Saturday, September 13, 2008


Today was the first cloudy and cool day we had. The temperature did not go over 20 C , so despite de long climbs, this leg was not at all difficult. We left the hotel at 7: 30 AM, took the path down go across the river and did a few km along the road. Today we went through some lovely little hamlets, climbed up to large pine forests, and the last 10 km we started to see eucalyptus trees, the first we have seen throughout the Camino. At the small village of Castromaior we saw a gorgeous little chapel and at the highest point of the walk, Lameiros, a large group of pilgrims was resting before the descent to Palas de Rei. Here we met a couple we had walked with for a while when we left Astorga, Manuela and Angel. Interesting thing how excited we all got when we saw each other. It was as if we had found our best friends. These are the sorts of experiences one lives along the Camino. There is a special bond among the pilgrims. I can only imagine what it must be like to experience the Refuges and Albergues where you have the common meals and dormitories. That is the one part of the experience we missed by choosing to stay in hotels and B&B's. The rest of the leg we walked with the two of them sharing stories until we got to the entrance of Palas, where they stayed. We continued on to town to the center of town, and although Palas de Rei has no special attraction--rather modern and insipid town--the hotel Belinda was a jewel. Our room and bathroom, fabulous, and the location could have not been better. We did our laundry as usual, showered and went down to get information on where to eat. As the elevator's door opened, whom do we see waiting to come up? Stella and Justo. They had just arrived from San Sebastian, and had just been given a room. They went up, rested a bit and later we all went out to eat in a great place called Meson Faxada, around the corner from our hotel. We were shown to our table by a young man whose accent we recognized as Colombian, so sure enough, he took such good care of us. We had grilled squid, a delicious fresh salad, a good bottle of Albarino, a very good Galician wine, and coffee. We wanted to plan our itinerary for the next few days with Stella, so we went down to the Conference Room in the hotel with our maps and guides, so Stella and Justo could see what we had left to do. Justo will be touring around Galicia in his rental car, will take our backpacks to our destination and will meet us their at the end of the day. Having decided on this plan we said our good nights.

Water fountain of Ligonde

Medieval style horreo

On horseback near Lameiros

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