Today was more difficult than it should have been, given that the distance wasn’t overly long and we should be stronger by this point. But hills are the bane of Dad and me.
We started the morning in the dark and fog, searching for the 100 kilometer marker to show we’re making progress. We found two of them before the official one, so I guess it took us 10 minutes to make no progress! The paths were tree lined and hard packed dirt, leading to a pleasant walk.
At the next albergue, we ran into Nina, Maura, and Sandra. We walked together for a bit and stopped for a photo op. They peeled off at the next cafe for breakfast so we walked on through alone. As the sun began to burn off the fog, we were treated to a great sight—a fog bow!
We stopped for our usual café con leche/Cola Cao in Portomarín and ran into Robert, whom we first met in Roncesvalles! He moved on while we stopped, but we were all glad to see someone from the first day. After the flood of people yesterday (Sarria is the minimum distance from Santiago for people who want to get their Compostela by walking, so those with limited time off start there), today was quieter and much more what we were used to.
After Portomarín, the day grew warmer and the shade decreased (although there was still enough to give us plenty of breaks). We stopped at the next town, about 8 kilometers after the city, for some pineapple juice, and the woman behind the bar also brought us some bread and sausage, so we had some energy to finish the day.
Dad and I really struggled with the uphills the rest of the day. Somehow I expected them to get easier as we got stronger, but I think we’re also getting worn down by the sheer number of days of walking. Andy doesn’t seem to have this problem.
We were all glad to see the albergue when we arrived. After checking in, we had some lunch (queso, croquetas, and empanadas), then showered and visited with Sandra, who ended up at the same albergue. We also booked an albergue for tomorrow, something we try not to do too often but that I felt was necessary given that tomorrow is a 25 kilometer day and how slowly we walk.
Shorty before 7:00, we sat down to dinner with Sandra and another woman, Anja from Germany. The fare was pretty standard, but tasty. For dessert, I had chocolate pudding! Usually they only have vanilla on offer. When we paid for dinner we also brought some food for tomorrow’s breakfast.
We’ll spend a little time relaxing before heading to bed to get plenty of rest for the long walk tomorrow. It should be cooler, but there is a slight chance of rain. Fingers crossed we don’t get wet!