Day 50- Salceda to O Pedrouzo

Walked Today: 6.0 mi /Camino2022: 338mi

On our way out this morning we caught Santiago in the breakfast area and wished he and his family good health. He opened his arms and gave Linda a big, emotional hug. As he shook Jim’s hand, with both of his, he wished us and our families good luck and good health. It was a wonderful way to start out the day.

We took the short cut Santiago showed us in 2015 and dove-tailed into the Camino a half-mile later. The scenery today was much like what we have seen the past few days:

Along the way we did spot some different items:

First time we’ve ever seen something inside a Hórreo… and this one is being loaded up with corn for the winter.
Another first, for us: yellow and white hydrangeas along a wall of a nice home.
We both dislike spiders but like to photograph spider webs! Jim spotted this one just before leaving the forest,
walking out of the forest and onto the path leading into O Pedrouzo… pilgrim tour bus in the background.
Just as we were walking into O Pedrouzo , we observed a bunch of “pilgrims” who just got off a bus associated with Regency Cruises called, laughingly, “Following the old James road”!
Walking into O Pedrouzo… tour bus just dropped off pilgrims and waiting to pick them up further down the Camino. At this point pilgrims are only 12 miles from Santiago.

We’re staying at Pencion CHE. It’s located outside of O Pedrouzo and so we checked at the Pensíon Platas in town. The lady at reception suggested we get lunch in town, then return, and they would arrange for transportation to CHE… which we did and they did. While we were in town we stopped at a small mercado for some snacks and then Jim stopped at a feed store and bought some Padron pepper seeds to try to grow back home.

We then checked in at the property and our packs were delivered just as Jim paid for the room. We then took a tour of the property to get our bearings for finding the Camino in the morning, etc.

We stayed here in 2019 as it was opening and it is about the same… somewhat remote, hard to find or get directions to and missing a few things like a full menu and nearby food options, but the room is comfortable and clean and it has laundry options and a pool (nice if here in warm weather).

… nice pool but too cool to indulge today
… our double room with bath in Pension CHE.

2 DAYS TO SANTIAGO !!

Day 49- Arzúa to Salceda

Walked Today: 7.2 mi / Camino2022: 332 mi

Breakfast, at Bar Teatro, just across the street from Pension Luis, got us off to a good start this morning as we walked out of Arzúa in the perfect-for-walking 54F at 8:30.

starting on the path out of Arzúa.

There were more pilgrims passing us today but not in an unpleasing way. The majority of these pilgrims seem more serious/mature, more focused and still noticeably happy and excited as we get closer to Santiago. Its a good mixture of 100km walkers and those who have come much longer distances like us. Buen Caminos were exchanged with most every pilgrim that passed us.

The scenery and terrain were also pleasant and distracting from an occasional hard pull up a small hill or cautiously restrained pace of a steep decline.

Most of the time we were walking in forests or in tree shaded paths along farm fences. We spent much less time along roads, either large or small.

We even passed a couple of vendors along the way selling items and offering to stamp credentials… sometimes for a donation. We passed on both but were more amused by the third member of the enterprise, who heehawed us as we passed.

It’s common to see vendors with their crafts and souvenirs along the Camino these last few kilometers into Santiago.
HEE HAW!!! HEE HAW!!!

As the sun began to rise, unlike our normal mode of seeking shade to walk in, we steered to the sunny spots to warm us in the high 50-low 60F air. But by mid morning, jackets were off and we were back in short- sleeve shirts again.

The less difficulty in today’s walk led us to be more observant of our surroundings and to compare changes in this part of the Camino compared to what we remember from 2019. The changes included new bars and albergues, new or repaired fences and walls and many more Kilometer-stone distance to Santiago/directional markers at every place a road or path intersects the Camino. This has been a continuing theme throughout our walk throughout Galícia, but was especially apparent today. These are relative changes as compared to our perception of the lesser amount of change in the SJPDP through Castile walk. It’s no surprise that because most, nearly 4 times as many, pilgrims walk only the last 100 km, this is where the keepers of the Camino would put the most effort into upgrades in infrastructure and services.

