Friday, November 13, 2009

Barbadelo to Mercadoiro

The next morning we woke up to thick fog, so we took our time getting ready, and ended up having a fun morning with a thrown together breakfast of what we had left of bread, cheese and marmalade. Coffee made with the little boiler stick the Polish guy had brought along, and spent time modifying the night before, so it would fit into the wall socket - he was so pleased with himself when it worked!
After breakfast we said goodbye to each other, the guys walked out together, then Nina walked on, and I was content to start out my walk alone in the quiet morning.
As I walked along the sun slowly burned away the fog, and when I got to the outskirts of a village, trying to get a good look at a bird, Vihar appeared, and we ended up walking together, stopping for coffee and something to eat at a lovely cafe. The time passed quickly as we chatted about our lives and experiences on the Camino.
Of course we had to stop at the 100 km marker stone, and take photos - I couldn't believe we had reached it - only 100 km to Santiago - that's less than 1 week to go!
We continued on until we came to a tiny village, where a kind local man had lit a fire in an old stone fireplace with a sign inviting pilgrims to sit down and rest. We sat down and enjoyed the fire and rest, he came over and sat down with us, asking us where we were from in German. It turned out he was retired, and had moved back to where he grew up after he retired from his job in Madrid. He told us they still baked bread in this little shed made of slate and rocks!
Just a few hundred meters further on was a lovely albergue with delightful music playing and a bar and restaurant with chairs and tables under the umbrellas looking out over a green valley and mountains. Vihar knew of this place from when she walked the camino last year. We sat down, had coffee, and both of us decided that this was too perfect to leave to spend the night in a big crowded albergue in Portomarin!
It was so lovely, and I enjoyed a relaxed afternoon talking with a Dutch couple who had lived in Costa Rica for about 10 years. I think they might be working on a book about the standard of the albergues along the Camino. He was in the hotel business, and they had walked the Camino last year as well, and were taking plenty of very organized notes about the features of the various albergues, etc. It sure would be very helpful for pilgrims!
We had lots of wine as the afternoon slowly slipped away, and as the sun settled behind the hills we got our laundry from the line, nice and dry from the afternoon sunshine.
For dinner Vihar and I sat at a table with a couple of German ladies, young Kate from Brisbane, Australia, but who lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, and we had an enjoyable evening, with lots of talk and laughter!

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