After staying the night in Emcamplera, listening to the pouring rain throughout the night, we headed out, with our packs covered in Mandy’s ingenious trash bag covers and our equally clever trash bag skirts. May not have looked as slick as going with expensive REI gear, but very effective and easier to deal with in any pauses in the rain. She also taught me how she uses her light weight hiking umbrella, hooking it to the pack for hands free use. Great when you need to use hiking poles.
We walked about 5 km to the first bar where we could stop for coffee for me and tea for Mandy. It was perfect timing, as it began pouring right after we sat down. After a bit of rest, we continued on through small villages and farming areas, along roadways and paths that were just a small trail through lots of vegetation. All I could think was how glad I was for all the times I walked up and down my road in all kinds of weather. I was used to dodging puddles and mud and certainly being from the NW I was used to rain. But even through the raindrops we encountered a number of cows, horses, donkeys, sheep and chickens. And I couldn’t help admire the gorgeous flowers – a proliferation of hydrangeas, roses and dahlias, along with geraniums and petunias gracing many window boxes and pots on stoops. In one village we came upon an ambulance just leaving, but I had to laugh when I saw the neighbor gentleman standing outside watching the evolution… It was a male “Gladys”! Later we came upon an old woman leaning out her window to feed what looked like feral cats and another woman opening her second story window, greeted us and kindly pointed out that the next bar for coffee was just around the bend. Great news!
Eventually we made our way to the city of Grado. We were aware that the Camino markings might be a bit dicey in town and they were right. At one point we just had to guess which way to go…I kept thinking we ought to ask someone but Mandy was certain she could play it by ear. And she did. Through town we stopped at a number of shops to buy bread and cheese, soy yogurt and fruit and beer, as we knew the albergue we were headed toward was isolated with no shops or restaurants around. It’s in a beautiful spot, replete with sheep, donkeys and views gazing before the mountain view. Ah, such delight, not to mention how good a shower felt as well as warm, dry clothes.