Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Camino Portuguese - Day 20 - Pontevedra

30-31 km. Long day. Problem with sleeping in a municipal albergue is the number of people in the room . It's bound to have a snorer or two, maybe three (above me). At 6:30 am I couldn't take it anymore and started walking before 7 am. That's the cost of not staying at a private albergue with just a few people in the room. Or a solo room for more (that I will reserve for Santiago and/or the day before). It's not that I have a choice at Mos (the municipal.albergue is the only choice there). I should have walked the extra 9 km to Redondela instead. All is not bad though, as by doing so I missed the crowd of pilgrims today walking the last 100 km, first with the early departure then after Redondela only the back markers. Like Camino Frances the last 100 km has many what I called Tourgrims. Those that walk with little or nothing (all their stuff are send to their end of day hotel). Have to pay for such luxuries, but then it is only 5 days' worth.
So bloody cold in the morning (just a few degrees) when I started walking so early around daybreak. Had my hoody on to keep as much heat in as possible. By 11 am it is warm enough to drop both layers and walk with only one layer, but still needing to be indoor at the cafe stop. Spring is late this year. Sigh.
Breakfast 3 km before Redondela at a cafe/private albergue. If I had known I would have walk just 6 km more yeaterday as the two (German and Dutch) at the cafe having their breakfast said that they were the only two. Too late for me.
The walk in the cold daybreak I saw two interesting animals. A cat that pops out from the village vending machine bottom hold suddenly (could be warm in there). A solo rabbit (reminded me of the horde of rabbits after Valencia on the Camino Levante).
After Redondela and mid-point to Pontevedra is the bridge in Arcade. It's the end of one of the five fingers of land in Galicia, one of them being the Cape Finisterre where some pilgrims walk for another three days after Santiago to visit the end of the road/world (before Columbus).
Finally in Pontevedra after 3 pm. Saw Josie from Canada. She booked herself earlier during lunchtime a hotel and I helped here navigate there from my app. As for myself, I can't see myself booking in advance (also with no cell signal in Spain). I tried the pilgrim hostels/pension from my map overlay. Being late (extra distance today) all the hostels are full except Slow City Hostel (funny name). I got the last bed in their albergue styled room (their private rooms are all taken). 6 beds, 4 russian ladies and an American (here for holiday, but works in Madrid). Funny to be only male in the room. It's not what you think, half of the russian ladies are the type that can pinned you down in a strangle hold in a second.
While looking for dinner bumped into David (Portugal) and Hermione  (or whatever is the equivalent in Lithuanian). Met them first at the albergue in Ponte Lima. They are a couple doing many trips. David is the one well versed in the history in Malacca and Asia. They offered me some of rheir torilla and told me that the municipal albergue is also full. They probably walk another 8 km as there is another municipal albergue there too. It's going to be late for them. As least they are young and more able. Also Olivier showed up. Not sure where he is staying, he got in early as he started from Redondela today. He complained about the hordes of walkers today and will probably do the same tomorrow as he did today (walk fast enough to get ahead of the horde). I won't have the same condition or luck tomorrow as I did today as my pace cannot be fast due to my condition. Maybe I could walk longer than the 22 km stage tomorrow to Caldas de Reis. I still won't be able to avoid them on the road tomorrow but at least I may have a better chance of getting a bed if I go off from the standard stage. We shall see.
The bridge in Pontevedra is relatively new. The ancient one a small excavated section that can be seen before the current bridge. The current bridge has the Santiago claim shell insignia along the side. I will cross it tomorrow.
It's May day (Labor day) today. Day of labor protest here in Europe.
I can even hear the sound of car horns and loudhailers while walking in the woods. Shops are not open as it is a public holiday. Looks like I have to get my Spanish SIM card tomorrow maybe at Caldas de Reis, and not between 2-5 pm. Ah, the restrictive time in Spain.
The hostel has free Nespresso type coffee (the cheaper Nestle variant). And plastic food (Spain has lots of small cheap cakes and bread wrapped up in plastic for breakfast). That should provide me with sufficient fuel tomorrow morning for an early head start (unlike the 6 km today with no coffee and leftover raisins and nuts).
The things you do to have a decent last 100 km walk. I think around here it should be around 60 plus km more? 

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