I’m afraid I’d have to say it again. I totally felt for Casa Barbadelo and the leisurely atmosphere that surrounded the place. I was so relaxed that it was not before past 7 o’clock that I started to realize I have to get up and walk, walk, walk. The simplicity of life The funny thing is everyone in the room got up so “late” which had not happened the previous days. It was rather foggy outside but so pleasant and refreshing temperature. Fog in the city is one thing, fog in such places is a different story – it sprinkles everything with magical droplets and gives this fairy-land feeling.
We could feel that after Sarria some newcomers had joined the way – clean shoes, smaller backpacks, larger groups of people and so on. At one point there was a small van which stopped on the road, and some 10-15 people with day’s packs came out and started stretching and preparing to walk.
Anyway, I was expecting busier time around the 100th km. but this was not the case. Perhaps because we were a few kilometers from the masses starting at Sarria.
We also saw a guy, who I well remember, as he was the only person I saw carrying 2 rucksacks on him – one at the back, one at the front and climbing his way to O’Cebreiro of all places. Actually, when I come to think about it, I saw 2 other people doing the same, but we will get to this part later. The guy’s girlfriend was having some knee injury (that explains the 2 rucksacks), now was taking some days of rest, so he was on his own and keeping super-high speed. I hope she recovered very quickly!
The fog was very persistent that day! It refused to leave us until noon. I felt it was beginning to slowly creep in my luggage so for the first time on the Camino I took out my backpack rain cover.
Perfect weather for launching some thinking processes and trying to re-define priorities.
We entered Portomarin by a very very high bridge. The view and height were stunning. I almost could not stop to actually take it in, as pilgrims behind me were in a hurry and there was not much room for passing by. Some people seem to be always in a hurry, what a waste of energy.
Interesting to note is the fact that in the 1960s the river was dammed to create the Belesar reservoir, so the old village of Portomar?n turned out under water. That is why many of the historic buildings of the town were moved brick by brick and reconstructed in the new town, including its castle-style main church.
As Portomarin is the ending point of the common stage, most people stayed there waiting for the albergue to open. We, on the other hand, had to somehow squeeze one stage in between the days, so continued at somehow slower pace to Gonzar – 7.5 km. Not before we enjoyed a piece of empanada
Until a certain point the route gave sort of pleasure (forest, precious shades at noon, cones, etc.), but then just as the heat became immense, no cloud seen anywhere, we were back on my least enjoyable type of walking – along the road. The good thing, though, was that I was so desperate to get it over with, that I started walking at a pace deserving some loud appraisal, no doubt. As a result, we were very soon in Gonzar.
Gonzar is such a small village that we almost passed by it and continued further down the road. The municipal albergue was on the main road, and since, when presented with choice, we always preferred the other option, we were looking for private albergue Casa Garcia. Luckily we soon became aware that we were walking away from Gonzar, so we went back and found what we were looking for. Quite good enough I may say. Also half of the beds were empty, so pretty first-quality night’s sleep. I can’t say anything about dinner though as the bar on the road started serving it half an hour earlier than our albergue, so guess who won our presence. More huevos (eggs in Spanish), who could really ask for more?
Last note is that there is not much one can do in Gonzar, it is so tiny (but that was fine for me). The village looked deserted to me and consisted of 2 albergues, several houses and cowsheds. No shops, supermarkets, or even local people. Stress-relief.
The next day we intended to reach Melide – about 32 km.from Gonzar. Coming closer and closer to Santiago.