For this relief, much thanks.
Perhaps it was my Canadian passport, or that I had the same name as the barman hospitalero, but he put me in a room to myself so I had a comfortable night. And a good breakfast.
The standard breakfast at any bar, or albergue where it is provided, is coffee and tostada. But there is breakfast and breakfast. I have had a miserable slice of thin toasted white bread (the worst) and two toasted halves of a baguette (the best). And everything in between.
It was really an easy walk today, with the path skirting around the contours of the valleys, and dropping gently downhill until Ponte Ulla. But I found it hard going for I am weary. I would have stayed at the town as it had a bar and all the amenities, but walking on to another hostel four kilometres father made it a shorter walk into Santiago tomorrow. Unfortunately, it was also a 300 metre climb.
The town is named for the bridge over the river Ulla. Actually there are four bridges. The original is gone, and I crossed over an arched 18th century bridge. Then there is a modern traffic bridge. In the bar is a painting of the original viaduct carrying the railway across the valley. It is still there, an impressive piece of railway architecture! But dwarfing this is the new viaduct carrying the high-speed train line, a track which runs straight and level, over valleys and through hills. These modern viaducts tower over the towns as the Roman aqueducts loom over Merida and Segovia. In Galicia, the new railway line is operational, already cutting a few hours off the journey from Santiago to Madrid.
After a beer in the bar at Ponte Ulla, it was time for the climb. Strangely, I found it easier than the earlier part of the day, and after an hour's steady tramping, I arrived at the nice modern Xunta hostel at Outreo. As there was no bar for an evening meal, I had bought some cheese, chorizo, and a bottle of Rioja, and shared a meal with Tomas, a Slovakian fellow, who has been keeping pace with us. He himself hadn't been in favour of the split between Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but said there was no going back. I asked him to explain the difference between the Czecks and the Slovaks. Not that much, he said. The language was similar. Both were Slavs. The Czecks were perhaps more Germanic in their temperament. The Czecks had been part of the Austrian Empire; the Slovaks, the Hungarian; before the empires combined.
Nothing much of interest happened today, but I did see another ent.
Tomorrow is an easy walk into Santiago, only 16 kms.