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Published: July 26th 2015
It has been 20 days since we set out for our trek on the Camino Norte. Today we arrived in Vilabas early enough to locate access to a computer terminal...the first we have found since our last post 15 days ago. The Camino continues to be an exciting challenge as we move across the northern coast of Spain walking through countryside that has taken us through lots of small towns, villages and country neighborhoods. For the first 2 1/2 weeks our route followed the coastline on most days, with a few small mountain ranges thrown in just to help improve our endurance. Thankfully the blisters have healed and our colds have resolved, and we continue to feel less fatigued at the end of the day. Often we had the sea on our right and beautiful mountain ranges on our left, or we had farmland all around us as we walked through fields, forrests, streambeds and meandered through small communities on our way west. Several days ago our seacoast course changed and we headed inland...now more directly crossing the low mountain ranges that lie between the coast and our destination of Santiago.
We continue to stay in the perigrino albergues most
nights and--as a result--have met some fascinating fellow pilgrims. In order to stay in a pilgrim albergue, you have to show credentials that demonstrate you are moving along the Camino toward Santiago. So each night, your pilgrim passport is stamped and dated, and your stay is recorded in the albergue log book. The door of the albergue closes at 10:00pm, and everyone has to be out by 8:30 or 9:00 the next am. People start packing to leave around 5:00 am, and by 9:00 the cleaning crews come in to begin to prepare the facility for the next night´s stay. This seems to be an effective way to regulate the residents and, as far as we can tell, restricts the people in the shelters to those who are actually walking the Camino. Most of the pilgrims are 1/2 our age or less, but we have kept a consistent enough pace that we see familiar faces most every night in the albergues. Each traveler has a story, and dinner conversations are always lively with a minimum of 3 to 4 nationalities represented every night, and sometimes more. As we get closer to Santiago, we are seeing more and more new travelers
joining the group that has been walking (more or less) together for the last few weeks. We typically walk between 22 - 26 km / day, with 36km being our longest day so far, climbing 2100 meters in the process. The weather continues to be perfect...bright sunshine most days with a misty morning rain on a couple of days helping to clear the pollen and provide a cool start for the day´s walk.
We took a brief detour to Oveido (the official start of the Primitivo) to visit the Cathedral, after which we returned to complete the Norte route. By the time we take a couple of days off to go pick up Connie in A Coruna, we should have completed all but the last 2 segments of the Norte, which we will finish with her along with several sections of the Primitivo route.
We have consistent WiFi access, but have found very limited computer terminal access as we have moved along the Camino...apparently the folks who mapped out this route 1,000 years ago were more interested in passing churches than business centers. But we will try to post again when we go to A Coruna to pick
up Connie on the 15th.
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