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Published: October 20th 2016
Started the day with a large coffee ( a small bucket, I misjudged the size), and a croissant with jam. We started walking at 7.20, headlamp blazing away, with the intention of walking to Portomarin , about 20kms away.
I enjoyed walking in the dark as the route was a steady long climb which, under the 4 meter beam of a headlamp, never looks too daunting. I was accompanied by the sounds of various owls, occasional roosters crowing, and the barking of dogs disturbed from their sleep, by the light and the constant click, click, clicking of the walking poles on the ever changing surfaces we walk on. I bought new rubber tips for my poles but they are still noisy at dawn. Despite this noise, it is still the most peaceful time of the day.
There were many taxis and transport vehicles on the road, catering for the new influx of people on the Way. Not many carry backpacks and many are driven from village to village. At one stage we passed a bus load in a picnic area, all dressed in trekking gear, enjoying a catered lunch before boarding the bus for the next stop. This group
has paced us all day.
After a picturesque walk along highly improved paths, we arrived in Portomarin at 12.15. It seemed too early to stop so we ate, had a look around, and headed 7.8kms down the road to the small hamlet of Gonzar.
I booked an the albergue Casa Garcia before leaving Portomarin and we had to be there by 4pm. We arrived at 2.30, had a shower, and here I am.
Portomarin has an interesting history and many Roman ruins can be seen along the banks of the river. There are even pylons of the 2nd century bridge still standing firm. At one stage in the 1950's, a decision was taken to dam the river for a hydro electricity scheme.They moved the church, block by block, to a location high in the town, and flooded the river. Most of the old town was lost but the scheme was up, briefly. The scheme was scrapped , the dam drained, and to this day the Roman bridge and all the ancient ruins lay exposed along the banks. This is a slightly bigger mistake than painting a room, not liking the colour, and changing it again!
A Run down Hórreo, the Symbol of Galecian Culture.
An hórreo is a granite, concrete, or wooden roofed structure on stilts used to store corn or grain in Galicia after the fall harvest.
paths are getting better and I think this may be due to to influx of day trippers and others walking the last 100kms. It would be poor for tourism for these people to go home complaining how tough it is. I think these improvements are great.I bought more vasoline for my feet and I must be up to about 12 tubes now as it's about 2 every 3 days; my feet have never had it so good!
Not sure what dinner tonight consists of but the millions of flies here might carry my plate away. Tomorrow we will walk to at least San Xulián but maybe further. It will place us for a short walk to Ribadiso the next day. It's one of my favourite places on the Camino.
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