Day 32 (to Hospital de la Cruz): There Must Be a Pony Somewhere

Over the last few days …

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”32″ gal_title=”2014-Day 32″]

… I managed to lose both my earplugs and 2 spares. Last night I missed them terribly. This time the night musician was a German gent.

I reprise my route from yesterday’s dash to the church. Small hillside villages line up ahead … each with ... by now typical … “eau de cow” smell …errrr perfume.
At a small bakery I stop by for breakfast and am quickly joined by a pilgrim crowd.

I continue on with a surprisingly light step … that happy state lasted as much as 30 minutes. Next up … a stone marker signifying the last 100 km to Santiago.

Oliver the ukulele guy catches up in the next town, where we stop for a brief headphones exchange … He is listening to Crosby, Stills & Nash and I give him Rocco Granata and explain briefly the Italian pop scene around the San Remo festival in the sixties.

This village has a few “donativo tables” a scheme that works like this. People leave fruit, cakes, juice, coffee etc. … put a price list (or not) next to a metal box with a hole on top. Pilgrims are free to take their pick and pay as much as they wish … there is nobody to control it.

The Way leads to Portomarin … a city that moved to its current location brick by brick, when they build a hydroelectric plant here. A bridge … that takes a bit of crossing over … leads to the city gate and the entrance to the city is over a longish staircase … uphill naturally. A street with side arches leads to the main square, where I decide on a pizza for brunch

Familiar voices are heard from the neighboring cafe … its Jae and Terje. They are chatting with a new American couple who started from Sarria and who are doing an organized Camino tour.

I continued on … expecting that the Camino continues past the main church … wrong again. Its back the way I came … Eliah warns me its back across the bridge … over to the forest path.

The walk to the next village drains my reserves significantly … can’t wait to get there. For Eliah and his buddies today’s walk ends here.
The next village is even further ahead and I decide to push on …what must have been in a fit of absence of mind.

Tiny village has just ahead has a bar with harsh policy … the boss doesn’t permit refilling of water bottles on the tap … first (and the only) time I experienced it.

The path winds across the main road until I reached Hospital de la Cruz at around 16:50 aand a luxurious albergue run by xunta … not the military one (first association that pops in my mind at that word) … but the regional government of Galicia.

One large room with a lot of folks inside.

Before dinner at the nearby restaurant a group of Koreans had a slight problem … they hired a transport for the backpacks but the delivery was made to the wrong albergue. With Aviva’s and landlady’s help they sorted it out and the driver brought them soon.

For dinner I join Aviva, a Dutch lady who lives in France, Allison from California and Tanya from Austria. First time I didn’t first ask a German-speaking person “where are you from” … but instead assumed to be from Germany … she naturally turned out to be Austrian.
The ladies make for interesting company.

Elisabeth and Martina join us soon after, needing help with menu translations again. Fortunately I was spared having to improvise again .. Aviva did Spanish to English and Tanya did English to German.

That was day no. 32.