May 31, 2017
The walk today was only 26k but it seemed much longer.
The albergue in Miraz was great last night. Everything was new which was nice. As I said Miraz is in the mountains of Galicia, It’s like all of a sudden you go from walking on a beautiful tree lined road in the middle of nowhere to this little albergue with a restaurant/bar and thats it. In Spain a bar/restaurant is really all that you need to have a community. People come from all around just to have a beer or glass of wine and a tapa. Food is really inexpensive in most of Spain. We have eaten a three course meal for lunch, the largest meal of the day for Spaniards for between 8 and 11 Euros. That price includes a starter like a huge plate of pasta, salad with tuna and vegetables, embutidos which is a plate of cold meats, salami and cheese, Calamari, etc. Then a second plate of meat, or fish with potatoes and lastly desert. It also includes Wine, water and bread. You can eat like a king for pennies.
Today we continued through the mountains to a community built around a monastery called Sobranes dos Monxes. The monastery is run by an order of Trappist monks. Other than welcoming pilgrims they also make Dulce de leche. When we arrived the monks we just heading to lunch. We were allowed to put our packs in the keep but then needed to leave. The monk recommended a great restaurant about a kilometer away. We walked over again a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. The food was delicious, I had a starter of Calamari stew which was calamari, potatoes and spices. A local specialty, it was delicious.
After lunch we were able to check in to the monastery. When I sat down to register I called to monk Father, he said that his name was Lawrence and that they did not used titles. I listened to Lawrence speak fluent German, Italian, Spanish and English. He was really interesting. He actually had a conversation with each pilgrim in their own language. I love Europe for many reasons but that has got to be tops. So many people are poly lingual.
We sleep inside the keep of the monastery in what honestly were probably stables at one time. It was great because due to the stone walls it was cool. When you sleep with 14 or more of your closest friends the room can get a bit stuffy with all of those bodies.
We had a chance to go to Vespers tonight. It is the only time that you can go into the area where the monks live. We were allowed into their chapel to attend. It was beautiful. I cant really say that i remember attending vespers although I probably have. They lasted about an hour. After vespers we walked back to the restaurant for dinner. I just had a glass of wine, still full from lunch. I am becoming an expert at hand washing my clothes. A skill I can life without. It is nice when the weather is warm so the clothes dry on the line outside. Socks are the toughest to get dry. Tomorrow we will walk to Arúza. At that point the Norté joins the French route. We will walk two days on the French route into Santiago.
May 30, 2017
About halfway through today’s walk we reached the 100k left to Santiago marker. In our case 99.99k. Needless to say there were some very happy pilgrims.
Today was a very very long day! We walked 36k or almost 22 miles. We were very lucky in that the weather was really great. This morning is was sunny but crisp and this afternoon it was warm but a bit overcast so the sun was not too hot.
Our walk was basically a very gentle climb into the mountains. Walking in Galicia is like walking in and around Ferndale or any farming community. We walk past diaries that were milking their cows. We see sheep and goats in the fields. Walk near and through fields that are freshly plowed and ready for crops to be planted and some with new crops coming up out of the ground. It is really beautiful.
Today I walked with Germans, Austrians, Italians and Spaniards. One kid I walked with is 17 years old. His name is Fabian and he is from Germany near Munich. He lived in Tenerife for three years and speaks very good Spanish. Speaks English and also German. I watched him carry on a conversation with three people moving flawlessly between English, Spanish and German. I loved it.
Today we are staying in a new albergue called OÁbrigo. It is beautiful. I am writing this blog sitting on a lawn chair out in the garden. While having lunch we watched the sheppards move their sheep and goats to the milking barns. All of a sudden you here bells and then sheep appear.
My feet are a little sore but I am very happy with the decision to ware my running shoes. They have worked just great.
Tomorrow we will walk to Sobranes de los Monxes. We will sleep in a monastery. Should be very interesting. 3 days to Santiago. It is getting real.
Our albergue last night. A new building in the middle of farm country. It was a great place to stay. The people as always were very friendly and we had a great time.
Rush hour in Miraz
May 29, 2017
Today was back to normal. We were all up bright and early and out for a nice 23k walk. Our walk to day was a relatively easy one. Slight ups and downs but not the extremes of day 3. We met two new pilgrims a father and daughter. Manolo and Iratxe. They are from the País Vasco and live very close to Iñaki. But for just about 15 minutes of rain it was an uneventful day of walking. I have now met two young ladies one from Germany, Verena and one from Austria, Heike that have finished medical school. Verena is finishing up her residency in pediatrics and Heike is getting ready to start her residency also in Pediatrics. It is really fun to meet all of these people from all over the world. You would never know they were not just kids walking the Camino. Everyone is looking for answers. Today I walked with Heike for a bit. She told me she is trying to decide if she will try to get a job in southern Austria which is beautiful and her family lives there or in Vienna which is were she studied. She said that she hopes to have the answer by the time she reaches Santiago.
Vilalba is a good sized town. There was a lot of activity, and many different types of stores. It’s funny you never know what type of town you will be walking into or staying in next.
We are staying in our first private albergue. It is nice and what is even better is all of the people that have been staying in the other albergues are here. The kitchen is full with pilgrims cooking a feast. It makes me smile. The six of us went for a really nice meal at a local restaurant. Get this for 9€ each. We each had a giant plate of Calamaris, then Pork ribs and French fries, then Cheese and Membrilla (quince jam) for desert. Along with Water, 2 bottles of wine, after dinner drinks and espresso. The Spaniards know how to do this. A big meal at 2pm and then a snack at dinner time. With a nice nap in between.
After hand washing all of my clothes, today we used the washing machine and dryer.
This is two drawings by pilgrims. I watched the one on the right being drawn. Amazing talent.
The view this morning as we are leaving the albergue
There was a bit of traffic along the way. I guess you could call it the milky way today…
The crew relaxing and having second breakfast about 3 hrs into our walk
After a nice shower, and some lunch we are out exploring Vilalba. The tower behind us is part of a Parador in Vilalba.
It is very common on the Camino for groups of people to get together to make a communal meal. These people are from Austria and Germany. They made some amazing meals together. Tons of vegetables, pasta and meat. One of the things I love about the Camino.