We walked together, and at first, I enjoyed having someone to talk with. Michael was friendly and spoke English well, but he had a tendency to ask very personal questions, considering we had only met a few minutes earlier. He wanted to know about my job, my finances, my girlfriend, among other things. He asked for details, which I thought was inappropriate, so I managed to switch the topic of conversation to the Camino. He asked where and when I had started and how far I walked every day. I told him I averaged about forty kilometers a day which he replied was easy; he said he wouldn’t have a problem. Yes, it was easy for him to say considering it was his first day on the Camino and he was carrying a backpack about the same size as someone would find on a Labradoodle… From Page 179, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days.
Now, I’ll continue my journey on the Camino de Santiago as I left Portomarín, Galicia. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).
If you arrive to Portomarín late in the day and tired, you may want to consider staying there. A good climb is ahead with no albergues for 5 kilometers. On my last post, On The Camino De Santiago in Portomarín, Spain, I climbed up the ancient staircase into the “new” town of Portomarín. Although it was still morning, I felt sluggish after my two breaks. I continued and crossed the arm over the Río Miño and back up another hill. Here I sweated profusely and was glad to reach the highway and a gentler climb. This is where I walked with the pilgrim in the aforementioned passage. According to the Codex Calixtinus, the first Camino guidebook dating to the 12th century, a brothel was once in this area.
Here, the Camino followed the senda beside the highway and took short strolls into the forest and farmland.
A hórrero in the hamlet of Toxibo. Along this stretch, the Camino ventures through a few very small communities.
The Iglesia de Santa María in Gonzar was undistinguished.
After climbing to an alto, this was the wide path through scrubland. Ahead, you can see a van waiting for pilgrims who were part of a tour group. These vans would wait for pilgrims at various points and actually skip stretches of the Camino. The vans and tour groups are more noticeable as you get closer to Santiago de Compostela.
At the highway and the 80 kilometer bollard.
This was a lively group ahead, singing and chanting as they walked. They were with one of the tour groups and had just started walking in Portomarín.
The scrubby land here was less suited for farming.
A favorite view with a field of mustard, as I approached the village of Ventas De Narón.
Ventas De Narón with the Casa Molar. From what I understand, it has private rooms and an albergue. It would be a good place for pilgrims to stay who want to get an idea of life in the hamlets of Galicia.
This view shows the difference between the scrubby hillside and the more fertile farmland down below.
I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop just west of Ventas De Narón. On my next post, On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Ventas De Narón to Lestedo, the sun continued as I walked, and, sometimes struggled, through the warmest afternoon so far on the Camino. Please join me as I take you closer to Santiago de Compostela.
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