This is a new bar that someone put in their yard next to their house. It is closed probably for the winter or maybe the owners are taking time off. It wasn’t here in 2019.
This is a section of the Camino that locals have spruced up with an upgraded wall and new fence that wasn’t here in 2019. A new bar is just down the path.

We arrived in Salceda and at Albergue Turistico Salceda around noon and had lunch in the restaurant while waiting to check-in at 1:00. This us our fourth visit to this property and we have a special affection for the owner, who helped us when Linda was struggling with some spider bites in 2015. His name, appropriately, is Santiago.

During lunch we had a nice chat with a pilgrim couple from Colombia. He is a retired dairy farmer and he and his wife are walking from Sarria to Santiago.

exterior of Albergue Touristico Salceda with yard, pond and lounging areas.
modern looking bar with same stone as on the rest of the property inside and out.
second floor hallway and elevator
Double room with private bathroom (59€).
contemporary dining area
Dinner was great. We both has a vegetable soup then for second course, Linda had baked chicken and Jim had pork cheeks. Both had a chocolate mousse cake for dessert. Yum.

We had several nice exchanges with Santiago and his daughter, Liudmila, reminiscing about our previous 3 visits. It was a very special reunion.

3 MORE DAYS TO SANTIAGO

Day 48- Boente to Arzúa

Walked Today: 5.6 mi / Camino 2022: 324 mi

As we left Boente we stopped at the Iglesia Parroquia Santiago de Boente. A young priest, seated just inside the church stamped our credentials and explained that during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, Santiago was closed, so this small church became the end of the Camino until the epidemic was over.

The walk today had a lot of ups and downs but they pretty much balanced out. The finish into Arzúa was a nice flat dirt path separated from the road by a hedge. Overall it was a good workout, but not too much.

downhill
downhill
steep uphill
very steep uphill
uphill
A short break from hilly path to flat pavement on the way into Castañeda

We took a short break for OJ at Albergue Santiago in Castañeda, We’ve stayed here twice before, but the husband and wife owners were not to be seen and we didn’t ask. In the outside terrace were thick overhead vines with a plentiful fruit. A closer look revealed them to be kiwis. We asked a local pilgrim who said kiwis grow very well in the Glacian climate and soil.

Kiwi fruit overhead
downhill out of Castañeda
a long, not-so-steep, grade for a half-mile
downhill
two big dawgs… looked like St Bernards… ignored us … it’s a good thing cause that wire wouldn’t hold’em for sure.
… one final stop at Bar Manuel, surrounded by farmland, on the hill going into Ribadiso da Baixo. The owners live above the bar.
Following a pilgrim that looks a lot like a backhoe over the bridge into Ribadiso da Baixo.
Ribadiso has origins in the 6th century and housed a pilgrim hospital in the 16th century. The hospital was converted to an albergue in 1993 and the rest of the village has grown with new buildings and albergues added each time we pass through.
the shaded path on final leg into Arzúa.
A monster of a wall painting going into Arzúa highlighting the Camino Holy Year of 2021 (extending thru 2022 because of pandemic)
our room at Pension Luis in Arzúa, with sunroom!
some places we’ve stayed didn’t have soap, toilet paper or drinking cups… this one has very nice amenities.

4 MORE DAYS TO SANTIAGO!

Day 47- Coto to Boente

Walked Today: 7.2 mi / Camino2022: 319 mi

It was 52F and almost cloudless when we started from Coto this morning. It’s supposed to be warmer today so Jim went back to his short sleeve tee and carried a jacket just in case. Linda was not so brazen but still went to a lighter jacket.

Only a few minutes into the walk we passed through Leboreiro, a well maintained hamlet including Iglesia de Santa María de las Nieves.

A church legend says that a mysterious spring appeared that glowed in the night. In searching for the source of the spring, the villagers unearthed a statue of the virgin and took it to the church. But that night the virgin went right back to the spring. After a few days of back and forth, a clever sculptor interpreted her move as a desire to be outside and carved an image of the statue and placed it over the church door and the statue has remained at the church altar ever since.

Note the carving of the virgin positioned outside the church over the front door.

We can see the statue of the virgin over the church door, but we can’t confirm that the statue of the virgin is inside this Sunday morning or any of the other 3 mornings we have passed the small church, because the door has always been locked.

