Week 16: The Camino part II…

April 15

We decided to stop just before Redondela at an Albergue. By now we’ve learned how to choose the best bed:

1) Is there a socket to charge my phone?

2) Lower bunk?

3) As far away as possible from the toilets and showers?

At this Albergue it didn’t matter since it was just me and my mom and so we had 18 beds to choose from. We dumped our backpacks and went to the bar for a cup of tea. A lot of other pilgrims came inside for refreshments and a stamp but after that they left, until this weird pilgrim came in the bar. Apparently he really had to pee so he walked to the toilet and wanted to do his business. “Ey! Can you close the door? Yuck! It’s weird to pee like that in a restaurant!”: I yelled to him. He closed the door but when he came out he had this look on his face like he wanted to strangle me or something. Pff….weird fake pilgrim!

Then mom and I had dinner, afterwards we played 1 game of yahtzee and at 8.30pm off to bed.

April 16

It was my moms birthday! Hip hip hooray 😁

After an early breakfast it was time for our hike. It was a lovely route and everything went smoothly until the path went almost vertically uphill. Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated but it really was so steep that we almost fell backwards due to our backpacks. And then, well, what goes up must go down. Only going down was on a gravel path with a lot of rocks. Not good for stability and thus for my foot.

Anyway, we’ve found another fantastic place for the night: “Albergue O Lar de Pepa”. We had a private room with 2 beds, clean bedsheets and a real towel! All of this for only €10 pp. The owner was really nice and when I called him Pepa, he explained to me that that was his mothers name and she was 97 years old. His name was José. Actually, I think that’s what he said since I only pretend that I speak fluent Spanish but somehow the locals and I more or less understand each other.

Mom and I had an early dinner and while we were playing a game of yahtzee, José came with a small bouquet of flowers for my moms birthday. How sweet is that?

April 17

A rough trail today. We had to jump on and over rocks to cross a little stream and to keep our feet dry. Jumping with a big backpack is awfully heavy. After 12km we reached an ecological Albergue. The owners grow everything themselves. Unfortunately they had chicken as well. I hoped I could pick out the meanest one for dinner but noooo….we had fish. Really tasty though! We hoped we could pay with our debit card since we only had €32,20 in cash. I asked but the owners didn’t understand my Spanish 🤷🏼‍♀. We hoped for the best. Living dangerously…

Oh, about living dangerously…after dinner they served us a liquor, homemade by grapes from their own garden of course. Hallelujah!!! I hope the stitches in my stomach have healed properly otherwise they might be dissolved by now, same as the soles from my beautiful dark brown leather slippers.

April 18

Thank God mom found €10 in one of her pockets so we could pay for our stay. In total it was €40 for our stay, including dinner and breakfast. Almost for free 😁

However, today we had to search for an ATM. While making gestures combined with a cha-ching sound when asking people we found one and we finally had some change in our pockets again. We continued our hike but we realized we were just too tired. Moms knee was hurting and so was my foot. We still have to walk like 60km so a little rest doesn’t hurt. We found a little hotel so that was it for today.

April 19

Because we’re a little ahead on our schedule we have to dose our hikes. We decided to walk only 10km today. After going a little bit of route, we found this Albergue…WHICH WAS CLOSED! We had to walk back to the Camino path and had to look for the nearest place to stay. That was after another 10km hike in Caldes de Reis 🤬. So instead of 10km we walked 22km. That was a good reason to spend an extra day in Caldes de Reis. Oh, and we booked a massage for that evening. I think we deserved that 😇

April 20

Just a day of chilling, hanging with our feet in the natural thermal spa, a picnic next to the Roman bridge and a little bit of sightseeing. Secretly we still walked about 10km that day.

April 21

Okay, we hoped we’d find a place to sleep halfway since we’re way too fast. Luckily we found an Albergue in Valga. It was really busy and I have to admit that by now I really don’t like the Germans I’ve met during our walk. They invade the Albergue as soon as they come in, confiscate all the sockets and they smell like sweat. We went to the reception desk to ask if they really didn’t have a private room? Since my birthday was coming up and their daughter liked me (I called her a princess and told her that I was one too because my name is Cinderella) we could stay in the invalid room. Hallelujah! Gracias Princesa! 👸🏻

April 22

Happy birthday to me.

Happy birthday to me.

Happy birthday to meeeheeeeee.

Happy birthday to me!

We left the Albergue quite early after we realized there was no breakfast. The route was beautiful and if it wasn’t for my rumbling stomach, very tranquil. Halfway we stopped to drink coffee and eat some breakfast in this little village-bar with a creepy owner. He told me a whole story about his shaving cream. At least, that’s what I think he said because my Spanish and the Spanish from the Spanish is something a bit different.

Finally we arrived in Padron. We had some Pulpo (squid) at the local market and now it’s time to relax a bit. The hiking part is becoming more and more difficult. Moms knee is playing up and my foot…well, in the evening I’m scared to take off my shoe because my foot immediately swells up and hurts.

The whole food thing is also a bit messed up. I shouldn’t be eating and drinking at the same time but somehow it’s impossible to keep it separated. Since I can only eat small portions I think (hope) the tiny coffee just makes it easier to digest it. I also can’t do those 6 eating moments a day. We never know when we pass a cafe-bar so we just eat/drink whenever it’s possible. As soon as I’m home I promise to eat and drink according to the rules again but right now….I just can’t do it. I think that Saint James is watching over me (and my mom) so I should be fine.

Ah well, we’re almost there so let’s hope we’ll make it to Santiago…

Until next week 😉

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