Walked today: 6.7 miles
Walked Camino 2019: 403.3 miles
After checking out this morning we sought out the owner, Miguel Santiago,
who was serving guests in the breakfast dining area.
We have a delightful history with Miguel. He observed some spider bites Linda had gotten several days before we arrived at Albergue Tourista Salceda in 2015 and called a pharmacist friend who advised that Linda go to the clinic in the next town as a precaution. Miguel shared this information with us and told us where to find the clinic and a shortcut to cut our 4 miles walk to less than 3. The next morning a doctor at the clinic saw Linda immediately, gave her a shot and a prescription for followup medication. We filled the prescription at a nearby pharmacy for 5€ and were on our way. Linda subsequently recovered from the bites by the time we got to Santiago, several days later.
In 2017 we stayed at the same place and Miguel was delighted to see Linda was ok and he and his family welcomed us again. When we left the next morning, taking the same shortcut, Miguel was returning in his car to the albergue by the same route and stopped, shook our hands and wished us “buen Camino” with his voice and kind eyes. That moment was one of the highlights of the Camino for us.
This morning in tribute to Miguel Santiago (approximately named) and
because it is indeed a shortcut, we began our walk taking the shortcut to
rejoin the Camino for the day.
About an hour later we stopped at a new cafe, which had not been there in 2017. It turns out, the owner had just finished celebrating their first anniversary. We thought it was interesting to see the contrast in this modern rest stops external design and the more typically new, but renovated multi-hundred year old structures one sees on the Camino. And the toastadas were very nice, too.
The path alternated between eucalyptus forests and
roadside paths. The weather threatened rain, but it was only a threat.
At one point we stopped for a photo in a forest and a couple from Brisbane, Australia stopped and offered to take our photo. We accepted and then walked awhile with them.
They were celebrating her 40th birthday by walking the Camino from Sarria and following with a short trip to Santorini and several other Greek islands. They owned a recruiting business together and spent most of their vacations on the nearby Australia Gold Coast and in SE Asia. They had numerous questions about the Camino and we tried to answer as best we could.
We parted shortly after as we were walking considerably slower than they.
Our walk to Arca (pop. 5,050 )/O Pino,/O Pedrouzo, was relatively easy until we got to O Pedrouzo and began looking for our place to stay, Pension CHE. The Booking.com map and the Google Maps took us to the wrong place, two baggage transport employees said it was 4-5 km out of town, and finally, in a residential neighborhood where CHE was supposed to be, a helpful gentleman working in his yard, explained in beautiful Galícian (which is not Spanish or Portuguese or a blend of the two, but a unique Romance language of its own) what the situation was. Jim and Linda listened intently, after several “repita por favors” and after thanking the helpful gentleman, we walked back into town and still guessing what the guy was telling us, made a few more inquiries along the way and ultimately we figured it out.
It seems that Pension CHE is an extension of a place in Arca called Pension Platas. We actually stayed in Pension Platas in 2017, a several story hotel in Arca. The way it works is, after 12:00 noon you can go to the receptionist at Pension Platas, give her your name and she will summon a driver who will transport you to Pension CHE some 5 km out in the countryside. He then escourts you into a bar/lobby and calls the receptionist, who apparently lives nearby, because she appears in less than 5 minutes.
We discovered later once arriving at CHE that the receptionist copies your passport, accepts payment for the room, advises you that no food is available at the site, but you can order takeout for delivery to the pension or be transported back to Arca for dinner between the hours of 6-8 pm. She points out that tomorrow morning they would transport us back to Arca to pick up the Camino or we could walk a few hundred meters from the Pension and pick up the Camino in the direction of Santiago, saving us probably 2-3 miles of walking. We’ll have to think about that one … for about 4 nanoseconds. You can guess which option we’ll choose in the morning.
She then gives you the key to your very nice, new, clean room
and things get back to “normal” for the rest of the evening.
Now, being the seasoned peregrinos that we are, once we talked with the Pension Platas receptionist at 11:30 and guessed how things might play out, we went into action.
We left Jim’s backpack safely with the receptionist and found a place to have an early lunch, in case lunch might not be available at Pension CHE.
After lunch we found a grocery store and bought the fixin’s for dinner, should we have limited or poor options at Pension CHE.
Below is a list if our purchases in euros with notations where a translation might be needed for you.
We then headed back to Pension Platas at 12:15 to summon our driver to Pension CHE.
We were taken to CHE and followed the sequence outlined above, got into our chore mode, took a short nap and then gathered our purchases and went to the open, but no services, dining area and had dinner.
We need to add that while shopping in the grocery store for wine to go with our dinner, Jim came across a wine that we have purchased at Total Wine for $12-15 a bottle and in restaurants or cruises have paid $20-30 and more. The price for the same wine was €6.75!!!
After a tasty 17€ dinner including wine we rested and blogged for the remainder of the day.