Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Day 18. October 17, 2016. Fonsagrada to Cadavo Baleira. 24 kms

I walk all day through thick Galician fog,

And underfoot, a primor-di-al bog

From time to time amidst th'encircling gloom

Familiar shapes appear and creatures loom.


What can I say? It was a short distance, but a difficult day. All morning I trudged through sludge in a thick fog, mainly in a pine forest, the footing often treacherous, with mud and leaves overlying slippery wet rock, head down, eyes on the path, wary of slipping and falling. 

At Paradavella, I left the forest and popped into a little bar for a coffee. Location is everything for a bar on the Camino. Here there was no draught beer, and no espresso coffee. A hundred yards further on in a more substantial bar there was. Too late, pilgrims had already taken their refreshment.

In the afternoon, I walked through woods of oak and birch and chestnut, around a path clinging to the hillside. And then it was up to the top of a hill and down, three or four times, each a surprisingly steep climb.

Why is it that when the road forks, the Camino always follows the path leading upwards? And why, when it seems to reach a summit, does it take a turn and go even higher?

I am staying tonight in the local albergue. This was not my best day.

I might have spoken disparagingly of public albergues the other day. This one was typical. No frills, but hot water, a kitchen and a comfortable socializing area. Maps, photos, lots of stuff on the walls, including information about upcoming lodging. Certainly, the dorm was small, with threadbare mattresses, but, as is the norm now, we were provided with a disposable sheet and pillow slip. In the French guidebook, the albergue was described as luxurieuse. It wasn't, but was as they say, correct.

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