Today’s distance 26 km
Elevation gain 198 m
Elevation loss 177 m
Total distance from Almería 1,383 km
As we leave the albergue this morning the rain is pouring down, but soon it slows down and then it stops (momentarily!). Meanwhile we have decided to take the coastal route which is not official. We have been told there will be no arrows to follow and I don’t have a track showing the unofficial coastal route but we feel we can wing it.
Towards the start of the stage we walk along the beach on lovely firm sand. We find tracks hugging the coastline, but occasionally have to walk a few metres inland through residential areas. This area seems to be rather affluent with large, quality properties and not many people around. There are probably lots of holiday homes here. Many properties selfishly have their gardens right down to the beach, effectively blocking the way for us poor pilgrims.
It rained on and off (mostly on) all day. Luckily it isn’t cold and there wasn’t any wind, but pretty miserable nevertheless.
About 5 km into the stage we unexpectly started to see arrows and we followed them for most of the way.
Due to the weather there are not many photos, nor notes of the stage, which I dictate into my phone as I walk. The whole point of this blog was originally for me to have a commentary of my caminos because my memory is appalling. And if there are no notes to jog my memory, the day becomes a blur.
The trek into Vigo is a drag to say the least. It is a large city with lots of commercial areas inland and a big port and marinas along the coast. We somehow manage to walk in a bit of a loop to find the centre and probably add a couple of unnecessary kilometres.
A kind local woman tried to help us find accommodation and showed us to the Hotel Aguila. We waited an age for a triple room to be prepared, traipsed up three long flights of stairs to reach it and were accosted by the disgusting smell of stale tobacco in a tiny room on a grubby landing. Even soggy pilgrims have standards and we turned around and demanded our money back (all 45€ of it). I looked again on bookings .coms and found a very nice alternative – modern triple room for 59€ and booked it immediately. By the time we arrived the room had been given to someone else before my reservation popped up on their system, so we were given two twin rooms for the same price. Result!
And I’ve found a vegan restaurant only 300 metres from the hotel, so hopefully tonight I will eat well with no effort involved. (And indeed I did! The all vegan restaurant Bambu served delicious and wholesome food and I can highly recommend it to anyone visiting Vigo.