Positioned just outside the church yard was a Horreo type structure called a “cabaceiro”. As we walked out of the village, we looked back and captured this interesting sunrise.

Walking on toward Melide, we enjoyed the different methods of buffering the path from warehouses and other commercial buildings. This tree lined section was actually quite pretty.

We also walked on gully-like paths like this seen so frequently on the Camino, formed by wear by millions of walking pilgrims and erosions over hundreds of years.

We stopped in Melide for breakfast at a relatively new place called “Cafeteria Alborada“. And we hearby declare it has one of the best if not the best tostadas on the Camino. Linda also inspected the ladies room and declared it was hands-down the nicest, cleanest, well equiped and most pleasant ladies restroom on the Camino. Jim then did a followup and checked out the mens, which without-a-doubt is the best men’s public restroom on the Camino.

one of the best tostadas on the Camino
The nicest, spotless, odorless public men’s bathroom on the Camino

We shared our assessments with our waiter who seemed pleased and speechless, so we decided not to elaborate.

Our inspection completed we got back to our walk through Melide which led back into the forests and farmland toward Boente. The following are some scenery we observed along the 3 mile stretch:

A single pilgrim up ahead… we encountered less than a dozen pilgrims today because of our starting location and the timing of our walk.
A decorative but still functional Hórreo in the front yard of an upscale home. Note the two doors, one for mail and the other bread delivery.
A picturesque creek crossing
…some uphill workouts through the forest…
nice canopying for Galacian sun
Back and forth from forests to farmland
Pretty homes and yards
Our stopping point for today at the Albergue el Alemán in Boente.

Tomorrow morning we leave Melide behind and begin our final 5 days on Camino2022. One additional reason we chose Melide as a base for three days was its reputation for Pulpo (octopus) and Padron peppers. We’ve done a pretty good sampling, especially last night at Pulperis Garnacha. Have a look:

5 MORE DAYS TO SANTIAGO

Day 46- Lestedo to Coto

Walked Today: 8.7 mi / Camino2022: 312 mi

Daypacks loaded and waiting in our room until time to meet our taxi

Our taxi driver from yesterday met us at 8:30 and took us back to Lestedo to begin our walk today.

The pilgrim traffic was very light as we left Lestedo at 8:55 and it stayed that way for the entire morning. So why was the traffic less compared to previous days?

leaving Lestedo on a local road, all by ourselves
walking back on the path … only one pilgrim visible ahead of us
after a mile, the only pilgrims we’ve seen are the two ahead of us

Most pilgrims, especially the younger ones, stay in Albergues and typically have to vacate by 8:00 am. Pilgrim groups are usually staying where there are more beds available, like Portomarín or Palas de Rei or Melide. So, by leaving Lestedo at nearly 9:00 a.m., all the groups were ahead of us and the ones behind us were too far behind to catch us.

After 3 miles we walked through a small group of stone houses and spotted a very old Horreo in a back yard. A few hundred yards further we walked through a sports camp complex with on-site housing for participants and impressive futbol fields with artificial turf, a indoor swimming pool, a large basketball gym, etc.

an ancient type of Horreo in someone’s back yard (probably decorative)

Next, we entered the town of Palas de Rei and stopped at St Mark’s church for a sello (stamp for our credential).

inside of San Marcos

A minimum of two sellos a day are needed on a pilgrim’s credential for the final 100 km walked into Santiago to qualify for a Compostela.

Leaving Palas de Rei, we got back on the dirt path again and spent the next several miles alternating between dirt paths and sections of narrow local roads. We stopped for hot chocolate in the charming hamlet of San Julian (Xúlian, in Galícian).

A relatively new Bar/Albergue in San Xúlian

We contined for another 2 hours through farmland and forests and made one final stop in Campanilla for lunch… tired from an 8 mile plus walk.

a nice salad (and rest) at Campanilla cafe

Our tummies full and bodies somewhat recovered, we walked another quarter-mile to a new albergue/bar/beer garden in Coto and arranged for a taxi to take us to Melide.

