Distance: 22.5km, Steps: 32,214, Time total: 7hrs.
We were one of the early risers & left the bunk room before most others that were still in bed. The cafe downstairs was meant to open at 7am for breakfast. However it was still closed & dark inside. Feeling annoyed we put on our wet weather gear & were ready to walk by 7.15am when the lights came on inside the cafe. We thought bugger it, we will eat at the next open cafe 9kms further along.
It was a constant light rain as we made our way by headlights along the road. We plodded & plodded along with the rain spattering on our umbrellas. We came to Ledgios 6kms along. A small Pilgrims village. Mr D spotted an Albergue cafe / bar that was open & we happily got out of the rain & had some toast butter & jam with our hot drinks. The barman poured himself a morning whiskey to drink while watching the news.
The rain was coming down harder & the wind had picked up again, the temperature dropping. I dressed myself in my rain gear – while most Pilgrims seem to only have a rain jacket or Poncho, I had my umbrella, rain jacket, rain skirt, gaiters & rain mitts. I come well prepared! We continued our cold walk in miserable rain through another 2 towns. The town of Moratinos had a hill in its centre with interesting doors all around it, like underground homes. The sign said no hobbits live in them, they are cellars for storing food supplies. At the next town called San Nicolas, we stopped for some hot food. It was midday, Mr D was feeling very cold, his throat was worse & he had shooting pains in his right shoulder from sleeping in a sloping bed a couple of nights ago.
The first Albergue bar / restaurant we came to looked very inviting. Mr D enquired about hot soup & ordered 2 bowls of red bean soup – delicious! He enjoyed a coffee & I had a hot chocolate drink with a slice of berry cheesecake. One Pilgrim lady came in & saw our soup & ordered the same. There wasn’t many people on the track but we did see the two friends American & Englishman couple of times though they don’t speak much to us.
When we left the rain had stopped & we actually saw some blue skies sometimes the sun would come out. The last 6kms were a tired slog but we made it! I had selected a monastery Albergue on the other side of town. It was 10€ each & the lady gave us a room with 4 beds & private bathroom – all to ourselves! Mr D was so cold & went straight into the shower. The water was cold then went lukewarm after waiting 5 minutes! And our bedroom is cold! Mr D went to ask about heating & the guy he asked laughed & said “No heating!” We found out they put the heating on 1st of November & no sooner! The mattresses on the beds feel a hundred years old. I let Mr D have the newer one that feels 50 years old. Well I thought I had picked well. The building is very nice more so on the inside.
We went for a stroll to buy drinks & the temperature felt even colder outside! Normally Mr D doesn’t feel the cold so much but today as he is not well, he was freezing his tootsies off! I found a nice Irish pub, warm & inviting inside. We enjoyed some tapas food with beer. That’s the way to finish off a days walk!
The town of Sahagun has a population of 2,800 people. It holds a lot of history in the remains of its monastery ruins of San Tirso & Arco San Benito – what is left of the famous abbey of San Benito from the 10th Century. I enjoyed a walk around these & the pretty Puente Canto – a historic stone bridge over the Cea river. Mr D meanwhile was having an afternoon siesta. He is really getting into the Spanish way of life!
We went to the ‘Comedor’ room for dinner & there were 4 places only set in such a big room with a lot of tables. There were only 4 of us in the Albergue. The other two were a German husband & wife that come every year for 2 weeks & walk part of the Camino. The Albergue lady prepared our 3 course meal & you had to eat quick before she came & took your plate away even if you were still eating! It was a pretty relaxed evening but I am well & truly ready for sleep in a quiet room for a change!
We have walked now over halfway to Santiago!