September 6, 2018
Well, the 5:00 AM boys still had their alarms go off and spent 45 minutes rooting around their backpacks and room, but I decided not to head out till 7 AM since it was a shorter day at 21.3 kilometers, (13.2 miles). Not only was it a chilly 47°, it was socked in fog for the first two hours easily. And though yesterday was touted as being the day we “climbed the mountain” -we still had a considerable amount of elevation to gain and steep, exhausting (did I mention steep?) hills to begin our day! Trudge, trudge, trudge…
In the latter afternoon yesterday, not only did I enjoy a Caldo Galicia soup, but later I had pulpo (boiled octopus) and patatas fritos (French fries)! I felt well nourished and even that I’ve eaten more in yesterday afternoon than I had the entire week before!!
I walked 3 kilometers into Liñares, another 2.5 km into Hospital, 2.5 km into Alto do Polo, onward another 3.4 km to Fonfria, plus 2.5 km through Biduedo, 2.0 more to Filobal, 1.9 km through Pasantes and the final 1.6 km to Triacastela where I will spend the night. I arrived at 12:10, and put my backpack second in line for the 1:00 opening of our albergue. There were a huge crew of early risers across the street at a bar who had not thought to put their backpacks in a line. Oh well, it’s not like I’m trying to be first or anything, it’s just the methodology apparently – as I have read, and as I was schooled by an old-timer yesterday, the first in line in front of me! Besides, I wanted to be able to steal away and write my blog because the evenings are so crazy when pilgrims are doing their laundry, taking showers, grabbing something to eat or napping, and then carousing through the rest of the evening.
I ran into Xon (pronounced “Chawn”) again today mid morning and walked with him for a couple hours until he once again left me in the dust! Besides finding out that he liked the Monkeys when I mentioned the Beatles, he decided to put a spell on the fog and wouldn’t you know it, our envelope lifted within the half hour as he said it would! I gave him a bad time for not doing it earlier as well as regarding the forecast indicating that the sun would come out early afternoon. It was quite interesting to hear him again talk about the Galician people and their ways.
The scenery today was stellar! Yesterday we saw it from afar, today we descended down into the hills themselves and there was nothing but green rolling hills. That is if you don’t count the brown cows and their respective cow patties which are pretty much everywhere!!! Lots more dogs today, luckily friendly, as well as the friendly villagers given that we are now actually walking through their villages.
Today was challenging because of the morning inclines, yet the delightful Galician countryside, and our latter day downhill descent made it all worthwhile!