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30th day. O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela

Saturday 2013-05-11

Walked from O Pedrouzo to Santago de Compostela, 20,0 km

Started at 06:00 and finished at 10:30

Total distance covered: 777 km

Remaining distance: 0 km

There was a lot of activity early in the morning, since everybody was anxious to get to the mass before 12:00. We stood up at 05:30 and left the albergue at 06:00. I had my head lamp in order to find our way out of town in the darkness. There was no breakfast so early in the morning, so we had to wait two hour until we found an open bar in Lavacolla.

We took the mandatory picture in front of the cathedral.

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We then went to mass. Already at 11;30 the church was full, but me managed to get a seat all the way back.

We then went to the pilgrim’s office to get our compostela. Then to the tourist office to find a hotel. Very good service. You say how much you are prepared to pay for a room and then they let you know what options you have. We got a hotel Avenida for 48 €/night incl. breakfast. We checked in and I took a bath, which I have been looking forward to a long time.

Out in town for some beers and meet people we learned to know on the camino. Then some tapas before going to dinner.

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At 20:00 we went to Hospederia  San Martin Pinario for a pilgrim’s dinner. Really a classic place.

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That night it felt good to go to bed after finishing my second camino.

Meta and I walked together 12 days and became really good friends. We had the same rhythm and same walking speed. I was really impressed with Meta’s determination, motivation and stamina. She walked the whole camino in 27 days. Not bad for a 64 year old woman. For me it took 30 days, which was 4 days faster than last time.

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29th day. Ribadiso to O Pedrouzo

Friday 2013-05-10

Walked from Ribadiso to O Pedrouzo, 22,1 km

Started at 07:00 and finished at 13:00

Total distance covered: 757 km

Remaining distance: 20 km

Started with breakfast in the bar, which just opened before 7 o’clock. Little bit chilly in the morning, but as soon as the sun came up there was a nice view of Azur.

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We continued another 6 km to Calzada, to have a coffee. I saw they had WiFi, so I called my daughter to congratulate her on her birthday.

We continued and after another kilometer I noticed that I forgot my hat at the bar, so I left the backpack with Meta and walked back to pick up my hat. Fortunately it was still there. After another kilometer or so we missed our way. We had to go back until we found the right way.

In Salceda we stopped for a drink.  Now we walked through the nice forest with Eucaluptys trees.

At 13:00 hours we arrived to the albergue in O Pedrouzo, where I have stayed two times before. Good albergue on the main street, close to everything. We decied to wash our clothes in washing machine and dryer to have verything clean for tomorrow.

28th day. Airexe to Ribadiso

Thursday 2013-05-09

Walked from Airexe to Ribadiso, 33,5 km

Started at 06:30 and finished at 14:50

Total distance covered: 735,5 km

Remaining distance: 41,5 km

Meta and I started already 06:30. We knew we had a long day ahead. We walked 5 km util we found a cafe with breakfast. It was drizzling rain most of the day, so it has been poncho on and poncho off several times.

After Palas de Rei, where we stayed on June 12, 2011 to celebrate a friends 60-year birthday, we moved on to a cafe in Casanova for a coffee.

Stopped for a drink just before Melide.

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In Melide we stopped in a Supermercado to buy some soap and handkarchiefs. Continued through the town and stopped for another drink in Boente. There we met a group of pilgrims on horses, riding the Camino.

We finally arived to Ribadiso, an old Pilgrim Hospital. I have stayed here two times before. Nice place. It was a long day over 8 hours of walking.

Meta walking over the bridge to Ribadiso.

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We had dinner at the bar and we were joined by a 75 year ola american from Chicago. Since I have lived in Milwaukee we started to talk about a lot of things. He is doing the camino in three parts and is now on his last leg to SdC. From Sarria to SdC there are a lot of people walking with day packs and their luggage is transported and they stay in hotels. He called them “Princess Pilgrims” because everything is taken care of except the walking.

Just two more days to SdC!

