If you had a bad day…

Day 9. O Porrino to Arcade

Last night’s albergue has to be one of the best that I’ve ever stayed in. Very well maintained, lovely owner, hot shower and the best bed I’ve slept on in a while. The bunks were a bit like old train bunks all lined up side by side but in your own little cocoon… complete with light and plug and curtain. Oh I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning!

Because we’ve crossed time zones it was noticeably colder this morning and dark! We went about our morning chores in silence, not knowing if anyone occupied the beds around us behind their little curtains. We left at 7:15 and it was so cold we could see the vapour from our breath.

We left town in the dark but with plenty of street lighting it was easy to follow the arrows. They led us first along a busy road and then off to the suburbs into the hills above the town.

This morning we were treated to one of first sunrises. We never actually saw the sun peep over the horizon because of all the hills but the sky turned a pale blue with peach edges and the clouds turned flamenco pink… and we stood in the cold morning taking photos and cooing like children watching fireworks.

Today was going to be ups and ups and ups followed by a big down… and then some more up. Welcome to Galicia! All around the land looks so familiar… vines turning gold in the autumn chill and woodsmoke fills the morning air. I love this part of Spain and I always seem to arrive in autumn.

We planned a breakfast stop in Mos; 6 km away.  There were a few albergues and cafes shown in the guide.  The edge of town was lined with a variety of weird scarecrows… we guess left over from a local festival?   Sadly luck wasn’t on our side and we walked by one closed cafe after another…what bitter disappointment, there was nothing! The worst was that it was another 5km before the next… crushed we continued up the hills in silence. The sun was warming up and we stopped to remove our coats.

Five minutes further on we walked by a bus shelter with a seat and I called to the girls that I wanted to check my toes; something felt sore and unhappy. Curses… a really nasty blister over a large part of my little toe… to go with the one already on the front of the same toe and mirroring the one on the other foot. Oh it was a bit of a mess, I can’t believe I never felt it sooner. The problem is that I’m still limping and this is causing me to walk differently and so I have blisters as well as a bad ankle… crikey this hasn’t been the easiest of walks! I don’t like the new altra lone peak shoes either. There is something in the new fit that just isn’t right and I don’t think I will use them again… gosh trying to find shoes for me is like looking for the holy grail!

So I dressed my blister and padded it as best I could. I put my Tevas back on and carried on up the hill. Not much further on we found a cafe… oh such joy I could have skipped had it not been for blistered toes and a twisted ankle 😃

Toast and hot drinks brought a little cheer. We walked on happy girls knowing that we’d climbed one of today’s hills and we’d walked almost half of today’s walk.

It is beautiful weather again. The sky is so blue it looks like a photoshopped holiday brochure sky. All around are hills and trees and rural properties… it’s a good day to be walking. But what goes up must come down and the path to Redondella was steep and long… so I took my time as this pilgrim feels battered enough for one journey. Jaqui breezed down as if it was flat and Sara picked her way down like me… slow and sure. As we reached the outskirts of town our French friends caught us and we chatted the rest of the way… these two LOVE to chat!

They were going a different route from us so we waved them good bye and searched for a restaurant and lunch…two minutes later we were sat in a large square in the sun tucking into a pilgrims lunch for just 6 euro.

With full tummies and checked feet we walked on… up and up and up again. Crossing a busy road that we’ve criss crossed all day before going up and up and up some more. It’s hot now so we stopped and removed fleeces… it’s definitely a tshirt kind of day!

We reached the top and we were rewarded with a glimpse of distant sea views. A few minutes later through the forest we caught glimpses of more water, the bay of Vigo. On we walked and this watery inlet revealed itself in all its glory. More photos and then more… did I mention it was a beautiful day to be walking?

We’re staying in a private albergue attached to the Duarte Hotel. You check in at the hotel and we handed over our passports and Jaqui and I giggled childishly at Sara’s passport photo. The poor lady on the reception desk tried so hard to keep a straight face but our giggles pushed her over the edge and she burst out laughing… bless her she hid her face as she laughed so much which just made me and Jaqui howl even more… I actually have tears rolling down my cheeks now thinking about it. The problem is that our lovely Sara looks like she is sporting a full beard in her photo…even funnier was that it was about four years before she noticed the beard… she has agreed to share this photo with the world… so if you’re having a bad day this will surely make you smile… you have to love this girl!

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Anyway…we showered and did the laundry and went in a search of food and drink… we seem to do a lot of eating on this camino!

My ankle is still a bit troublesome but we did 23km today so not too bad. We have a short day tomorrow…so we’re opting for a lazy morning and not setting the alarm…only 76kms to go!

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