I have been incommunicado for a few days due to small villages with no internet. Journey continues to be a constant joy.
The walk out of Orense to Cea although only about 23 kms turned out to be no picnic. It was upwards (arriba!) all the way and at a constant grade which makes it hard on the back carrying the pack. My lower back was really hurting by the time I reached the albergue and I just lay on my bunk for half an hour with my knees up to relieve the spasms. But they did go away and I have had no problems since.
Another peregrino joined the Via de la Plata coming south from the camino frances. Juliane from Hamburg Germany said that from Sarria the frances became completely out of hand with way too many people and a lot of youths bent on partying rather than serious pereginos.
She is an interesting person of 30 years old and working on her Ph.D in communications. Her dissertion is the changing collective memory of Germans regarding the Holocaust as influenced by media. I told her to write a book after she finishes – it will be a best seller.
Yesterday I walked from Cea to Castro Drozon and on the way got a tour of St. Benedict´s monastery at Oseira from 12 century. It is now a national historic site and lots of money has been poured into restoring it but the actual church is pretty much the original. Amazing.
The 22 kms walk turned into about 30 kms for me as head in the clouds I got lost again and had to circle around to pick up the highway for an extra 8 kms because I couldn´t figure out where I went wrong. Then, and this is a warning to all who are planning to walk the Via, the albergue in Castro D is hidden from normal view. If you continue through the village on the camino path you will not find the albergue as practically all the men peregrinos found out. You have to leave the path and walk along the highway to find the lodging. Of course, the woman in the crowd, Juliane asked in the village and didn´t make this mistake. There were no signs indicating the albergue was on the highway and we wandered around for various lengths of time lost.
There was only one restaurant in town which was open but it served good food.
Yesterday I walked from Castro D to A Laxe and stayed a huge albergue which was very nice and clean. My Spanish friend Pepe and I were the only ones there for quite a while but late in the day two groups of Spaniards arrived. Still Pepe and I had a small dormitory room all to ourselves and did we ever sleep well and long!
We went out for dinner to Cafe Jose on the highway last evening – the only choice in this small place. Laurie wrote that the food was just edible and overpriced on her last camino but she should have had Pepe with her. He is 46, handsome and amazingly charming. The lovely young server was obviously affected and we ended up getting a much better meal than was originally offered, the highlight was seafood paella!
Now I am in a lovely town of Sillega staying a great albergue belonging the local parish with mass at 8 pm. One more stop tomorrow night and then Monday I will be in Santiago.
I walk in joy!