Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I didn't even know how close we were getting

After sleeping in the state-run alberge at Hospital de la Condesa we got back on the trail again. The first thing we discovered was that no, we weren't through with steep climbs. In fact, we had one before breakfast! The path just before Alto do Poio is just as steep as the path up to O Cebreiro. It's not as long, thank heavens, but it's certainly just as steep. And at the top of it was a bar and an albergue. All I could think of was that I was so glad we had stopped at Hospital instead of continuing on to this, the very next albergue on the trail.

After eating toast (huge pieces freshly sliced when I asked for it, and then toasted in the oven) and cafe leche, we continued on. At the far side of Triascastela, we went right toward San Xil, wanting the shorter route. (Triacastela is a lovely village. There are some little stores. They don't want you to bring your pack inside the door.)

It was a good thing that we had stopped at the very last grocery in Triacastela to pick up some sardines and some bread. We walked through a whole lotta scenic nothing for a long time after that. San Xil wasn't even a wide spot in the road. It was just a building that had nothing to do with serving food or anything like that. We did find a picnic table out in the middle of nowhere--it even had a soda machine, but it didn't sound like it was working--and we put sardines onto the bread and drank water from our bottles to wash it down and kept on going. We did see some people who had turned that way expecting to find a bar or restaurant with tables and food and drinks--poor souls. If I had had enough to give everyone a morsel I would have. The moral of the story here is to be prepared. This is about the only time we wished we had brought food along that we actually had brought food along. Not everything that is a "thing" in the map books is a place you can get food. Sometimes it's just a name so you know you're still on the right trail.

We stopped for the night at San Mamed del Camino, which may or may not qualify as a wide spot in the road, but it certainly was not a really built-up area. Among the scattered farms and houses was the Paloma y Lerma Albergue. More vegetarian food--very tasty!--very relaxing patio and yard, chickens to watch, and friendly hospitaleros. It was refreshing.

At the Alto San Roque, a statue of St. Roch--minus his dog.

View of the valley in the morning, before the early fog had lifted.

Capilla de San Pedro, a wayside chapel along the trail past San Xil.
The morning after sleeping at Paloma Y Lerma, we walked through Sarria, and the atmosphere of the Camino changed. This post is long enough, so I'll leave that for tomorrow.