Estrada, A

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    • Day 25

      Soutelo de Montes to A Estrada (33 km)

      October 2, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      Yesterday when I went into the grocery store I asked the woman at the fruit counter about the bagpiper statue. That was like turning on a switch. It turns out that Soutelo de Montes is home to many of Spain’s finest bagpipers, and their band world renowned — in fact, they had been invited to play in NYC’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade in 2020. You can guess what happened to that invitation. I learned that the woman herself really had never been very attracted to the traditional music, but she told me that when her adopted son (born in Siberia) was six or seven, he just got the bug. He is now 18 and a member of the band. She is now a huge fan and showed me lots of videos. And she said something like — it’s funny how it took someone born thousands of kilometers from here to make me feel connected to the place that is my home.

      When I got back to my hotel room I thought I should send a WhatsApp to confirm my reservation for today. I got a response from the owner of the Casa Rural saying that he was flying home tomorrow and would not be arriving until at least 5 PM, so that I would have to sit outside and wait for him. Well that was kind of a dealbreaker, so I decided to turn what was supposed to be a short 20 km day into a 33 km day. Since I arrived at my destination well before five, I figure it was time well spent.

      Whoever put this walk together today had an amazing ability to string little bits and pieces together. The Camino went from village to village on dirt paths, through little rocky green tunnels, through forested land and through wide-open fields. With a few short stretches on paved but on traveled roads. It was really very enjoyable.

      Not sure where tomorrow will take me, but I am getting close to Santiago.
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    • Day 26

      A Estrada to Santiago (33 km)

      October 3, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      The walk was good, I felt good, and so I pushed on to Santiago.

      It’s been years since I felt this good walking into Santiago. Last year, injury; year before, COVID; and several years before that it was just a flat feeling. But today, even though it was a long hot day, and even though I got really messed up coming into the city, when I walked into Obradoiro, I felt like things were soaring—gratitude, happiness to be alive, realizing how lucky I am to be physically able to walk the camino. I sat and watched as hundreds of other pilgrims came into the square, just sat and watched. I didn’t know any of them, yet I think we shared a bond.

      For some crazy reason, I went to the Pilgrim’s office to get my compostela. One more to put in the closet. There’s a new, much more automated system in the office, and I couldn’t help but compare back to my first compostela in 2000. No familiar faces there for the first time in years. Things change.

      This afternoon and evening were for spending time with good friends. And now I’m going to bed. Rest day in Santiago tomorrow.
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    • Day 10

      Von Arcade nach Portela

      May 5 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Durch hügeliges Gebiet ging es etwas später als sonst Richtung Pontevedra. Eine schöne und abwechslungsreiche Strecke, durch Wald, auf Straßen und durch große Baustellen. In Pontevedra gab es einen neuen Stempel und Bacadillos in einem Café. Die Reste vom Nachbartisch klauten sich die Tauben und die gierigen Möven. Unsere heutige Herberge hatten wir gestern schon im Kollektiv reserviert, allerdings waren nur noch Matratzenplätze übrig. Kurz vorher gab es noch in einer schönen Bar unter Weinreben eine Cola und einen Saft zur Stärkung für die letzten 2km.
      Angekommen in Portela warteten schon massig Leute auf den Checkin. Am Abend gab es ein klassisches Herbergsessen. Alle 36 Menschen aus vielen unterschiedlichen Ländern an einer langen Tafel. Zu Essen gab es Linseneintopf mit Ei und Brot und natürlich viel Wein.
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    • Day 42

      A Laxe - Leiras 22 km

      June 10, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      We left quite early 0645 in order to leave our bags at the bar Ma. Jose, and stayed for an excellent breakfast, and then set off together.

