My pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago XIII

I feel refreshed this morning. Isn’t it wonderful what a good night’s sleep can do for the body?

We sneak out the back door as the whole place is still locked up. It is cold, dark and still drizzling. Along the way we find that people have put out bowls of fruit and water and you can choose your fruit and leave the money you think it is worth. The peaches look divine and I grab one for the road after leave a bit of money.

At the Albergue in Mercadoiro we stop for our usual early morning fix. As we walk in the door my eye catches the most delectable cheesecake on the counter. I decide right there and then that today I am throwing all inhibitions overboard and am going to have cheesecake for breakfast. Trudy joins me and I place the order for two slices. Luckily I didn’t ask the price beforehand as I nearly swallow my tongue when she rings up our bill. But today even the price cannot curb my enthusiasm. The cheesecake does not disappoint and I make sure to finish the whole slice without feeling the slightest guilt.

The route today follows the highway and there is not much to get excited about. We do cross a very high bridge as we enter Portomarin and thanks to my fear of heights it sets my heart racing. The route here is not clearly signposted (as it is most of the way) and we end up doing a slight detour and then walking the actual highway, feeling a little bit lost. The only thing that keeps us going is that a couple of cyclists doing the Camino have passed us. I hope the route will cross our path somewhere up ahead.

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Finally we are back on the route and meet up with a group of young German girls. We have a bit of a chat and walk some of the way with them. The rain has still not let up and three days of rain is messing up the mood. Just before Gonzar we at least head through a little piece of forest and we eventually stop just outside of Gonzar in what appears to be a brand new Albergue, “Casa Ortiz’. The place is clean and neat, the showers are big and beautiful and the linen is white and crisp. It is still early afternoon and there is no-one else there. Happy to get out of the foul weather we decide to stop here for the night, thinking that other pilgrims will still book in during the afternoon.

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To our dismay we end up being the only ones in the whole big Albergue. It is freezing cold inside and no cosy corners anywhere. (They won’t light the central heating just for two lonely pilgrims.) The food’s not too bad, but the wine can be mistaken for vinegar.

Trudy has a bit of a problem as she doesn’t have a sleeping bag. In all the other places blankets were provided, but not here. They do help her out with a cloth of some sort that resembles a tarpaulin more than a blanket and I give her most of my clothes to put on hoping she can manage to stay warm. Our hosts are very friendly and try to be helpful, but they are obviously still new to the whole business.

I realise that one of the most wonderful things about the Camino so far has been the company we’ve had every night and us being alone now makes me feel homesick.

We are also not able to do any washing (third day in a row) and with only two pairs of clothing I am now officially “unclean”.

This ends up being our worst night just because of the fact that we have no friends to keep us company or our spirits warm tonight.

Morgade – Gonzar ±18km

 

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