Portomarin-Mato Casanova Day 26

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This morning, I started out before the sun came up just like I had gotten in the habit of doing with Dom and Caroline.  Day 2 of hiking by myself was turning out pretty good, but I was still trying to get used to being by myself so much.  Once during my “lonely” stage of this day, I stopped to grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat and sat down at a table by myself.  Within a minute or so I was invited to join a small group of people for lunch and then hiked with them for about an hour.  It was a short amount of time, but it was just enough to lift my spirits and really appreciate the company.  Another time on the trail that day, I got bored enough that I decided to count the number of yellow arrows and shells that directed me along the way.  I counted somewhere in the realm of 200 markers in a 10 km stretch.  That works out to be a little over 30 markers per mile or 20 markers every 1km.  The trail was marked that well and still I managed to take a wrong turn here and there; I’m special that way.

The guidebook I was following had me going to Palas de Rei, but Sally and I agreed the night before that we’d meet up at another albergue in Mato-Casanova to avoid all the highschool kids.  Once I got there, I found out that the place was closed till a little bit later in the hiking season.  I waited around a bit for her, asked a couple of hikers if they’d seen her, and then decided that we’d just meet up at some other point along the trail.  I was sad to lose her because she was the last person I’d known from the groups of people I’d been hiking with the entire time, but I had also learned earlier on the Camino that people had a way of continually running into each other on the trail.  This was yet another lesson in being flexible, and I was beginning to be a master of going with the flow at this point.

To add to the adventure of the day, I got the chance to experience some rather odd weather.  It started out in the 50’s (which is perfect for hiking), then the temperature dropped about 5-10 degrees and started to rain, which then turned into hail, and eventually into sleet, then back to rain.  Throughout the day (not counting the cool morning temperatures), the temperature ranged from the high 30’s to the low 50’s and never really quit drizzling.  Pretty miserable weather.

A little further down the road, I ran into Nick again and we decided to hang out for the evening and find a place to stay so we could get out of the God-awful weather.  We ended up at a little place called A Bolboreta. It was a little pricier for 1 nights stay, but the nearby municipal albergue was full so we had to make do. For the two of us to grab a private room (the bunk bed rooms smelled really bad with the other pilgrims in there) and dinner that night it was about 46 euros (23 euros a person: 37 euros for the room, 9 euros for 2 dinners).  There wasn’t much to do once we’d checked in, so I ordered a jug of wine for some fellow pilgrims and myself, sat down next to the warm fire, had conversations, and journaled. The dinner there was amazing!  Cannot say enough good things about the food and the hosts.  Yes it was a little pricey, but this place was well worth it.

Destination: Mato Casonova

Distance: 30.6 km

Accommodation: A Bolboreta Albergue- This place was about 1 km off the trail, but easy to get to.  Great pilgrim menu, wifi, restrooms, and awesome showers.  It was a little more expensive, but the weather was crappy and I just wanted to get out of the weather.

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