So, yesterday we reported that we had lunch and spent the night in Melide, even though we stopped walking in Lestedo. Let us explain:

Over a week ago, while waiting to get into our room in Villafranca del Bierzo, everything we had heard indicated the Camino was gonna be full for the last 100km. This is typically true, but especially true in this “Holy Year”. We were monitoring the number of Compostelas being given out to pilgrims in Santiago daily. The number has been 2500-3000 per day. When we walked the Camino in 2019, we had to wait 5 hours in line to get our Compostela the first week in October and only about 2000 compostelas were given out that day. Our fears were confirmed yesterday, when the pención manager said she was getting many calls every day from pilgrims who were frantic because they couldn’t find a place to stay for the night.

So, back to Villafranca, while we waited for our room, we emailed, called, used Booking.com to reserve available places to stay all the way to Santiago. We were missing two or three locations, so we did some calculations and decided we needed to employ “taxi hopping” to manage our lodging selections. This resulted in booking Casa Cines in Pintin and Pención Orois in Melide for three consecutive nights each to use as a base to walk the sections of the Camino where lodging was not available.

We’ve successfully completed the Casa Cines plan and are now implementing the Melide plan.

We walked from Gonzar to Lestedo yesterday, taxied to Melide for the night, taxied back to Lestedo this morning and walked to Coto today. Tomorrow morning a taxi will take us back to our stop point in Coto and we’ll walk through Melide to Boente and taxi back to Melide to spend the night. The following morning, we’ll check out of Pención Orois, taxi to Boente and began our walk, continuing on normally from there on through the remaining villages/towns for the remaining days to Santiago.

Some purists might suggest we should just take our chances as I’m sure many pilgrims do. We believe the Camino presents many challenges that a pilgrim need overcome to earn the Compostela. Having personally dealt with arriving at a town and finding you have no place to stay or having to spend hours at the end of a long walk, walking more miles to find a place to stay or having to stay in a place that does not meet personal standards of cleanliness, safety, etc. have taught these two pilgrims to do some extra planning and be a little creative, in order to avoid unnecessary occurrences that can detract from an otherwise enjoyable Camino.

We believe as a pilgrim, you can and should do the Camino in a way that works for you and not necessarily adhering strictly to a guide or anyone else. In the end, your Camino is personal and is what you make it.

6 MORE DAYS TO SANTIAGO

Day 45- Gonzar to Lestedo

Walked Today: 8.5 mi / Camino2022: 303 mi

We were so surprised when we looked outside this morning and saw clear sky with no fog and no rain. It was a little chilly at 47F but we weren’t complaining.

Beginning our walk from Gonzar in clear weather.

The Camino went through a couple of small villages and passed a large Castro that Jim explored and photographed in 2019, so we walked on, back along the highway for a mile or so,

close but safe

then crossed over to a secondary road for another mile to what we call the “zig-zag” where we maneuvered through a small traffic circle associated with an exit off the highway, angling back onto another small road that took us to Ventas de Narón, where we stopped for breakfast.

An aerial photo of Ventas de Narón. The first building along the road in lower left hand corner was our breakfast stop.

As you can see from the photo, which was on the wall in the bar of Casa Molar, the village consists of two farms, two albergues, a small chapel originally owned by the Knights Templar and what appears to be a nice private residence at village center.

We have stopped here for breakfast every Camino and Linda liked their toast, so we decided to continue the tradition today.

As you can see, Linda has removed her jacket, as the warm sun was knocking off the chill.
Casa Molar bar and Ana, the young lady in charge.

We walked on for another couple of miles and passed through the charming village of Ligonde. We kept snapping photos of things we saw… here are a few:

huge old Horreo, nice clean streets
another newer horreo
cute, small home
pumpkins lining the railing, lady in the window smiled and waved after I took this photo
small shop/albergue, we think…. the plaque is a favorite … Jim looks for it every Camino
Amanda, we’re so relieved no one was hurt as Ian passed through. After y’all recover from the wind and water damage, we think you need a couple of these to add to your collection!

We continued on, walked a few steps with a lady from California who had left her poles in Ligonde, walked back to retrieve them and was going to rejoin her daughter who was waiting for her at a bar up the road.