27th day. Mogade to Airexe

Wednesday 2013-05-08

Walked from Mogade to Airexe, 27 km

Started at 06:40 and finished at 13:30

Total distance covered: 707,5 km

Remaining distance: 69,5 km

Stayed in a very nice albergue in Mogade. Old Galician stonehouse converted  in a very nice way. We were only 3 people in the albergue, so it was convinient.

As usual Meta and I started early while it was still dark. We passed the albergue  in Ferreiros where we stayed the first time we walked from Sarria to SdC. It was not open so we had to continue to the next albergue, which was now open. A cafe con leche with tostada made our breakfast.

Coming to Portomarin, we took some pictures of the famous steps. We didn’t bother to go up to the city. We continued the long uphill stretch to Gonzar, where we stopped for a drink. After Sarria there are a lot of people on the camino. Many of them walking with a daypack and stay in hotels with their baggage being transported from hotel to hotel.

In Ventas de Naron we stopped at an albergue called Casa Molar. A place my wife and our friends stopped for lunch on June 12, 2011.  Now most downhill to Airexe where we are staying for the night. we are coming early, but remember we already walked 7 hours, a full days work.

Now it is only 3 days left to SdC.

26th day. Triacastela to Mogade

Tuesday 2013-05-07

Walked from Triacastela to Mogade, 31 km

Started at 06:45 and finished at 14:15

Total distance covered: 678,5 km

Remaining distance: 98,5 km

Another day of drizzle rain. Meta and I started early as usual. I remembered from last time it was a lot of uphill when you came out of the town, but this was almost an hour continously uphill. Triacastela is on 665 m altitude and we had to walk up to 910 m. Then we needed to walk 2,5 hours before we could find a bar for some coffee and orange juice.

Nice view of Sarria when moving down the hill. In Sarria we stopped for a drink before  we continued up the Camino road. On top of the hill Meta asked me about my hat. I forgot it at the bar, so I had to run down to the bar and get it.

Out of Sarria was another steep uphill road again. Finally we were on level ground and the walking was much easier. We passed the 100 km stone and soon we came to the nice albergue in Morgade. I was really tired. We have walked 31 km with a lot of ups and downs. It took us 7,5 hours today, almost the longest day so far.

Pictures later.

25th day. La Laguna to Triacastela

Monday 2013-05-06

Walked from La Laguna to Triacastela, 24 km

Started at 06:30 and finished at 12:15

Total distance covered: 647,5 km

Remaining distance: 129,5 km

It was dark when we started. After 20 minutes we reached the border to Galicia.

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We stopped in the albergue of O’Sobreiro for a coffee. We then walked another 4 km to the Pilgrim Monument at Alto San Roque at 1270 m altitude.

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I thought we passed the highest point on this moutain, but no after another 3 km came a steep uphill to Alto do Polo at 1335 m. On top there was a bar where we had something to drink while we recovered from the steep ascent.

Meta and I discussed whtere we should continue passed Triacastela, but it would mean another 3 hours walk. we decied to stay in Triacastela at same albergue I staid at last time.

We had some drizzling rain all day and it looks to be the same tomorrow.

24th day. Villafranca del Bierzo to La Laguna

Sunday 2013-05-05

Walked from Villafranca del Bierzo to La Laguna, 27 km

Started at 06:40 and finished at 13:00

Total distance covered: 623,7 km

Remaining distance: 153,3 km

Meta and I started early. Still dark. Walked along the road until we came to Trabadelo, where we stopped for coffee. We walked fast. It took us less than two hours for the first 10 km.

Nice weather today. In Ruitelan we stopped for  our second break. I changed into t-shirt and short pants, getting ready for the big climb up the mountain. I remembered how tough it was last time and I have had some anxiety for this walk today. The climb is 600 m for a 5 km distance, which is quite steep. We walked with small steps and stopping to catch our breath. On the way up we met cows coming down.

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We stopped in La Faba on the 900 m level and had a cold drink and resting a little bit. We continued the last 3 km and arrived to La Laguna albergue at 13:00, which is a good time for this distance and climb.

Tomorrow Meta and I will start early as usual and walk up to O Cebreiro and further on to Triacastela.