      For the first time on my camino, I walked in my shorts, the weather could not have been better, it was cloudy with sunny spells and a nice breeze and the path was a mixture of tarmac and country paths. On the final stretch of the camino you find yourself walking through a lot of small towns and so there is less need to carry a lot of water etc. and there are more opportunities for refreshments. We stopped at least twice for coffee, and in one café I saw an amazing looking cheesecake, and it made me think of Mirjam who loves cheesecake, but they didn't sell it in slices , just the whole cheesecake, which was far too big even for the four of us!

      We found another café that was open and sat for about 30 minutes chatting. Kathleen saw a lovely yellow outfit that she thought might be good for us to all wear for when we arrived in Santiago. Apparently that is a thing, and you will see groups arriving all day wearing the same t-shirt or hat or carrying the same flag etc. Sadly, I don't think it came in my size.

      Meg and I arrived at the albergue about 1300, with Kathleen and Anita arriving shortly thereafter having walked right past the 10-foot high sign saying 'Casa Leiras Albergue'.

      The albergue was run by an delightful and fascinating couple, Andrea and his wife Cristina, he was Italian and she was Spanish, they were both really engaging and interesting to talk to, both of them were wonderful storytellers and conversationalists. We chatted for a while about how they came to own, renovate and run the albergue and to be honest, their ethos of life and how to live it was very appealing. what I loved was that they were living the life they loved, the life they had chosen for themselves. If you like chess then this is the albergue for you as Andrea was a mad keen chess player.

      The albergue was absolutely the best we had stayed in so far. It was spotlessly clean, the beds were well spaced apart and the toilets and showers were outstanding. Rather than have to sit around serving us we were told to help ourselves from the bar and write up our own tab. We all agreed to have dinner there, in part because there was nowhere else to go, but also because we guessed, correctly, that the food would be fabulous, which it was. I was so glad we had decided to stay there, it's a very small place with no facilities other than the albergue, but it was one of the most pleasant days I had on the camino.

      Mirjam arrived in Santiago today and sent us some photographs of the cathedral, apparently, when she went to get her Compostela, the staff were very excited because she had walked from Sevilla. I was so happy for her, our hearts were bursting with pride and joy, I was just sorry I had not been there to share it with her. We also got word from Anne that she was slowing down a bit because she was finding the humid weather a bit difficult, so she would now arrive in Santiago on Monday. We decided that we would all go the the cathedral square to meet her, when she arrived.

      So, after a very wonderful day, we went to bed content and at peace.
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    • Day 21

      Day 57 - Ponte Ulla - 20.8 km

      November 16, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Weather: 10 - 15 degrees: rain predicted all day.
      Clothes: the same - it’s not that cold

      Wet weather blues
      I had a pretty good nights sleep last night (but not long enough) in my solo room and softer bed. The municipal albergue beds can be extraordinarily firm, even for me.
      But I woke up feeling blue because of the weather - specifically rain.

      Things are rarely as they seem.
      As it turned out the rain was fine and misty and the temperature was warm. It wasn’t so bad.
      I planned to stop at Dornella and arrived at midday. However the hospitalaro tried to convinced me to do another 8 km to Ponte Ulla. He is having some problems with the heater in the dorm and the temporary gas heater has to be turned off at 9.00 pm. And there is no food at all in Dornella. Dinner is served at the albergue at 8.00 pm - too late for me. It is a lovely albergue in a quiet rural setting but after a rest and further chat I decided to go on.

      Today was a day of small villages, timber plantations and timber harvesting, and again country lanes.
      I got to Ponte Ulla around 3.00 pm and had a rich and filling lentil soup before searching out the albergue.
      I even thought about walking another 4 km to O Outeiro but then decided against it. It’s 20 km to Santiago so it seems I will be there tomorrow - 8 weeks and 2 days.
      The albergue here is fine - a Bar / Restaurant downstairs that opens at 7.00 am. The only down side is my solo room has no window. ☹️☹️☹️ A reminder of my first hostel in Sevilla but this one is half the price.
      However the bed is soft with blankets and sheets and there is a heater that works. I lay down as soon as I got in and fell asleep for an hour. A relaxing and restful evening ahead.

