|Pilgrim circa 1905|
I couldn't resist taking a photo (albeit not a very good one) of a picture of a pilgrim on the road to Santiago in 1905. The photo was posted on the wall at the albergue in Bodenaya. As I looked at this guy, and how he was dressed, note he is barefoot, I felt a sense of wonder at what hardships he had to bear with. Being shoeless would top my list. So, then I reflect on present day albergue discussions about equipment, terrain, weather, mud, and available services, and wonder at the gulf between this guy on the wall and us. What were his hopes for the day? Could he even muster a single expectation other than it would be another hard day.
Flash forward to today. We woke to strains of classical music at our albergue in Bodenaya. We had 9 pilgrims spend the night (the albergue holds 18). Breakfast was simple and quick, and the herd hit the door shortly after 7:00. It was dry overnight (despite a forecast of rain). We exited into a thick fog that dimmed the light and made everything more intimate. Robin and I started up the street looking for Camino markers in the half light. The mist coating my glasses didn't help matters. We faltered a few times, but finally made the correct turns, and we were off on another day on the Camino. We quickly moved off the main road and onto rural paths. The fog had everything dripping either onto my head (that's okay) or onto my glasses (not okay). We flexed tightened muscles and gradually found our walking rhythm. We were initially heading for Tineo where we hoped to find a cup of coffee (no luck). We climbed and descended, found some mud, but enjoyed pretty good trail conditions. A caution about walking the off road, the actual Camino path, into Tineo. A bit of rain would make that path (from El Pedregal to Tineo) a mess. A trip down the road to Tineo (AS 216) would be well advised. Climbing out if Tineo went on a bit more than I expected, but provided some beautiful scenery, and nice trail conditions. The latter part of the day drew us through a forest (very quiet, and pleasant), and eventually dropped us back on a main road for about a 3 km walk into Campiello. We walked into Campiello, which is a very small village, and presented ourselves in front of Herminia, the local entrepreneuress, at her restaurant looking for lodging. She was quick to see to our needs, and after a glass of beer (on the house), and a swipe of the credit card, she showed us to our private room in the hotel section. I also looked at the albergue which was spotless. A few other of our compatriots chose to move onto Borres (3 kms down the road), to shorten tomorrow's walk. The albergue at Borres is typically defined as basic (very basic). There is also a bar, restaurant, and market here all under Herminia's network of businesses. Her prices are just a tick above market, but she seems to provide value for your money. I would definitely recommend stopping here.
We continue to meet new people as their schedules merge with ours. Today it was two Irish guys, one a Capuchin monk, and the other his friend. Both are from Cork. We shared lunch together and a wide ranging conversation followed. Very nice guys. A couple of new Spaniards, from Barcelona, also rolled in. We have been in touch with some Australian friends from the Norte, and they are now starting the Primitivo just behind us. So, our pilgrim group grows and shrinks as each day people decide to either walk on, or stop early. But, everyone we have talked to will be heading up over the Hospitales (high) route tomorrow. This is about a 1000 meter gain in elevation, and represents the highest climb on the Primitivo. There is also a lower route, that has its own stunning views, for those who do not wish to climb that high, or for those sensible enough to seek a safer route in bad weather. It's all good. Tomorrow will probably still be foggy early in the day, but should burn off to greet climbers, making the summit, with open vistas (at least that is our hope). Right now the mist has settled back in (6:00 pm) so we will have to be mindful of that as well. One very big plus is that the rain forecasted for this week has not appeared. We had a few thunder showers on Monday, but nothing since. If we luck out tonight (meaning no rain), then the trail conditions for tomorrow's climb should be good. We will find out at breakfast. Laundry is done, stomachs are full, and we are injury free. We have high hopes for a fine day tomorrow. Should have some nice photos from the summit for tomorrow night's post. We are blessed to be here.
|Antonio our hospitalero from last night|
|What to do before dinner|
|Albergue at Bodenaya|
|We can see where we are going|
|The path to Tineo with just a little moisture|
|Arriving in Tineo|
|Camino path leading upwards|
|There is a story behind this shack, but I don't know it|
|Looking down from the Camino path outside Tineo|
|Almost at the top|
|The forest before Campiello|
|Our home for the night|
|Herminia's bar and restaurant|