Total distance 929.8 km
Daily average 28.1
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 673 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 286 m
Betanzos had a lot more to see than I took advantage of. It is a large town with many ancient churches, including a church of Santiago. But I didn’t arrive until late and used my time exercising my tongue.
If you are offered the second floor dorm in Betanzos, consider declining it. It is very spacious with a very high sloping ceiling. But something was causing a loud creaking sound all night. No snoring, but the creaking was worse. Then someone’s alarm sounded at 06:00. Why do people need to set a sounding alarm? I haven’t actually set an alarm on this camino (other people’s always wake me) but I have in the past, but only on vibrate. I keep my phone under my pillow so it always has the desired effect. Maybe younger people sleep more heavily and need more of a nudge – but quite frankly I would happily do that job on occasion! So as I was awake, I thought I may as well get on with my day. I didn’t leave until 7:00 because that is quite early enough for me.
Today I experienced my first heavy rain while walking on this camino. There had been a light fall early in the day, when I stopped to put on my shoulder cape/pack cover and my raincoat, but at this point it wasn’t really necessary. However soon enough the rain came down in earnest and I stopped again to put on my gaiters. I don’t think gaiters and shorts is a look that is likely to catch on any time soon, but I was very pleased that my boots stayed dry. In fact all of my rain gear performed well during the hour or so that it poured and during the rest of the day’s walk when it varied between dry-ish and light-ish rainfall.
I stopped at around 12.5 km (I had forgotten to start recording my walk right at the beginning, so can’t be exact) when I came across a fabulous bar/restaurant called Meson Museo in the village of Presedo. I dumped my dripping ‘stuff’ under cover outside and was warmly welcomed in the bar and fed toast and Cola Coa. A little pricey at 3.75 euros (I was charged 2.10 euros yesterday for the same) but I was very happy to have come in out of the rain and it is an interesting place with lots of brightly coloured artwork.
There is nothing else of note to report. No villages passed through, although the occasional cluster of houses and farm buildings. Not particularly interesting countryside, although I was delighted to pass through a couple of indigenous woodland areas. It was really just a matter of head down and plough on, avoiding as many muddy patches as possible through the dirt tracks. I would estimate again that today’s walk was around 50:50 road to track.
My guide told me that there was a bar in the village of Visoño, but I completely missed both the bar and the village. I arrived in Hospital de Bruma at around 14:00. There were six already arrived, but I tend to think they didn’t walk from Betanzos. It is another pleasant albergue with 22 beds. The shower and wc facilities are across a courtyard and I haven’t investigsted yet as I came straight to eat.
My guide told me that there were no facilities at Bruma, but that a nearby restaurant would deliver food to order, which was a bit worrying as my food cache consists of one nectarine. But when I arrived, the first thing the kind hospitalera told me was that there is a new restaurant just a few metres from the albergue serving food from 13:00 to 20:00. I chose a lunch of mixed salad (not on the menu but happily supplied) pork chop with sautéed potatoes and flan, with a bottle of very nice young white wine and a most enjoyable cup of hot water.
I can’t say that this camino is exciting me very much, but that is probably because I was over-excited during my week ‘off-piste’ and now it seems a little tame and a lot crowded. I guess it would have been better to complete my standard camino before doing the more adventurous part, and therefore end on a high, but logistics were not in favour of this option
I could walk the 40 km stage into Santiago tomorrow (Wednesday) in one go, but I have a dinner-date with a very nice man on Thursday, so I shall split the stage in two and hopefully arrive in time for the pilgrim’s mass at mid-day, before meeting Super-George, with whom I walked the first eighteen days of my Camino Mozárabe last year. He has walked up from Cádiz and met with his grandson in Santiago to walk together to Finisterre. It will be great to see him again and catch up on eachother’s 2016 caminos.