October 21

This was another chilly, foggy morning.  After crossing over a major highway ,  I walked along a local road for less than a mile before being able to stop for coffee and toast.  Many pilgrims intensely dislike road walking, but I don’t mind these little used roads.  In fact, I am able to carry on more quickly when I’m not walking a rocky path.

Today was a relatively easy day.  Sadly, I don’t remember much of this walk, for much of the middle part.  I was taken by the eastern outskirts of Palas de Rei, which included many many acres for  sports and recreation.   Still before the town, there was a motel that reminded me of being in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania  (to the extent I can remember that far into my childhood!).  This place had individual cabins in a very rural setting.  If I was not meeting Elizabeth soon, I would have wanted to stop here to enjoy this memory.  But I was planning on stopping in San Xulian for the night, because the albergue is one designated in the guidebook with a heart, meaning it is highly recommended by many pilgrims .

I walked in and out of the town of San Xulian, but failed  to see my destination .   However ,  I was feeling strong enough to know I could keep going the next few miles to the next town, so I kept going.  Happily, as I got to a river, I saw this building with a ginormous scallop shell on its wall.  I could stop after all!  Best – this place had an old mill house across the meadow from the albergue and dining room.  I neglected to take any pics of my room, but here are two from my window and while walking back to the dining room.

 

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The meadow between sleeping and dining buildings.

 

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I spent a lot of time talking with Vivi, whom I’d first met in Fonfria, and a woman in her early 70s who looked like  she was in her 50s, named Tricia.  Vivi was living in Canada, but was of SE Asian citizenship .   Tricia was living in LA, and was from Mexico.  We spent a great deal of time before and during  dinner that day.  They were very different and both wonderful .

Dinner that night was home cooked, plentiful and delicious.  We had two soups ,  not as alternatively ,  but sequential; a large salad; the ubiquitous tortilla with potato; a vegetable dish; pork; and dessert .   Along with plenty of both water and wine.  I slept well that night, in my room beside  the water .

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