We walked along roads like this the rest of the morning.
Chestnuts, anyone?
This fellow gave us a hard look as we passed by.
unusual and beautiful
these folks were checking us out too
rain threatened so we put on our ponchos, as a deterrent… which worked

We stopped walking in Lestedo for the day after 8 plus miles. Jim flagged down a taxi and we headed to Melide. More about that tomorrow.

our late lunch just across the street from Pención Orois …. in Melide
Pención Orois in Melide

Day 44- Portomarín to Gonzar

Walked Today: 5.7 mi / Camino2022: 294 mi

We had breakfast at Casa Cines then said our goodbyes to Núria’s mom and dad and left for Portomarín.

Mom & Pop Cines

As we walked through Portomarín the streets and open shops were filled with teens. It began to rain lightly, so we stopped under an awning to put on our ponchos. We walked out of town, across the bridge and began the steep climb out of the valley.

About half-way up the mountain we were engulfed by a wave of about 50 or so really young pilgrims.

the first wave
another wave passing us

For the next mile, more waves rolled past us until finally we were spared further surges of humanity along the path. We actually had the Camino to ourselves for a mile or so…the first time in two days… and we enjoyed it while it lasted.

the last group to pass us

Our walk was relatively short, mostly uphill, a few steep places but mostly gradual.

We shared the path, momentarily, with a couple of pilgrims on horseback.
A Hórreo is a structure where corn, root vegetables and grains are stored in the abundant harvest periods of the year, safe from mice, rats and mould.
calm, sweet calm… with an occasional, light shower
our short, quiet walk through a picturesque forest
Hosteria de Gonzar… our home for the night… but no check-in until 2:00.
Two hours to wait for our room and no where to sit… for about 30 minutes when the hoards finally moved on to parts unknown… hopefully way beyond us.
Finally got into our room at 2:00.
Yes, there’s a pool just outside our window but it’s much too chilly to even consider. Later in the day, a lady braved the water for a few laps… from Germany or Norway, perhaps?

We had a simple lunch while waiting for our room. Immediately after getting into our room, we gathered all dirty clothes washed and dried everything using the Hosteria facilities… 4€ to wash, 4€ to dry. We did our other chores, napped a bit and split a pizza for supper.

We’ve got another week of walking to get to Santiago and we’re anxious to finish. The last part is always the hardest for us because the change in atmosphere and struggle with the crowds is so different than that between SJPDP and Sarria… and it seems to be more true for each of our Caminos.

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.

Day 42- Pintin to Barbadelo

Walked Today: 6.6 mi / Camino2022: 281 mi

It was foggy and 42F when we left Casa Cines this morning at 8:00.
The walk was relatively easy as we were mainly on or along a lightly traveled secondary road.
We passed through one small village on the way to Sarria.
Sarria is a busy location because it has plenty of facilities for pilgrims to stay and is just beyond the 100km distance a pilgrim has to walk to Santiago to earn a Compostela. Most of the pilgrims who receive a Compostela only walk from Sarria to Santiago.
Sarria is not one of our favorite locations on the Camino, but this morning, after some research, we discovered a hiking outfitters shop (Kilometro112, Rua do Peregrino, #37) right along our walk and stopped to get Jim some warmer clothes… namely some long pants and a fleece pullover at very reasonable prices.

After a 20 minute shopping spree, we were back on the trail with a slight deviation. In 2019, we found a route that was a bit longer but allowed is to walk around the base of Sarria. This route merges with the official Camino, which takes a torturous route straight up to the pinnacle of the city, then back down again. Not that we can’t weather a few ups and downs, but no point in asking for trouble.

Taking a “flat-cut” around Sarria

We arrived at the merge point which is the Ponte de Áspera, a Romanesque bridge of medieval origins with some 18th century renovation. This bridge has particular significance, because our daughter, Amy, used one of our photos of this bridge to rekindle her artistic talents. Her painting hangs in our home and stokes our Camino memories constantly. We think we’ll refer to it from now on as “Amy’s Bridge”.

Getting ready to cross the Ponte de Áspera (“Amy’s Bridge”)
Just a few steps out of Sarria and we’re back into farmland.
… a nice stream and footbridge but followed by a not-so-nice climb.
“gnarly” old trees are thing of beauty and amazement.
finally at the top of a steep climb
near Barbadelo we encountered a caravan of huge, “almost” unpassable vehicles, which forced us to move off the path and wait our turn.
getting out of the way
up close and personal
back to our walk after the “ traffic jam”
Albergue de Barbadelo.

