Are we there yet?

After our initial round of drinks at the bar closest to our albergue we headed out to find a market for food for the next day and for dinner. Simon had a relative recommend a Pulperia for the local specialty, pulpo. While it tasted fine, for me, having it once was enough. I did love the little salty, roasted peppers we also had. After eating we wandered back to sit in the albergue garden with a few bottles of wine to share. Three bottles disappeared in no time, so Simon and Mandy made a quick jaunt out for a few more. It was a late evening for us, with lots of talking, sharing of life stories and singing. Tony and Stephanie have the loveliest voices and many wonderful Irish songs.

After a slow start to the morning we headed out of the city.  It was a bit of a slog day – not the hardest walking but the longest – just under 20 miles. I have a big blister to show for it. It started out with a crazy rooster call – most days when we’re not in a city we’re awakened with roosters, but this one had a rather peculiar crow. We ended up hearing roosters most of the day-to-day with not quite as many other livestock. We passed through a few nice stands of eucalyptus trees, which are invasive here, but smell beautiful. A nice change from manure.

We paused any number of times to recharge with coffee or drinks or just to take off our shoes a few minutes. We did find one of the more unique bars along the way with old t-shirt shirts hanging from the ceiling. It wasn’t the nicest stretch by any means, particularly since we had gotten used to the relatively few number of pilgrims on the Primitivo. Now that the route merged with the Frances route there are many more hikers, many of which are just hiking the last 100k. Many have services carry their bags so they hop along like free little birds. Somehow it seems like cheating. Plus, previously the route was so clean, and now we’re finding litter and most of the way markers vandalized and defaced. Makes me sad to see the route disrespected.

And finally we reached the albergue we booked in Santa Irene. Turns out it is the most charming one we’ve stayed in. Tomorrow we reach the main goal of Santiago.

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