With no fixed plans for the day, we slowly started our morning routine. It was a toss up between walking 18 km to Portomarin or pushing ourselves another 5 km to the small town of Gonzar. On our way out we stopped at a small souvenir shop in front of our guesthouse. I picked up two magnets and some postcards. Santiago felt closer than ever, and I was worried that I hadn’t picked up any souvenirs.
We came back to the yellow arrows, and met Mike and Suzy. They were from Eastern Europe, and the story of their Camino kept us entertained for the next 5 km. They had hitched hiked from Bayonne or Biarritz to St. Jean Pied de Port. This is where they officially started their Camino about a month ago. Due to some knee and ankle pain, they only walked a few kilometres each day. I thought it may have been from the sketchers shoes they were hiking in, but they both swore they were the best shoes. Both of them were so fun and free spirited. They had great stories about playing with turkeys, and other animals on the Camino. Their good company helped the time fly, we covered several kilometres without noticing any pain in our knees, hips or feet.
Eventually we parted ways with Mike and Suzy. We stopped for breakfast at a cafe. The number of pilgrims was noticeably larger. We met a group from Korea, and I impressed them with the one word of Korean that I knew “Annyeong/Hi.”
It wasn’t long before we passed the 100 km marker to Santiago. I could hardly believe that we had walked 200 km in 9 days, and in about 4 days our Camino would be over. Looking back, our 14 days on the Camino was just a short amount of time. But when I try to recall all the things we experienced, it seems like a lifetime worth of memories.
The rest of the day was pretty easy walking. We made one more stop at a bar called Los Andantes. There was literally one guy working as host, cook and server. He fed us a delicious bocadillo and caprese salad.
After our meal, it was a short 3 km walk to Portomarin. We debated walking further to Gonzar, but after crossing the bridge and walking up some steep stairs, we decided to call it a day.
There was an Albergue Ultreia in Portomarin. It had the same name as the albergue we stayed at in St. Jean Pied de Port. We were happy to find a room for 3. It was as clean and cozy as its counterpart in St. Jean. After settling in, we took a stroll around town and began our search for spaghetti. We found a spot and were surprised that the spaghetti sauce included sardines. What a delicious surprise!
In a bar further down the street, there was another set of pilgrims. They also happened to be part of the choir, and like in a musical they burst into song. It was one of the best dinner and show I’ve experienced. I guess anything can really happen on the Camino. It was a perfect ending to our day.
Albergue Ultriea : Address: Rúa da Deputación, 9, 27170 Portomarín, Lugo, Spain, Price: 50 euros for a private triple room with shared bathroom; Website: http://ultreiaportomarin.com/
- 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