On how quickly things change! When I looked out of the window this morning I could see a perfect crescent of moon and a lone twinkling star in the dark sky. In the clear sky. It was the first time for more than a week that there was no cloud or mist. It was still very crisp when I set out, but completely dry.
Another very pretty walk mostly along woodland and farmland tracks with a few stretches along the road. I walked through many pretty hamlets built entirely of local stone, such an art, and probably standing for hundreds of years. There were some ruins but many that were well maintained. My favourite aspect of this area is the slate fencing, made of huge sections of very fine slate – it is just beautiful. Much of the stone is covered in moss which adds to the charm. We have passed many round buildings during the last few days, mostly store rooms I imagine.
My logic for a long day yesterday and a short day today was to bring me to the city of Lugo early in the day so that I could discover some of its charms. Unfortunately the municipal albergue doesn’t open until 13:00 and I arrived at 11:30, along with Oswaldo who flip-flopped alongside me for most of the walk. My backpack formed the first in an orderly queue of packs as others arrived in ones and twos.
I left my pack in the care of others whilst I wandered off into town to track down a mobile phone shop so that I could purchase a new data sim for my iPad. I won’t need this in future as I received a text from my UK mobile provider (EE) that as from next month I can use my data allowance anywhere in Europe. Great news, particularly as I have 10 GB of data per month and for a sim I have just had to pay 10 euros for 1 GB (although the lovely Ana at Competa Web sold me the sim that has just run out for 15 euros with 3 GB).
So I was first to gain entry to the Galician Xunta albergue and wasn’t surprised to find the very public shower facilities that I have moaned about for the last few years. Just a line of shower heads along a wall with no curtains or divisions. Separate male/female facilities, but nevertheless an absolute insult to a woman of my age (or any age) who values her privacy. How difficult would it be to rig a few shower curtains whilst making a significant investment in an otherwise excellent facility? But I am sure this will be the first of many, and I will just have to get my head around it once more. It really is the only thing about being in Galicia that I don’t love.
Marilyn and I have been walking separately the last few days. Our paces vary greatly. I am naturally faster (being considerably taller) and I get off to a speedy start in the morning and perhaps flag as the day progresses, whereas Marilyn starts slowly and gathers speed throughout the day. We usually end the stage within half an hour of each other but we could have developed a significant difference in our whereabouts during the day. It’s important to walk your own natural pace and ithas been much too cold to wait around recently.
Lugo is a magnificent city, with a beautiful, simple cathedral, a never ending city wall and a quarter stuffed full of ancient and charming buildings. Being a Saturday all those that like to be seen are parading in their finery with most of the ladies in heels that would put the fear of God into a mere peregrina. There is an abundance of normal city centre shops plus a fair few more individual premises. I am glad that I can’t consider making any purchases – what is bought must be carried (except of course food, and that must be eaten!).
I have enjoyed this down-time in a nice environment – sitting in a bar with a glass of wine whilst I write my blog and intermittently raise my eyes to admire the passing beauties. And it’s warm which just adds to my pleasure. But just wait – I shall probably be complaining that it’s too hot tomorrow.
Today’s distance 21.9 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 180 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 317 m
Total distance 752.8 km
Average per day 26.8 km