Counting Down the Kilometres

After I uploaded my last blog post, Lynda checked into our Albergue, having hiked 40 km. She’s run short on time, and so took a bus this day to be able to walk the last bit into Santiago. It was fun to have a chance to spend at least a little more time with her and catch up.
This was a great day, starting with goodbyes to Lynda in the morning and our usual fairly early start.

Despite the clear night it wasn’t too cold, and once out of Sarria the stars were beautiful on a moonless morning.

We had a slightly more relaxed day with a morning ‘coffee’ stop, and then courtesy of a small (but friendly) supermercado in Portomarin and a nearby comfortable bus stop, a relaxed lunch as well.


Bus stop lunch

We passed the “100 km to Santiago” marker today. In Galicia there is a mileage marker every half kilometer, i.e., about every 1/3 of a mile. This is so frequent that we have the feeling of the kilometers really clicking away as we go, counting down. We ended this day (Wednesday, October 21st) about 80 km from Santiago.


100 km marker

Very sunny, shirtsleeve weather in the afternoon, but not all that warm, certainly not hot. Really just a great day, verdant green Galicia continues to show itself off well, with great and mostly off-road rural track to follow.


The famous “horreos” of Galicia showed themselves in significant number. These are small elevated grain cribs, very typical of this region. I’m not sure if they’re used much anymore, the ones we could easily examine were empty, and it’s past harvest season for most things.


Older style Horreo

We ended up in the village of Gonzar (which we had been referring to as “Gonzo” among ourselves as a mnemonic), after an 18.6 mile day with about 500 meters of climbing along the way. The Albergue we selected was comfortable and overall good apart from offering no wi-fi. It was mostly empty when we showed up, but just completely filled as the afternoon progressed. Nicer than average, but with 7 bunkbeds (14 beds total in our area), snoring is a given.


The next morning (Oct 22nd) we started hiking just before 7 am, and again the stars were beautiful; we saw several shooting stars as we walked at the beginning.

Another great day to be alive and in Galicia. We took a total of Three breaks along the way, a new high for us. We paused for a bite in Ligonde in the morning, then a good lunch about 4 km past Palas de Rei, then finally a short break that involved a supermercado and a sidewalk bench in Meride. We had planned to stop for the day in Meride, but it wasn’t quite 2 pm yet and we all felt great, so we pushed on to the village of Boente, for a total distance of 21.9 miles (35.3 km).


Again no Internet, this time in this whole village. But a good Albergue, 6 in our room, and some good conversation with our roommates. Sabina and Christina are from Bavaria; Christina’s English isn’t as good, so she stresses my German skills somewhat. Florencia is an Argentine getting her PhD in cancer research here in Spain, and speaks pretty good English, so as is so often the case, English becomes the lingua franca (and isn’t that an ironic term).


For a genuine cola experience, drink:

We think we are about 48 km from Santiago here. Our tentative plan is to hike 17.4 miles (28.1 km) to O Pedrouzo, leaving us just 19.8 km (12.3 miles) on Saturday October 24th. And then on to Finnisterre.

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