- Distance Today 6.4 mi
- Distance Camino 2017 388.7 mi
We didn’t leave our casa until around 8:30 to give the sun some time to remove the chill from the 50F air. The first 3 miles were similar to yesterday, mostly walking along the highway with the autovia crossing us periodically.
We crossed the Rio Valcarce, which probably formed this gap between the mountains millions of years ago, no less than 9 times in the space of a mile. Just before Portela de Valcarce, we stopped at a huge truck stop and had breakfast.
The remaining three miles of our walk was delightful. The Camino found a narrower road, the concrete barriers disappeared and the traffic became minimal. An occasional waterfall was heard in the river below, adding to the serenity of the pleasant, gradual climb up through the valley, getting ever closer to our ascent for tomorrow. We passed through the villages of Portela de Valcarce(pop.27), Ambasmesta (pop.46), Vega de Valcarce (pop.703) and finally stopped at our albergue in Ruitelán (pop.23).
Each village looked a little different but each had the kind of charm that made you want to stop and visit for a while.
We’ve noticed the pilgrim traffic increasing today as it has since leaving Ponferrada. This may be the expected wave of pilgrims who began in early September. Also, the average age has probably increased from the mid 20’s to 50’s or more, also suggesting a group not limited to walking during summer vacations.
We checked into Albergue San Froilan (38€), which we discovered has only been open for 3 months. It’s very nice and Yolanda has been very helpful and friendly to help us get settled in. There is also a very nice bar/cafe “Omega” a few steps away with good food and very competitive prices.
We did some light washing to take advantage of the clear, dry sunny afternoon, as the forecast for tomorrow is rain.
We took a brief walk to the end of the village to see what to expect tomorrow then returned to the albergue for blogging, napping and reading until pilgrim dinner at 7:30.
Dinner was prepared by our hostess, Yolanda and was shared with two fellow Peregrinos from Argentina. She was a semi-retired attorney and he a physical therapist, who were starting their Camino from here, having just arrived from Argentina this afternoon. We had a delicious dinner including more local Bierzo (Mencía grapes) wine and wonderful conversation as the attorney spoke excellent English.
A great finish for another wonderful day on the Camino.