Last evening the albergue in Bodenaya lived up to its glowing reputation. There were many pilgrims resident that I had met over the last couple of days and the atmosphere was jolly. Hospitalero David was kindness personified and provided everything a flagging pilgrim might require. On arrival tea, coffee or juice, wine (yes please) or beer. Later we all gathered for an informative presentation about our options for the coming days and a decision was made about the time we would rise in the morning. A compromise of 06:15 was decided upon and we were assured we would be woken to the sound of music and the smell of coffee. We then tucked into a meal of pasta salad followed by potato soup and as much wine as we wanted. As promised all the washed clothes were left for collection in the morning. But what I expected to look like a jumble sale was presented more like the items for sale in a Benetton shop, every shirt, pair of pants, socks, bras and shorts neatly folded just so with meticulous care. And then there was breakfast before we set off on our next stage.
I was delighted that Marilyn walked the extra kms yesterday to catch up and she raised a cheer as she was one of the last to arrive. Many had already been turned away but I had reserved a bed for Marilyn in the hope that she would make it. There are two further albergues just 1 km down the road, so all pilgrims would have been catered for.
Today’s walk has been almost entirely along woodland tracks with a few stiff climbs involved. The mist this morning was beautiful and settled below the highest mountains and behind the lowest ones – the effect was magical. The going was a bit muddy and boggy at times but nothing too difficult to cope with.
I loved this ‘how green is my valley’ sign – I had been saying those words over and over to myself during the last week or so, so it was particularly apt. And wow, it is green, and it is beautiful and it is vast. Such a privilege to walk along this camino.
Although I have to admit that over the last couple of days I have felt quite weary. No specific problems – the feet are really behaving themselves and I have no particular aches or pains, just a general feeling of fatigue. I was expecting to feel stronger with every day, but not so for today and yesterday. Hopefully a shortish stage today will gear me up for the exertion tomorrow. Up and over another mountain pass with no facilities at all en route, so extra food and water have to be carried. But the weather looks promising so I am feeling very positive about it.
Many pilgrims have walked on to the village of Borres, 3 km along the road, but the albergue is reported to be not great. Whilst here in Campiello the albergue Casa Ricardo is absolutely top notch, and there is another in the village. There are bars and shops which Borres doesn’t have. So it was a toss up between a 3 km shorter walk on a long and hard day and poor conditions, versus comfort and facilities. This afternoon I am definitely thinking I have made the right choice, but who knows what I might think tomorrow.
At least the weather is looking promising. There are two options tomorrow – one to go up and over (preferred in good weather), the other to walk into the valley and back up the other side (the winter route with a stop halfway), both with the same end point.
But back to Casa Ricardo, there is a beautiful kitchen with full hob, coffee machine and marble topped tables, washer and dryer, excellent large separate shower facilities each with two showers, two loos and two basins and the dormitory has 26 places in very sturdy wooden bunks, each with its own little shelf and power point. These guys have put a great deal of thought into providing what a tired pilgrim really needs and have come up trumps. Oh, and don’t forget the large sunny courtyard with an abundance of tables and chairs and a shop and bar across the road where we can buy food and drink. Absolutely first class. 10 euros, wifi but not very strong.
Today’s distance 25.9 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 474 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 502 m
Total distance 620.3 km
Average per day 27 km