Destination: Palas de Rei
Distance: 25 km
Time: 5 1/4 hours. 8:30 am to 2:45 pm
Terrain: Rolling hills, green fields, no mud!
Weather: overcast then clearing. No wind, no rain
Total distance to date: 662 km (+12k taxi, 14k bus, 15k bus, 20k taxi = 725 km)
We were up at our usual 7:30, had a decent breakfast included with the hotel price, and were on the road by 8:30. It was cloudy and the forecast was for some showers so we dressed for rain but luckily for us, it never materialized.
Much of the walk today was through the countryside and many tiny villages. We spent the first half hour getting past the crowds of new pilgrims – it was rare that we saw someone with a backpack – and eventually found ourself in a quieter section. We came upon a man and woman from the states – they were siblings – and started chatting with them. They had started their Camino a week ago in Ponferrada.
Tina is just a few years younger than me, and she and I seemed to have a lot in common so we talked easily. Her brother Jason and Erik were soon deep in conversation as well. The time went very quickly and we had soon walked and talked for more than 3 hours. We stopped at a bar to get a drink and a stamp for the credencial and then continued walking.
I knew I was walking a little faster than normal but I felt good. Later an older Australian woman passed by and she joined our conversation as well. It was interesting to chat with new people and it’s amazing how much information you can exchange with a complete stranger in 4-5 hours!
We stopped at one village that had bowls of free oranges for anyone who wanted one but other than that, we just walked steadily to our destination.
After the 20k mark, my feet began to hurt a little and that’s when I recognized that I had been walking faster that I had intended. I slowed down a little but by then, we only had another 30 min to walk. Throughout the day, we had maintained 5km/hr instead of our usual 4km/hr. And with fewer breaks.
In Palas de Rei, we were all staying at different places so we said our goodbyes and checked into our pension which is a bedroom with a balcony and 2 shared bathrooms for 4 rooms. It’s very clean and bright and a good deal for 40€.
After a quick shower, we found a restaurant and had Sangria and shared some local favorites – Raxo, which was sautéed spicy pork and fries, Pimentos Padron, which were sautéed small green peppers with olive oil and sea salt, and a local cheese with quince jam for dessert.
We are now back at our room, it’s about 6pm, and I’m icing my left foot because I have pain in the joint of my second toe. I’ve had this in the past from running but not on the Camino. If it’s still sore tomorrow I may have to tape it. And I’ll definitely have to walk slower as we have 26km tomorrow. I really hope it doesn’t bother me for the last 3 days.