March ’18 Camino Day 4: Portomarin-Lestedo

After a lovely breakfast in the Maestro, with coffee and juice, jamon and cheese, cake and fruit (ie banana for later), we headed out into the now rather sunny and warm morning. We are not the early-bird type; nine o’clock is a good time to start. Crossing the small bridge we went straight into the leafy uphill, knowing full well that it goes on and on. And on. So while we huffed and puffed and stopped to take photos (ie catch our breath), we noticed that the camino markers didn’t count the kilometres anymore – instead it said C. Complementario. Even though this is where the camino has always been, we were suddenly on a secondary path? Once we had noticed it once, we realised there must have been quite a few route changes along the way. I don’t mind, but I also don’t understand it. That green hill out of Portomarin might be a huffer-and-puffer, but it is also very pretty! I assume there was a sign somewhere that we didn’t look at because we knew the way. Or not, it would seem. We made it to the top though!

The day was really hotting up and we did see a few more pilgrims on the road, most of the ones we spoke to were from across the water, Canada and the States. We were looking forward to a nice long stop at Gonzar, but no – it was closed. However, we met two men outside who were waiting for a group of pilgrims to take them to their albergue further along. They were certain there was another bar open about a km away, and sure enough it was! I have never seen it before, so it must be fairly new, and it had cheese and bacon empanada! Then it was back on the way.

We didn’t go on to the Castromayor ruins this time but you definitely should!

After all the uphill early in the day, the flat and then slight downhill was very welcome. As was the sign outside the albergue in Ligonde:

I love stopping at the bar in Eirexe, but it was also closed, to on we went. Started getting a bit tired now, with so many watering holes/rest stops closed. However, we had decided to book a twin room in the Rectoral de Lestedo this time instead of going all the way to Palas de Rei in one day, which I now know from experience is a bad idea for me. It lies in a small village which is hardly that, but has a restaurant, so we would be getting food and sleep and cut 5 km off the walk, evening it out for the walk to Melide the next day.

Only – when we get there, it seemed the place was closed! We knocked on all doors, rang the doorbell, then as I was calling to ask if it was actually open and what our options were, the receptionist arrived with a white van man. Turns out the central heating wasn’t working properly, so no heat and no hot water. But not to worry, the owner was already on the phone organising a taxi and alternative accommodation for us! We were allowed to have a little look though and I would definitely book it again.

Then the taxi arrived, and the driver didn’t speak to us but clearly had his instructions. He dropped us off at a hostal right on the camino in the centre of Palas de Rei, this is the view from our room – that’s the camino going across the main road and down to the right:

We gratefully showered and did some laundry, and then went out into the glorious sunshine to the one place I know where you can sit outside and have a drink and pilgrim watch. As the sun faded we decided to go to the restaurant across the road from our hostal for a very nice pilgrim meal of fresh salads, chicken and oven baked ribs, and then back to our place for a night cap to leave some money there to say thank you. The landlord seemed to ask when we were leaving and it was a bit confusing, but we told him around 8, and hoped they wouldn’t throw us out before then …


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