area, small kitchen with microwave but no cooker, washing machine and disabled facilities. Standard Galician charge of 6 euros.
The benefits of staying in an albergue are that they are, obviously, geared towards the needs of pilgrims. It is easy to wash your clothes and put them out to dry, or occasionally have use of a tumble dryer. I have had to be quite inventive during the last week about how I dry my washing – suspending my elastic washing line from tv’s, wardrobe hinges, shower cubicles, curtain rails and window frames. To be honest, with every Camino I wash my clothes less and less. If my clothing passes the sniff test, it remains unwashed. Merino wool is great for not getting smelly. Although I have to admit that my normally totally unsmelly boots have been adversely affected by several submergences (not sure if that’s a word, but I am sure you know what I mean) in all sorts of undesirable muddy, boggy, cow shitty situations. My socks now need daily washing.
So I set off this morning without having to plan my route. I am back to ‘walking by numbers’. No stress. Just a need to keep alert and look out for upcoming arrows and shells. A doddle!
I set off at around 07:30 and stopped at around 5 km for breakfast – there were many options to stop. The walking was all on quiet roads for just over 7 km when I encountered the first soft track.
I reached the town of Ponteduerme after 16.6 kms and found a shop to buy some much desired fruit. I immediately ate two lovely juicy nectarines and stashed the rest of my supply for later in the day. There is an covered market next to the albergue. But if you are walking through, don’t walk towards the albergue, keep straight ahead after crossing the bridge, across the roundabout and climb straight up through the town. The walk out is steep in the extreme – 170 m in 1.9 km
Next stop Miño, at 27 km, where I called into a bar for a spot of lunch and chose a small ración of paella, just what the doctor ordered to fuel the rest of my walk. Overall I would say the first 27 kms to Miño were roughly 50:50 road to track.
I had originally planned to stop at Miño, but having heard so much about the fabulous new albergue at Betanzos 10 km further on, I wanted to see and try it for myself, so I made the decision to keep on walking. These last 10 kms were largely on very quiet roads.
Overall there has been a fair bit of elevation today, and the last few climbs seemed quite hard. But not surprising when considering the distance I walked.
I finally arrived at Betanzos at 17:30, rather tired, but pleased that I had covered the distance without any trouble, The albergue is indeed very lovely, in an old granite building, very spacious with 32 beds. The hospitalero was not around when I arrived so I settled myself in the last bottom bunk available, and took a shower. When I finally caught up with Pepe the hospitalero, he suggted I move up to the second floor where there are five single beds (all taken) and a few bunks (all free). I guessed with less people in residence on this floor there was a stronger chance of a decent night’s sleep, so I moved all my gear and settled myself in.
I guess there were about 25 pilgrims at the albergue, which is about 20 more than I am comfortable with. Time to toughen up!
There are two English women staying here tonight. One who lives close to Bristol. I hadn’t realised that I had missed female English company, but I talked non-stop for an age. I don’t think I bored them, but they may have been very good actors. So I spent my blogging time chatting away, with the result that this may not reach you tonight, or it might reach you but with no photos. If that is the case, I will add them tomorrow.