After a couple of short days on the Camino, we decided to push ourselves and walk 24.8 km to Palas De Rei. We were out the door before the sun had fully risen. There was a cafe serving the early morning pilgrims, and we enjoyed a cup of cafe con leche and croissants. Afterwards, we hopped back onto the yellow arrows. It took us across a bridge out of Portomarin. There was a mother walking with her young son. He was one of the youngest pilgrims we saw on the Camino.
The weather was beautiful, but I had a hard time walking. The path took us in and out of the roadside, and the hard pavement was tough on my feet. There was also a fertilizer plant in the area, which set off an unattractive smell.
The crowd of pilgrims was noticeably larger. We stopped at Gonzar, which was the first bar, about 7 km from Portomarin. The bar was busy serving platos combinados to ravenous pilgrims. We had a giant breakfast, complete with huevos and chorizo.
We finished our meal and made space for the next set of pilgrims. After crossing some farm areas, we made another quick OJ stop at Ventas O’Cruceiro. We passed the father and son from Texas having a small snack at another bar. Soon after, the path started to climb up and I could feel my feet throbbing. I was wearing my ankle support. With my swelling feet, the support started cutting circulation to my big toe. Some of the other pilgrims hopped in a taxi, tempting us.
After the long trudge uphill, the path turned downhill. We stopped by a bench near an interesting looking cross. We asked the two Dutch pilgrim if they had any info on the cross. They didn’t, and we all agreed to look into it when we weren’t so tired. Maybe I’ll do that after writing this post.
We sat for a little longer airing out our feet. I adjusted my ankle support, which was still bothering me. We trudged on, and I was happy to enter the wooded area that characterized the last few kilometres to Palas de Rei. One of the most memorable sites on route was a pilgrim walking with his baby on his back. I had a hard enough time with my backpack, I couldn’t even imagine walking the Camino with a baby on my back.
Palas de Rei was a welcome site for our tired feet. We booked a private room for 3 people at O’Castelo. The hostel was clean, well equipped, and the host was very friendly. We showered and rested. But it wasn’t long before we were lured out by the sound of a travelling band. We stepped outside to find a band complete with bagpipes, accordions and drums. They were hopping from bar to bar. Lucky for us, there was a bar right under our hostel.
Since we were out already, we decided to find a grocery store and replenish our snack supplies. Sadly it was closed. But on a happy note, we ran into our Canadian friend who we met at Murias De Rechivaldo. It was Mother’s Day and he was on the phone with his mom. He yelled out to us, telling us to call our mothers. We were happy to see that he was still on route to Santiago.
We had a quick pilgrim’s meal before heading back to our hostel. Our host helped us to have one of our bags transported to Arzua. We stuffed it with all our heavy gear. Tomorrow would be a long day, and we needed all the help we could get.
- Day 1 – Leon to Villavante 30 km.
- Day 2 – Villavante to Murias de Rechivaldo – 26.3 km.
- Day3 – Murias de Rechivaldo to Foncebadon – 20.9 km.
- Day4 – Foncebadon to Ponferrada – 26.2 km
- Day 5 – Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo – 24.7 km
- Day 6 – Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro – 28.9 km
- Day 7 – O’Cebreiro to Triacastela – 20.7 km
- Day 8 – Tricastela to Barbadelo 23.7 km
- Day 9 – Barbadelo to Portomarin – 18.5 km