I once saw a description of Galicia . The first question was – where!? . The second was – what?
Well simply put – Think of green Spain and you’re halfway there. As to its location think of Portugal and up or Cornwall and head down.
Either way the The climate is going to be wet and add to this the influence of the Atlantic and you have days like today.
My goodness did it rain ☔️. As I write this my clothes under my supposedly waterproof poncho are drying in the hotel dryer. And my credencialé looks like I’ve spilt beer over it.
To begin :-
A reasonable Galician morning – as I leave Betanzos. The Hotel Garelos was dragged up to an 8.0 by really good staff and a brilliant inc’ breakfast. Otherwise €20 overpriced – I’ll stick with Alberques I think 🤔.
I’m sure what you have come across obstacles in life that you found challenging – but didn’t seem to have a challenging reputation or a suitable name that Sustained a fearsome legend .The never-ending 45° hill that leaves Betanzos as part of the Camino is one such place .
It should be called things like Montanã del pie del Diablo , or Hill of the Pilgrims Suffering – something with a hint of gritty realism in it .
But no it’s called Rua Garcia -The Spanish equivalent of Smith Street – effectively a street with no name. And that means there is no justice to the 40 mins constant climb out of the valley of the Rio Mandeo. 🙁
It ends by this 60 K market on top of the high plain and the views start to open out under threatening skies.
We start to enter a series of small villages and farmlands in the sub region of Cos –
Where the main past times are religion, centuries old granary stores.
And Agricultural scenes you could’ve seen any time in the last 500 years – this really is a land that Time forgot – so different from the Camino Francés Or Portugués: –it’s a idyllic in an almost mediaeval context.
The valleys are deep now – the not so ancient village washing areas – “many actually rebuilt and used in the 1950s and 60s – deserted as they have been for the last 30 years .
The roadside bars (That look like green industrial units to the casual passers-by) – with noise of coffee cups and glssses clinking , steam hissing and food being served to solely locals only serve to enforce the sense of indifferent isolation from the modern world.
It’s not unexpected to find stretches of the Camino like this – and this is soon relieved by a very welcome – for some reason the medieval themed bar on the outskirts of Presedo
I had met a group of German girls further the road also looking for coffee after the constant bad weather – we all sheltered in this bar together for half an hour .
It had been lightly drizzling constantly for two hours now – As they left I was not going to be fooled by the rainbow outside bar – So went back inside.
To see my friend John turn up nursing a kitten his wife Beverly had rescued further up the road – apparently something she does a lot of at home. Video call to the family back home at that moment – my daughters Annabel and Jessica were charmed By the pitiful meowing over 2000 miles. ‘Aint technology grand!?
30 minutes later I come across the band of sisters and as so often happens On Camino we walk and talk together for the next three hours in what is now torrential rain – and find so much in common and so much to talk about that the time just flashes by.
Waterproof clothing fashion done with style ✅
If possible it gets even wetter so even the photographs are steamed up and damp.
3:30 pm we arrive at our nighttime stops – some of us have been walking since 6:30 am so it’s damp and tired.
Some are here at the “Crossroads Motel “– 😆- in Meson do Vento – an Oasis of concrete . I’m staying below across the way in the “Bates Motel” – actually very nice people in such an unprepossessing place.
And The rest of the group took a chance Of not being able to book ahead – and maybe not having a room , But it all paid off and they are now staying in the rather more impressive Albergue de Peregrinos de Hospital de Bruma – It’s right on the Camino and a quarter of the price that the motels charge. Looks nice – happy for them 🤣🤔
Some light blister surgery on the feet of the young man you see below from the oversized surgical kit I carry with me. There are photographs of this taken by Antonia – but I will spare you these 😱
Followed by good dinner from the menu del Dia – with some slightly dodgy wine – (Oh and don’t touch the noodle soup) –more than makes up for it as I spend a fun and noisy evening with AnTonia and Joschka .
This could’ve been a day where nothing happened and it simply rained as I trudged along rainy path’s – but as you can see there’s always a story you can tell on the Camino.