When we woke up, the rain seemed to have stopped! We got a taxi back to Xente no Camino, where a few of last night’s Presedo pilgrims were still lingering, and managed to get served before the early Betanzos lot arrived. It really is a fantastic place – I would stay at Presedo next time just to be able to hang out and have my evening meal there and a leisurely breakfast in the morning.
In case you have heard about The Hill on the Inglés, here is a snapshot of my Brierley MOG. Yes, it’s steep. Apparently the dread would be soothed by Bar Julia just before it. The trail has since been rerouted, so most guidebooks will be showing the route with The Hill still – pay attention to the markers! It now bypasses Bar Julia, which I really liked.
The walk to Bar Julia was nice enough and not very hard, but we kept thinking about the hill in front of us and reminiscing about other hills – our favourite being the path up to O Cebreiro and the least favourite the descent from the Camino Duro or Pradela route into Trabadelo – and being all excited about what views we might get from the top.
At Bar Julia we stopped, like everybody else, and caught up with the few pilgrims we had already seen or spoken to that day: a lady from London walking alone (we forgot to ask her name and called her London), a fast walking Dutch gentleman we called The Flying Dutchman, a group of energetic and smiley Brazilians, and some rude Brits we decided to avoid in future. The young man serving in the bar was a gem, so efficient and helpful. Someone in the back made huuuge round sandwiches so we bought one each and finally set off uphill. On our way past a church we saw a lot of pilgrims piling into a bus – I don’t suppose they were into hills. They don’t know what they’re missing.
Up and up it went, but we took our time, turned around to look while catching our breath, and slowly but surely we got to the top. There was a large picnic area there with concrete benches and tables, perfect for a sit-down with our humongous bocadillos.
After the hill we were a bit slow, but not worn out really, so we decided we liked this hill and would happily walk it again. No steep descent on the other side was another bonus. At one point we saw a small square building and thought it was an electricity bunker thing, but then we noticed the drop shaped brass plaques set into the road we were walking on … and started reading them and following them towards this big rock with awater fountain contraption on it. It was hard to photograph properly, but it is a globe looking round cage with a metal heart muscle inside, and a tap being turned on by a disembodied hand with a rose attached. There was even a bench to sit on, so we had a rest.
The foot on the photo belongs to B, who enjoyed cooling her feet under the trickle of water. As we sat there we noticed the date on the sculpture/fountain – it was today’s date! It must have been put up that same morning! So we stayed a bit longer just for that.
We had a reservation at Meson do Vento that evening, since we would be way too late to get a bed in the Hospital de Bruma albergue. As we walked into Bruma we asked a lady loading shopping into her car where the shortcut to Meson do Vento was, and after trying to explain it for a while she just laughed and gave up and offered us a lift instead! We gratefully accepted and were whisked along the last kilometre to Meson.
Then it was time to check in to the lovely family run Meson Novo, where I had stayed 8 years ago too. We had a big room with a fabulous bathroom and shower, hairdryer included! They don’t serve hot meals, just light snack type things like sandwiches and tortillas, so after cleaning up we went across to the hotel to eat. Then a night cap at a lively bar we found further down the road before we turned in for the night.