Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Up and out of albergue after breakfast by 6:15am. Another nice morning for walking - I saw a meteor in the east before sunrise. We mostly walked along one lane farm tracks or asphalt lanes and often through wooded areas. At the half-way point we stopped for second breakfast in Bandeira and then continued on to reach Ponte Ulla just before noon. Pension Juanito is small and nice - above a bar. Ponte Ulla is a small village next to the bridge across the Ulla river. Within a short distance are 4 bridges: National highway (N-525), old road bridge into the village, AVE high speed railway, old single track rail bridge. Each of them was probably a feat of engineering in their time. There’s not too much to do in the village but we enjoyed sitting outside and drinking beer.
Ponte Ulla is only about 20km from Santiago and everyone is excited about the end to their caminos!
Monday, May 29, 2017
we were up at our usual 5:30am, grabbed our gear from the dormitory and prepared breakfast downstairs in the kitchen area. We were on the road a bit before 6:30am. The first hour was on or nearby the N-525 highway and the rest of the day was mostly on country lanes - some asphalt but most were dirt/gravel tracks and some were “paved” with large flat stones. The fog over the countryside was quite picturesque. After 12km we had second breakfast of tortilla Frances (omelette) and cafe con leche. After about 20km we passed through Laxe and continued on another 9km to Silleda. The weather was not too hot but we were glad that much of the later miles were on well shaded lanes. Silleda is a small city (as compared to a village) and we settled into the Albergue Turistico Silleda. It’s on the 4th floor of an apartment building, conveniently above a bar. Rooms had two or three single beds and shared a bath. Cost for pilgrims was 9 euros. The view of the countryside was quite pleasant. After the usual shower, etc. we had a menu del dia in the bar and then relaxed. Late afternoon we wandered the town, shopped for breakfast and enjoyed the central city square.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
We left the albergue before 6:30am and enjoyed the pre-sunrise view of the clock/belltower in the main village square. Today we are doing a “detour” off of the main camino route to visit the historic monastery of Oseira. We walked on narrow roads or dirt/gravel tracks through the forests for ~10km to Osteira. The old monastery is huge! Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived and we could only peek inside the albergue. Even worse, neither of the town’s bars was open so we did not get second breakfast either. In any event, the monastery was large and impressive. We left Oseira and climbed steeply for ~300m elevation gain - mostly on narrow stone lined tracks. After that we were on rolling hills on a combination of paths and tracks. Unexpectedly, we found a bar in a small village so enjoyed an omelet and cafe con leche. After 22km we reached the village of Dozon and checked into the municipal albergue. It’s quite nice and with kitchen downstairs. After showers and laundry we walked back to the village for a menu del dia at the cafe and shopped at the attached mini-market. Dinner was soup back in the albergue. We called ahead and made reservations for the last two nights on the camino (Silleda and Ponte Ulla) as well as for two nights in Santiago. Only three days walking remain. Tomorrow will be our last long day and nearly 30km to Silleda.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
We had breakfast in the albergue and were on the trail before 6:30. The first ~5km was mostly on small tracks or trails. After that we walked almost entirely on the small provincial road. After an initial small climb the rest of the day's hike was generally downhill. The view is much more like we expect of Galicia (hills, fog, very green) than we had been seeing at higher elevations. Although our books said the first bar would be after ~12km we found bars in many of the small villages. We had cafe con leche in one and then continued, having cafe and a large wedge of tortilla after ~12km. We continued and entered the suburbs of Ourense, walking on some paths but mostly on roads. We checked in to Casa Habana ~5 minute walk from the cathedral on the third floor of Avenida Habana 43. It’s a 2 bedroom apartment with two twin beds in each room. The only occupants are Hans, Glenn and me. We did laundry, showered and then had a light lunch and then toured the 12th//13th century cathedral after it opened at 4pm. Then we returned to the apartment after picking up groceries at the nearby market. Dinner was a mixed salad, chorizo, cheese and a nice bottle of Rioja.