Barbadelo to Eirexe
Sunday 30 November
The days are getting shorter. It was still dark when I had to leave to alburgue at eight. There was no street lighting in this tiny village, so I searched for my headlamp and found my fluro reflective vest from my cycle trip. It was windy, but not cold. I needed coffee. My head was full of cotton wool, I hadn’t had the best nights sleep. Eight kilometers to coffee. I trudged on. To my surprise and delight, I saw a bar open only half an hour along the route. Coffee.
As I was leaving a Spanish couple who had been the only other guests at the alburgue arrived, they were soaking wet. It was raining. I put on my rain gear, and ventured out. It wasn’t heavy, and only lasted ten minuites before it warmed up again. I was feeling much better after something to eat. I had my day mapped out. I would stop again in an hour and a half for second breakfast, then should arrive around lunch time in Portomarine. I had decided I would have a big lunch today, as it seems to give me energy for the afternoon’s walk, and then I don’t need a big dinner. Portomarine sounded like a large town, so should have some restaurants open.
I passed a marker – only one hundred kilometers to Saintiago! It seemed too soon. I arrived in Ferreiros just as church was finishing. The bar next door was crowed with the faithful. They were all keen to wish me Buen Camino. I ordered a coffee, but they had no food. Not far further on was a small shop, they had a selection of homemade tarts. It was hard to choose. I selected an almond and apricot one and wolfed it down. Perfect.
The walk was mostly uphill today, then a steep decent to cross the Large Mino River, climbing again into Portomarine. I looked for a Resturant facing the river, and was in luck. High on the cliff, with a magnificent view, was a glassed in dining room. I ordered the Menu del dia. Steamed mussels with salsa, trout, and creme caramel. The sun shone through the window. The food was excellent, except for the dessert, which came presented in the Nestle plastic cup. They could have at least pretended it was homemade. Oh well, I had had my delicious dessert earlier.
I had planned to stay in a village called Hospital in another twelve kilometers. It was all uphill, but after my big lunch, my pace had increased. I was making good time. Soon I had caught up with a German man, the only other person I had encountered walking today. Strange, the last one hundred kilometers are supposed to get busier. He said he was trying to walk fifty kilometers today, and was feeling a bit tired. I had inspired him to continue, he called me his Power Angel. He said he needed a Coke, but I would work just as well, and help him speed up. We arrived in Hospital sooner than I had planned, and I still wanted to walk. He was continuing to Palas de Rei, but I didn’t want to walk in the dark. I said I would continue to the next open alburgue. He had done the Camino before, but came back every year to walk the last one hundred kilometers. He said he wanted to do it in three days. He told me how Germany was the best country in the world to live, as they have lots of rules. He has two young daughters, and has their careers mapped out for them. One is going to be an architect, the other a dentist. I asked was that their choice? He said no, that is what he has decided. He was very German. We walked for another five kilometers to Eirexe. The light was fading and the alburgue was open. I said I would stop for the day. Before he continued we went to the bar so he could have a Coke, a replacement for his Power Angel.