Day 51- O Pedrouzo to Lavacolla

Walked Today: 3.8 mi /Camino2022: 341 mi

Today was a very short day. By staying at CHE, we picked up the Camino outside of Pedrouzo and joined a large flow of pilgrims that continued all the way to Lavacolla.

We remembered from 2019 that walking from CHE cut some distance off the walk but with the app maps we were using, there was no way to calculate it. When we totaled up the distance after our walk is was nearly two miles shorter than expected because of leaving from CHE and not Pedrouzo.

It was dark when we started at 7:55. We walked uphill continuously, for the first mile, but were surprised because we didn’t need to stop for a breather along the entire stretch. The incline was just enough for a workout, but not enough to get us winded.

As the path leveled out a bit we could see part of a brilliant sunrise through the trees and off to the left, part of a runway of the Santiago airport.

We next began walking along a main highway into Santiago and passed a 11 km mileage sign.

a motorized pilgrim

The path continued until we reached San Payo, where we stopped for breakfast.

the church of San Payo

The hamlet of San Payo and the small church is dedicated to the 14 year old Christian child, who was kidnapped by the invading Muslim troops, taken to Sevilla and ultimately martyred to pieces and tossed into the Rio Guadalquivar, for refusing to convert to Islam.

interior of San Payo
leaving San Payo on a steep section of pavement
then back on the gravel path
last than a mile through the forest before reaching Lavacolla.

When we arrived at our destination we were much earlier than expected, but the owner let us into our room after a few minutes wait only because the recently mopped room floor was still drying.

Pension Xacobeo in Lavacolla, right on the Camino.
our very comfortable room
nice, new bathroom, great shower

Our backbacks had not been delivered by noon, so we walked to a nearby restaurant and had lunch, then returned to the room to do our afternoon chores, including washing(2€) and drying(3€) our clothes, anticipating that similar facilities might not be so conveniently available in our Santiago hotel tomorrow.

Menu our lunch restaurant
Iglesia de Benaval in Lavacolla center

Lavacolla literally means “wash private parts.” Medieval pilgrims seldom if ever bathed along the journey (and “ridiculed Muslim and Jewish enthusiasms for personal hygiene,” so apparently took advantage of the small stream to cleanse themselves for arrival in Santiago.

We skipped the bath in the cold water of the creek and opted instead for a nice, warm shower in our brand new bathroom. Being a pilgrim has come a long way.


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