This past June I hiked over 130 kilometers with my dad on the Camino de Santiago in Galicia, Spain. I’m sharing that journey in a series of blog posts day-by-day. This is Day 4; feel free to go back and start with Day 1!
We slept in until about 7:30am and then got ready for another day on the Camino.
Pontevedra to Briallos: 16.5 kilometers
Pontevedra was quiet, with evidence of last night’s parties littering the streets. The way out of town was quick and we soon found ourselves among forests and fields, the path glistening from the early morning rain. We kept cool under the clouds but were fortunate that once again there was no rain.
I knew wearing those damn shoes would make for an impossible task so I opted for my Chacos – the tight straps only beginning to bother me as the sun came out near the end of our day’s walk. After yesterday’s 20 kilometers we knew to take it easy and not push on to Caldas del Reis. Instead we turned off the path in rural Briallos, looking for the municipal albergue.
There was a small cafe open with a few locals sharing beer and coffee. The door to the albergue was locked with a sign affixed instructing to call a number. We did not have phone service.
I asked the barista and she told me where the hide-a-key was located, and then a local intervened and let us in when we weren’t sure which door the key belonged to.
The albergue was ours and we made ourselves at home despite the strange emptiness of it. When I initially wrote this, sitting down in the sala de estar to journal the day, I had allowed the entrance of six other people: Leonie from Germany, Mark & Giselle from Canada, a mother and son from Belarus, and a man from Italy that I could not seem to successfully communicate with. I supposed that I was the Briallos’ albergue’s new receptionist. 6 euros each to me, ¡por favor!
I noted that supposedly the cafe would reopen at 7pm. We would see then if anyone tended to the albergue or if we were truly on our own. Either way, I liked it here, surrounded by grapevines, a mountain view, and seemingly good people.
Several hours later…
Shortly after I finished my previous journal entry, 4 more Germans showed up — and cooked us dinner! They were quite the crew I am unlikely to forget. Lukas and Marvin started their Camino together, being friends since primary school. On their first day, they lost a bag containing their maps and guidebook. Luckily, 36-year-old Bavarian Flo showed up, also lost. He had a guidebook but didn’t know how to read it! Not long after they met 21-year-old Lisa, and their crew was complete. Flo is a chef and he cooked us dinner, and we all had a great time with even our Italian friend we could barely speak to sitting down with his offering of a bottle of red wine.