      Buen Camino
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    • Day 52

      Lalin - Ponte Ulla 1.7.2018

      July 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Geschafft! 😁

      War heute ein rundum unaufgeregter Tag. Nichts Unvorhergesehenes geschah, war mir auch nicht unrecht, so kurz vorm Ziel 😎

      Heute morgen außerordentlich gut erholt erwacht, aufgestanden und diese wunderbare Dusche ausgiebig genutzt. Ich liebe diese begehbaren, ebenerdigen Duschen, in denen man ein wenig auf und ab spazieren kann. Einfach großartig! Danach an der Rezeption meine frisch gewaschenen und gut duftenden Klamotten abgeholt und auf dem Zimmer fertig für den Tag gemacht. Der natürlich wieder mit Regen aufwartete. Ich mich also regenfein gemacht und ab ging's auf die Strada namens N-525. Meine gute alte Freundin. Sie war wieder da.

      Und führte mich dann auch von Lalin wieder zurück auf den Camino. Nach insgesamt rund 14 km war Silleda erreicht. Dort natürlich erst einmal gestärkt, dazu trugen ein Bocadillo mit Schinken und Käse, garniert von einer Dose Cola, sowie abschließend ein Cafe Americano erfolgreich bei.

      In Silleda fing es nach kurzzeitiger Wetterbesserung wieder an, ordentlich zu schütten. Ich hatte kurzfristig überlegt, die Etappe im Grünen fortzusetzen, kam dann aber schnell zu der Einsicht, daß mir die N-525 die besseren Dienste erweisen würde. Also weiter Asphalt getreten, nächste Station war Bandeira, etwa 8 km entfernt. Dort erneut an einer Cola und einem Cafe Americano nicht vorbei gekommen.

      Da sich an dem Wetter auch weiterhin nichts Wesentliches geändert hatte, ging es dann weiter auf der N-525 auf die letzten 13 km nach Ponte Ulla. War wunderbar zu laufen. Der Seitenstreifen ausreichend breit und die Autofahrer ausreichend fähig, keine brenzligen Situationen entstehen zu lassen.

      So wurden es heute also 35 km auf Asphalt. Und was soll ich sagen - meine Füße fühlen sich so frisch wie heute morgen an. Kein noch so kleines Zwicken oder Brennen. Rein gar nichts. Ich bin echt immer wieder extrem verblüfft, wie so etwas möglich sein kann.

      Hier in Ponte Ulla bin ich im Restaurant Rios, bzw. der dazugehörigen Pension. Inhaberin ist Hilda, sie ist deutschsprachig und ausgesprochen nett ist sie auch, ich habe ein hübsches, schlichtes Doppelzimmer für 12 EUR bekommen, das Restaurant ist im Haus, sie hat mich sogar schon gefragt, um wieviel Uhr ich essen möchte! Muss sich mal einer vorstellen! Normalerweise gibt es feste Uhrzeiten, und nach denen hast du dich zu richten. Punkt. Hier und heute nicht 😊

      Ja, und morgen ist es soweit. Es geht auf erträglichen 20 km tatsächlich und unwiderruflich nach Santiago de Compostella. Dem offiziellen Ende aller Caminos. In meinem Fall natürlich nicht wirklich 😎 der Atlantik wartet noch auf mich. Ein besonderer Tag wird es aber dennoch werden. Da bin ich mir sicher. Sehr.

      Stand heute: 1.192 km 🚶🍀
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    • Day 52

      Nachtrag Ponte Ulla 1.7.2018

      July 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      😊 Ich wurde hier von Hilda und ihrer Tochter sooo verwöhnt, das muss ich einfach noch besonders erwähnen. Vielen lieben Dank nochmal für eure ganz ganz besonders herzliche Gastfreundschaft! 😍 Ich habe mich hier unglaublich wohl gefühlt! 😊Read more

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