Day 43- Barbadelo to Mercadoiro

Walked Today: 8.2 mi / Camino2022: 289 mi

Just after taxi dropped us off this morning

Soon after starting our walk we passed through Rente. We have stayed in Casa Nova de Rente each of our 3 previous Caminos and in 2019 stayed 3 consecutive days with the family, as we taxi hopped to maintain continuity in the walk, when there were no other places to stay.

In recent weeks we have tried multiple ways to contact Casa Nova to stay this time, too but got no response via phone, email or the casa rural websites.

We were concerned about the family, so Jim walked through the open gate and knocked on the door with no response. While deciding what to do next, he saw the mother in the back yard so he approached her and she recognized him. She speaks no English so with an app, we learned that the family was fine and was not a casualty of the pandemic.

It turns out that, the family just decided to stop renting out rooms in their beautiful old farmhouse. She seemed happy to see us and agreed to tell the rest of the family how much we enjoyed staying with them and all the wonderful memories we have about our visits. We wished she and her family well and were on our way.

What do you think of this pony, Abby?

Pilgrims, pilgrims everywhere. That characterizes our entire walk today. Shortly after we left Rente, over a hundred pilgrims, all likely starting from Sarria this morning, began passing us. The hoards kept coming and it was almost impossible to relax and enjoy the scenery around us.

It rained off and on all morning, but mostly sprinkles, or a heavy mist or a short shower, but we kept our rain gear on until we finished as a deterrent for heavier showers.

When we decided to stop for hot chocolate, Jim waited in line for over 15 minutes just to place his order. Many of the pilgrims were part of a group of 4-12 people, and they usually hung together so when they passed it was like a tsunami disrupting our pace or place on the path, etc. Groups would stop to adjust packs or shoes or just chat, partially blocking the path creating more disruption, oblivious to it all.

Jim estimated that 400-500 pilgrims passed us during the 8 mile walk and to characterize the nature of the crowd, only a handful said “Buen Camino” when they passed. Needless to say, the 100km walk from Sarria to Santiago is very different from what we’ve experienced during the 700km walk from SJPDP to Sarria.

Pilgrims, more pilgrims
pilgrims keep coming
pilgrims in large numbers all morning long
pilgrims behind us
pilgrims ahead of us
a high stress cup of chocolate
that’s us at the 100km marker
pilgrim carrying his guitar… for 100 km
took this quickly to capture this pilgrim, only!
pilgrims in last few hundred yards of our walk
nice bar/albergue at Mercadoiro.
dining area in Mercadoiro albergue (we stayed here in 2015.)
catching a bite to eat while waiting for a taxi

Núria is a very sharp, professional hostess and manager. When we got to Mercadoiro and tried to call a taxi to take us back to Casa Cines, none were available for several hours. Linda called Núria who responded “no problem” and arranged a taxi to retrieve us from our “stranded” location in a much more timely fashion… and had a plate of fresh cheese and homemade quince gel and a glass of wine to help us recover.

Tonight was our final dinner at Casa Cines. Núria’s mom prepared two types of peppers tonight along with sliced homemade chorizo and fries.

blistered peppers fresh from the Casa Cines garden

Everything was delicious, especially the blistered peppers, an Italian variety and a Spanish variety. They both were very tasty, comparable to Jim’s favorite, Padron peppers. Jim sneaked into the kitchen while Núria’s mom was blistering the peppers for a photo and after we settled our 3 day bill, got together for another photo.

Núria’s mom preparing our dinner
our hosts for the past three days

We are so glad the lodging shortage in these final days of Camino2022 caused us to stay at Casa Cines multiple nights. Núria and her family created another wonderful memory for our Camino experiences.

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