It was a long and exhausting day coming about because others and I arrived at the first planned destination (15.3 km—9.6 mi) much too early (about 10:30 AM); so after a coffee break at Laza, we went on to the next option (another 12.2 km—7.6 mi) but discovered their one and only lodging (an albergue) was shut down because they weren’t handicapped compliant. At this point we had already climbed a total of more than 2000 ft and felt exhausted. Fleming a Dane and I made a pact that if beds weren’t available at the next place (Vilar de Barrio 7.7 km—4.8 mi), we were going to split a taxi and go directly to the next big city Ourense and enjoy the geothermal baths. So by now it’s nearly 5:00 PM when I arrived and luckily lots of bunks are open, only about half full. Bottom line, I walked 22 miles (35 km) and climbed over 2000 ft and of course came down that amount over gravelly, stony trails.
Here are some memorable photos: first, one of a number of building sites for Spain’s high-speed train; then a photo of forestry operations since the trail led through timberlands; next a shot of the forest landscape; this photo has a few of us getting some energy at about 2:30 PM before tackling the last unplanned five miles; and last, a touching self-service snack stand for pilgrims with a donation jar (that came just at the right time)—I was enjoying a snack with Thomas, the Buddhist monk—we’ve been chumming around somewhat, but his pace is incredible.