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.
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 .