I wanted to walk alone today so I headed off around half an hour earlier than I normally do meaning I left at 5.45. It was very dark and I had to go uphill on some very uneven paths so I was happy that I managed to walk between two people with head torches so I could see where I was going.
I passed some funny things along the way:
At least I felt better than him. ;-)
Ever since Sarria phone numbers for taxis are frequently written all over the path. It is tempting at tones but I have walked so much already so I am not stopping now!
After Sarria more and more people are only carrying a daypack and are then having their backpack transported to the next albergue. I will try not to express what I think about them.
Graffiti along the way.
Coffee breaks are crucial. Not only for getting a caffeine fix but also for letting legs rest a little.
A cemetery on the way. Not quite how it looks in Denmark.
Already early on I started receiving messages from friends and family wishing me happy birthday so I shed a few tears along the way. I was very fast and efficient today so I guess walking when emotional is not that bad. ;-)
We wanted to stay in Palas de Rei as it is a slightly bigger place where we hopefully would be able to get anything else than the normal Pilgrim Menu (I'll elaborate on this in another post)
I reached Palas de Rei at 11.15 already (I walked around 25 kms in the fastest pace so far. I also had very small breaks) and the private albergue we had planned to stay at was full already although they had 100 beds (the private albergues you can book whereas that is not an option with the public ones) I walked on and was worried the same thing would happen as in Portomarin where we couldn't get a bed initially and had to wait three hours to get a bed!
I walked to the public albergue and found it easily since there was a long line of backpacks in front of it. In other words a line. The albergue has 60 beds and by my quick measuring I was around no 40 so I should be able to get a bed. By then it was 11.45 and the albergue didn't open before 13.00. Luckily the sun was out so I took my time wandering around town and figuring out where to eat. That's the good thing about queuing with backpacks. You don't actually have to be there all the time.
At one o'clock it finally opened and they started stamping and registerating. It took forever and the line hardly moved. Find it hard to stand after having walked since my feet and hip start aching so it was a nightmare having to wait an additional 50 minutes before I was finally appointed to my bed.
I forgot taking a picture of the backpack line but here is one of people waiting to get their stamp and bed.
The albergue was €6 and was very central and in general worth the wait.
While waiting I texted Siobhan and Carlo and told them they should stay at the albergue one km before the town as they wouldn't get a bed in Palas de Rei.
A few days earlier we had lost Phil and Norbert but all if a sudden they were walking past me. They had planned to go to the next village and stay thee but when they heard it was my birthday they went back to the albergue one km before town so they could celebrate birthday and walk with us again.
Shortly before dinner time Siobhan came by with a present her and Carlo had bought me along with a card.
A pilgrim key hanger and a bracelet with the Camino shell.
It was such a nice thought and it made me very happy.
The five of us went out for dinner and I had planned I wanted a bottle of Cava. Unfortunate they didn't have that (wtf?!) so instead I ordered a glass of Rioja Reserva. Cava must be in Santiago instead. ;-)
Thru didn't have that much to order but I opted for the tortilla. A Spanish omelet with potatoes. It was HUGE!
I couldn't even finish half of it but the skinny Italian finished it when he was five with his pulpo. I hate people who can eat whatever whenever and still be skinny as a stick. ;-)
Curfew at the albergue is 22.00 so the dinner ended when dessert was eaten. I will celebrate some extra when I reach Santiago I am sure.
Thank you for all your lovely messages. They cheered me up on a bad day. :-)