Day 37 of the Camino Wander – Beautiful Yet Punishing

May 21st, 2018. Trabadelo to La Laguna. Camino de Santiago.


Today was a mix of beauty and pushing my limits. I am still recovering from my crud but still managed to climb three-quarters of the way up a mountain. 600m or 2000 feet of a mountain that is. It was a 19km wander today but it was mainly uphill.

But it was so beautiful!

I’m so thankful to my Camino friend Amanda who helped diagnose my crud so that I could get a Ventolin inhaler from the pharmacy. Otherwise, I doubt I could have made it up the mountain. At best I’d have been wheezing myself up the mountain, coughing and spluttering as I went. Instead, I went fairly clear with just a little wheeze. *walk, puffer.  walk, puffer* 

It took us 8 hours or thereabouts to walk that 19km today, but there were stops along the way. For tea, for lunch, for a cool drink…and to take lots of photos! It really was stunning every step.  We called our Albergue ahead of time when we stopped at one point, to let them know we were coming, but we were slow walkers. “No problem” was the relieved response.  (Oh, if only we knew…)

It was a beautiful day for the walk. Even with the threat of rain, it was lovely. 

The worst of the day was once we reached almost to the top of the mountain. We were one stop from o Cebreiro. Unfortunately, we were not able to get accommodation at o Cebreiro so we had to stop just before it, which didn’t seem so bad.  We’d experience the short walk in the morning, and see o Cebreiro in the early morning.   So, we stopped.

It was there we stayed in the Albergue from Hell. 

We arrived at the Albergue just as the rain started really coming down.  To call where this Albergue was located a town would be a joke. The place was a huge farm, with a bar and hostel built up the hill and behind the bar. It smelled of cow dung. I’m convinced this place was built to take advantage of (and I mean that), the pilgrim traffic. Not necessarily to support the Camino as many Albergues did. But to take advantage of it. The hosts were rude and even dinner with a ‘churn and burn’ operation.  There were no smiles cracked at our jokes. There was no service to speak of really. Instead, it was plates thrown (literally) on to the table when we were served.

I had booked a bed in the dorm. Jerry and Sharon had booked a private room.  They were told there were no private rooms at all, which we determined later to be a lie. The Albergue had given their room away despite us calling to say we’d be late in arriving, but assured them we WOULD be there…we told them through a Spanish resident that we were slow walkers.

When I went back to the dorm room after dinner, it was 8 pm. The lights were out. I had yet to repack my bag for an early departure and managed to do so as quietly as I could.  The snoring was already in action. I should not have worried.  The room was cleared out the next day by the time I left. We were about to hit ‘the bed run’ part of the Camino.  I was already missing Casa Susi and all of those amazing Albergues I had stayed in previously.

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