Once we arrived at Barbadelo, we called a taxi to take us back to Casa Cines. We wanted to stay here for the night but it was booked solid when we tried to reserve a room several weeks ago.

We’re employing our “ taxi hop scotch” technique to deal with lodging shortages. We’re staying at Casa Cines for 3 nights. We’ve stayed here on all previous Caminos and want to get to know the family better and give them our business. So staying here longer enriches our Camino experiences and hopefully theirs.

The taxi driver who brought us back from Barbadelo today agreed to return here tomorrow morning at 8:30 to take us back to Barbadelo, where we will begin walking where we left off. When we finish our walk, we’ll call a taxi to return us to Casa Cines.

We got back to Casa Cines at noon, got showers, had lunch and arranged to have our clothes washed and dried. We both napped for a while before doing some routine items.

Linda had a cold (a mild one) a few days ago and has completely recovered. Jim mysteriously got a cold a couple of days ago, also a mild one, and is about to get over his, too. We only mention it because neither one of us have had a cold for over 3 years. What’s interesting is, in spite of dealing with cold symptoms , we’re still able to walk our normal distances, and carry on with our pilgrim existence without restriction.

Núria, our hostess, prepared a delicious lental soup for our lunch today. Jim was still hungry and Núria suggested he try a plate of homemade chorizo sausage, cooked potatoes and green beans. When Jim had lapped it up, he complimented Núria on the soup. When he asked about the chorizo sausage, she pointed to her father who was seated at the opposite end of the dining room. He was looking Jim’s way and when Jim gave him a smile and thumbs up, he reciprocated. Núria said he not only made the sausage but also raised the pig! We made a great decision to stay here for 3 days.

Day 41- Triacastela to Pintin

Walked Today: 7.0 mi / Camino2022: 274 mi

The temperature was 43F in Triacastela at 8:45 a.m. We’re thinking we’re not likely to see warm weather again on the Camino, but walking in the hot sun is no longer a problem.

looking out our window before starting our walk
We thought this was a pretty area shortly after rejoining the Camino outside Triacastela.
Looking at the same area from the opposite direction
a lot of construction going on as we walked out of A Balsa… could be new albergues? or other services, remaking the esisting hamlet.
a steep section
same steep section, looking back
Linda (and Jim) taking a break at the shell fountain
we’re walking late enough for the clouds to uncover the pretty scenery
steep, but downhill during this section
This sequence is trying to show a very steep section. Linda leaning to maintain footing and control
lots of interesting stone walls lining the path
almost level… a rare event this morning

About midway today we walked by 4 pilgrims, the girl was sitting on the ground tending to her foot. They seemed to be ok, so we walked on past.

Sometime later, we stopped for a break on one of the hills and the young lady and a guy from her group caught up to us. Jim asked if she had a blister and she said she was struggling with plantar fasciitis. Jim mentioned his experience with it and how “chi walking” had eliminated it. We chatted briefly and we walked ahead. Another mile down the path, they all four caught up with us and the young lady who was from California was walking with her family. She said she immediately began using the chi walking technique and the pain from her plantar fasciitis was already beginning to get better.

Jim walked with the young lady and Linda walked with her brother and we shared Camino experiences as we walked the last half mile into Pintin.

The family from California we met today.
Had interesting conversations with these two pilgrims from California

We arrived in Pintin at Pención Casa Cines and bid our goodbyes to the family as they continued walking toward Sarria, where they plan to rendezvous with the mother, who will walk with them the final 100km to Santiago.

The length of today’s walk was not a challenge, but the hills were. The altitude of Triacastela and Pintin are essentially the same at 2100 ft. But today we climbed over 1000 ft. That means we went up a total of 1000 ft and to arrive at the same elevation we had to climb down 1000 ft. That was the nature of today’s walk and we were tired when we finished but recovered with lunch and some downtime this afternoon.

We met Jerry from Anchorage, Alaska and Wayne and Tina from British Columbia. They checked into Casa Cines later in the day and we sat next to them at dinner, since there are no other places to eat or stay in Pintin. We enjoyed the conversations with Wayne snd Tina and maybe will see them again in the morning at breakfast or on the way to Santiago.