22 May 2016
WE ARE ALL WALKING THE SAME WAY
When we left Lubian we had a very strenuous, but also nice country walk and steep climb up out of the valley to cross over into Galicia.
Often the Way was water logged but with hiking poles one could always find some way to keep the boots dry.
What you see here is not a small river to cross over but the path to follow!
The day was sunny and cool and most of the time we were in the woods anyway.
It was a great moment to finally cross over the pass and into Galicia.
Now it was down hill all the way to Gudina and the views were spectacular. Some pilgrims we had met before passed us. One early in the morning, a Dutchman, Joss, and later when we were resting a Dutchwoman, Antje. Alan's knees don't like up much, but down even less so he takes his time and in this way hopes to avoid injury. We have heard of some fast walkers who have succumbed to injury and it is our opinion that they get injured because they never slow down or vary their pace or stride in anyway.
The Albergue in Gudina was one of the most basic we have had the pleasure of sleeping in and none too clean at that, but at €2 also the cheapest.
The Albergue in Gudian
The next day we were glad to be out in the fresh air. It was sunny but cool and the way went over the downs and Heath.
Most of the time we had fine views over the country side and the way was good and easy to walk as it was mainly along country roads.
Occasionally we passed through sleepy little villages.
Where there were fountains and even old men sitting by them enjoying the sunshine.
In Campobocerros we saw the hugh scar that the AVE has made on the landscape with its tunnel building.
Here we stopped merely to have something to eat and shared a table in the bar with Joss the Dutchman.
This day was one of those days where the Way just dragged on and the last six kilometres really told on us as it was all down hill into Laza. We were treated to a room here, but then shared it with an Italian. Not that he asked so nicely, but how could our BBF refuse the poor man a bed? Alan got really annoyed when he calmly stole our slot in the washing machine queue. Some thanks for giving the man a bed!
The evening though was one of the most pleasant so far on the Camino as we spent it, or Alan did, in a bar with other nice and interesting pilgrims.
Huglio, (Columbian), Christoffer (DK), Nils (DK) and Joss (NL).
The humans went inside to eat and were joined by Esther (ES), Juan (ES) and Detlef (GE). Our human when the meal came asked to say Grace, for which Nils thanked him later. Alan now felt as if they were all part of Chaucers Tale and wanted to hear from each pilgrim a story. Sadly the German, who it must be said, did not eat the menu with the rest of the humans, nor did he drink the wine, felt above all that and refused to give a reason for walking the Camino, thus almost killing the conversation. Fortunately after eating his omelette he left and then the conversation flowed again. Nils also thought the idea of each pilgrim telling way they were there a good one and a couple of days later Christoffer also mentioned how boring the German was.
The next day we were up early and had a nice walk up out of the valley. Some pilgrims passed us when we sat on a rock in the sunshine to rest a bit.
In Albergueria was an interesting bar where the landlord collected shells with the names of all the pilgrims that passed through. Alan added his name too.
Nearly all those our human had spent the evening dining with now walked on another 30 odd kilometres, but we stopped in Villar de Barrios which had a nice new Albergue.
So once again we are now with another group of pilgrims.
We had another fine if lonely walk to Xunqueira de Ambia from there and if you only saw the beds you'd think we were in the same Albergue.
It was a 24.42 kilometre walk then into Ourense and the pilgrim in the bed next to us, woke us at 05:00hrs as he went out the door.
When we set off we were above the fog and the clouds, but soon had to sink down through them.
This way marker was just before we got to Ourense and we have been looking for the 100 kilometres marker, but have not seen it!!
Ourense had a fine old centre and some thermal baths from Roman times too. It had not been Alan's intention to have a rest day here, but he discovered that he had made a big mistake in booking the next days into Santiago. So in order to get it all right again we stayed an extra day.
When Alan went out that evening he was pleasantly surprised to find Esther and Antje were staying in the same hotel and so they went to the Plaza Major to have a drink and were soon joined by Christoffer and Joel (USA). With the addition of a French couple, Alan never told us their names, they all went for a meal together and by all accounts another nice evening was had.
It's the people you meet along the way which makes the Camino such a pleasant experience.
We now had an admin and bathing day. Our human first had to buy a pair of swimming trunks, he also bought stuff to make some trail mix and cleaned and polished his boots as well as having a much needed hair cut.
We went to the Thermal Baths with one of these trains.
Alan enjoyed the hot pool most of all and kept coming back to it. Sadly we have no pictures of him in the ridiculously large trunks he wore as he had his camera confiscated after he took the above shot!! Humans are not allowed to take pictures in the baths!
We had fun on the way back now, as in front of us sat three small girls who were clearly having a great day out, as they were laughing and giggling the whole time. Well when they discovered we were on the train too then it caused quite a stir. When we finally got off there was a lot of waving goodbye.
We left Ourense today 22 May and are now in Cea some 21 kilometres further on. It was quite strenuous getting out of the Rio Mino Valley as the hill was quite steep and dragged on for about four kilometres.
This little Donativo bar was a welcome stop about half way to Cea.
The town clock showing our time of arrival in Cea, where we are staying in Casa Manoso, a small private hostel which we are sharing with a Canadian couple.
Alan has said that in life the humans are all walking the same path. They are all walking towards death. On the Camino they are all walking the same path too and it is the meeting along the way and sharing moments together which makes for the whole Camino experience.