After last night’s laundry dilemma we had a quick drink then headed to our bunks. We had carefully selected one near a window so we could get some fresh air, as the rooms are frequently quite warm. Luckily the place was only half full so not too much rumbling around was going on. I’ve certainly seen my share of bunk beds on this trip. I’m happy to say that Mandy has always taken the top bunk, so I didn’t have to climb up and down. But this one gave me about the least amount of head clearance of any we’ve used. We carefully adjusted the upper louvered windows for airflow. And then here came a woman in the next bunk trying to close it. Mandy popped up to explain her wishes. The other woman wasn’t happy but left well enough alone. Then the next thing I saw was her husband/partner/whatever crawling into the bunk beside her. Guess she needed warming up. Considering the creakiness of those particular beds I was happy not to hear anything else. Enough that the man in the bunk on the other side of us had set up a CPap machine. Figured that was better than snoring. But of course, we had another pilgrim for that.
We slept in a bit a we had a short hiking day. We left Negreira, seeing the statute of St. James as we left, after quickly popping in to the fruit market. Along the path we came across a cat who seemed quite pleased to make our acquaintance. We stopped to pet it, as that was fairly unusual considering all the other cats we’ve seen. An Italian woman came along, who was also walking back to Santiago, and the cat took a liking to her as well. We all started off and the cat followed along. Finally it stopped and stood watch as we left. Mandy, as usual, wanted to take it home.
It wasn’t long before we were back in the town of Ponte Maceira, where we had such a fun afternoon on the way to the coast, swimming, jumping off the rope swing and soaking feet. But this time around the weather wasn’t cooperating. It had rained overnight, and was still mostly overcast, though not cold. Did not appear to be swimming weather, much to Mandy’s dismay. She had so been looking forward to another go at the rope swing. With her head hung low, we decided to continue on, but I knew how disappointed she was. We walked a ways and then, oh, my, there came a sun break. More like a sucker hole. She turned around and said “do you mind if we go back?” Well, of course not! So back we went. She got out of some of her clothes, gave me directions on how to catch the rope once she got in the river to throw it, and where best to take pictures. In she climbed declaring “brrr, it’s cold”. But out she went, grabbing the rope and tossing it my way. Only took a few tried before I caught it. She gamely jumped in three times. I happily passed up the opportunity.
Dried and dressed with wet things hanging off packs, we walked on. Up to the top of the hill where we first heard about the lure of the river, back down what had been a long slog up, we stopped at a tiny bar for lunch then walked to a small albergue to stay just 10-12 km outside Santiago. It’s in a residential house, run by a sweet Spanish woman, named Rosa. A nice spot for our final stay on the Camino itself. We were first greeted by the owners dog, Bruno, barking up a storm, but has now become Mandy’s new best friend, enjoying lots of back and tummy scratches. Their cat, Beni, was determined to get in on the attention. A good animal fix for Mandy.
After a peaceful afternoon sitting in their garden, we had drinks brought out by Rosa’s husband followed by a fabulous homemade vegan dinner of zucchini soup and vegetable curry. Yum! Best dinner we had on the Camino. It felt like we were welcomed into their home with open arms.