And I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
I was stopped by the Civil Guard this morning as I left town. I must've looked suspicious. Perhaps it was my Tilley hat. They wanted to see my passport, and took all the details.
I must say that on several occasions I have found the Via de la Plata app very useful. It's a bit quirky. You have to double click your iPhone and flip away all the old screens, and then open the app. Only then will the GPS will pinpoint you on the trail. I believe there are similar apps for the other Caminos as well, but of course you wouldn't need it on the Camino Frances says because you would just follow the crowd.
I followed the highway out of town for about a kilometer and then I was led down to a stony track beside the river. Once again, I was glad that I was wearing heavy boots. Those stones would have pummelled the soles of my feet, had I been wearing lighter shoes.
The albergue last night was twice the price and half as good as the one the night before. It was run by a veritable dragon and her henchman, who hung around to make sure I didn't get up to mischief. He snapped at me as I went about my business, and she refused to provide any heat to warm up the chilly dorm. At 12€ it was grossly overpriced. I have paid as little as 3€ for albergues with heat.
As I entered a little village of Terreso I noticed that the goal on the soccer field was rather close to a shrine. It would have been good for a Christian football team, though, for they would've been literally shooting for Jesus.
And then at the centre of the village I was accosted by a little man who stamped my credential in the appropriate place, flipped through it, and then when he found the chart of all the Caminos leading to Santiago, he stamped that as well. I guess he wanted to put his village on the map.
Then it was over the motorway again, up a long gully, and down a slope into the quaint little village of Requejo de Sanabria.
At the edge of the village I came upon two little boys. Were they playing hoppy or hidey or chasey or footy? No, they were standing motionless and silent, gazing intently at something in their right hand.
I would have liked to stay there and face the long climb tomorrow, but after yesterday's easy walk, I had to keep going.
Then began a very long trudge uphill. Because of work on the new railway line, the traditional way was closed, and I was directed up the road. I climbed steadily for two hours, and then I was directed back to the old stony path leading up to the pass. I could've followed the road and taken a shortcut through a tunnel, but I thought that since I'd come that far, I'd keep on climbing.
Now I could give you all the painful details of my climb, how the summit should have been around the next bend, and wasn't, etc., but I won't. I will simply that say I climbed 1,100 feet from Requejo, and it was hard yakka.
After that, it was a long way downhill to Lucian. Again, because of railway construction, I was diverted to the other side of the motorway, where I seemed destined to be cut off from civilization forever by this impenetrable barrier. I even contemplated scaling the motor way fence and dashing across. Finally the winding track became a farm road and passed under motorway and made its way to Lubian.