Camino de Santiago, Days 32 & 33
Day 32 Portomarín to Palas de Rei 15 miles
This article is the twenty-sixth in our series of walking 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago with my husband Scott. Some articles will be only about one day of walking, and some may include a few days of walking, for the lengths will vary. To begin with the first article click here.
Scott, Jenn, Blythe and I set out on Day 32 in darkness. We took an alternate route out of town and went back down the stairs we had entered town through. The stairway and tunnel were lit up in the darkness and made for a dramatic exit as we left.
We enjoyed the rolling hills and very small towns we passed by every few kilometers. At one point, we stopped for breakfast at a cafe, and it was completely packed with pilgrims. Alone time on the Camino, as we previously knew it, was gone and that was for sure.
Scott and I tried to be open minded about the crowds of pilgrims. We all have our own Camino to walk for different reasons. Some people may not have the time, money or energy to walk 500 miles. It just gave our days a different feel and made us appreciate our earlier days all the more.
As usual, I sang a few lines as we were walking of my favorite Camino song “I’m gonna be,” by the Proclaimers. I’m sure you know the lyrics, “But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more.” I felt this song related well to the experiences we were having.
It was one of those catchy tunes that could stick in your head all day. I usually sang a few lines when other pilgrims were nearby, so they could get it stuck in their heads, as well. My friends just shook their head at me. If anything, it gave us a laugh.
Palas de Rei
It was pure luck we weren’t rained on before we made it to Palas de Rei, as dark clouds threatened the entire walk.
Jenn picked up her backpack at the albergue they designated for people who didn’t have reservations for a room ahead of time. Luckily, we found a hotel called Casa Benilde with rooms available. The staff was so nice and helpful. They recommended we make reservations for the next night at the next town we had hoped to end up. They called for us and set it up, so it was nice to know we had a place to stay.
After cleaning up, we walked around the small town. Just across the street from our hotel was Restaurante Castro. Even though it was only 5:00 p.m. and we were the only patrons, they served us dinner! Blythe decided on the pulpo (octopus) again, but to her surprise, this time it wasn’t chopped up.
After a delicious meal with local wine from Galicia, our server gave us ice cream with whisky poured over the top. What a treat! Then, as an extra special treat, he brought us out shots which tasted like chocolate milk! He was so sweet and seemed to enjoy spoiling us since we were the only people there so early.
End of Another Great Day
Later, we played cards at our hotel for a while and then turned in early. We had a big day ahead tomorrow.
Day 32, 15 miles.
Day 33 Palas de Rei to Arzúa 18.5 Miles
Feliz Cumpleaños to me! Day 33 on the Camino and I was celebrating my 46th birthday.
I knew while we were in the planning stages of our walk, I wanted to be walking on my birthday or just finishing.
We walked through tiny villages in the foggy mist. The walking wasn’t strenuous, and there was always something to look at.
Mid-morning, we crossed a beautiful Medieval bridge. The bridges on the Camino were always so interesting and contained so much history. We tried to imagine all of the pilgrims over the centuries who came before us!
Yes, we stopped for the one and only real lunch break during a walking day on our entire Camino!
Since it was my birthday, I wanted to change it up a little bit. We found a great cafe patio. It was full of pilgrims, but we got lucky and got a table. We proceeded to enjoy; soup, fries, croquetas, wine and coffee. Just as we suspected, it was tough to get walking again with full stomachs.
After 18.5 miles of walking, we arrived at our pension in Arzúa. We checked into our rooms, cleaned up and while everyone was resting, I went downstairs to the cafe and sat quietly, enjoying a glass of wine. I checked in with my family and friends on Facebook. It was so nice to connect with everyone at home in that way.
The four of us walked the highway further into town for dinner. It was cold and that end of town was unremarkable. Eventually, we found a restaurant and enjoyed a delicious meal. I had pasta, as usual. It was the best food to fuel my body for the walking each day.
Later, we ended up at our pension lobby in the leg massage chair. What a treat!
Jenn and Scott researched online for places to stay the next night and Jenn made a reservation. There were too many pilgrims now and we wanted to have a nice bed to sleep in.
Day 33, 18.5 miles and a birthday to remember!