Camino Blog / Vézelay Route to Santiago de Compostela

Day 73, 20th June. Castro de Salime to O Piñeiral

A hill in the clouds then Galicia.

It’s a funny sensation with no visibility, you have no idea of the height or whether you are getting anywhere. How do you know when you’re at the top? Easy, the windmills are behind you. No, that’s a false summit, there’s more. Then just past the top the border with Galicia,

well marked on the trail. Also marked with a change in the waymarkers which now give the distance to Santiago (the doors of the Cathedral?) to the metre.

It was beautiful in the mist, there’s only foreground, even the gorse looks lovely.

Then a cool walk into A Fonsagrada, where I had Caldo Gellego (Galician soup) for lunch before a few more kms and the hotel in the middle of a pine forest, O Piñeiro. Why there, it means I can get to Castroverde in only 28km and then a more manageable 22km to meet Derek in Lugo. There aren’t many options on the Primitivo.

I think I’ve finally worked out how to simplify telephone reservations, when I’m asked my name I say John de Nueva Zelanda and if that doesn’t work I try Juan Nuevo Hombre. At least is saves me trying to spell in Spanish.

Apart from a big hill at the beginning, today was pretty simple.

Last night we stayed at Begoña’s private hotel in Castro, a village of about ten houses. The alternative was the youth hostel. Anyway, Begoña makes her own chorizo, grows her own veggies, has her own honey, makes the tortillas. It was really special. There was Silas (from Brazil), Antonio (from Italy) and for new company, father and son Eraclio and Aday from Islas Canarias.

At one stage Silas was complaining that he can’t get warm. Begoña was near to tears as she explained that with climate change, they only have two seasons, spring and autumn. They certainly don’t have summer. Most days it gets up to about 18 degrees, occasionally over. Today would have been about 15, I still had my pullover and parka on when I got to the Hotel at 3. Middle of June.

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