I woke up feeling good! Legs were awake and I looked forward to head out again. Breakfast early and then getting ready before heading out. I noticed that most of the pilgrims left early to enjoy the cool air. Not uncommon to see them leave before 8am. Well I left a few hours later at around 11am.
This day I did 45km and 1 700 height meters. It was a hard but good day.
I followed the street onto a road and then it took a turn into a forest to head towards the mountain I was going to climb up to Puerto de Palo at 1 146m. That meant a 600m climb and the last 400m in about 3km! What a way to start the day. Poles at the ready!
The path windled up through the forest and then turned almost straight up. After a hard march up I reached the top and it felt like being on top of the world. Amazing views!
The path then went straight down on the other side before it turned up on another mountain ridge. The running up here was amazing. I ran on ridges, along the sides and onwards. Bliss.
I continued and the path went through a forest before opening up and turning downhill. The landscape shifted to rolling hills and fields.
Passed through a small forest and the path joined the normal road all the way down to La Meza. Here on this road I met a group from my hotel. They had a hard time believing that I did the camino running and that I was going all they way to Grandas de Salime in one day. I stayed with them for a while walking before continuing. Lovely people!
After reaching the bottom of the valley it was time to go up yet another hill. There is something futuristic about windmills in the middle of beautiful nature. Somehow they fit in, even if they do not belong. Will take more photos of them.
On the other side I took a wrong turn and had to backtrack to reach the path. Again A friendly local let me walk through her farm and then onto the camino again. Another long descent, I was headed to the river.
I went down, along the mountain side towards the river. There was a dam, Embalse de Salime, where it was possible to cross, but first I had to get down to cross the river.
Crossing the dam and then climbing up again on the other side was tedious and hard work. Being on the the main road is dangerous and when going uphill it feels like it will never end. But as a reward I could look back at where I had been. This is the same river as in the previous pictures, and I was up in the ridge on the other side. Up, down and up again.
Last climb and last stretch to Grandas de Salime. I got away from the road and followed it on the camino through a forest all the way into town.
Guess who I met there? The group I met on the other side of the river of course. Now they were showered and in clean clothes. I was longing to be in that position. I stopped and talked to them while having something to drink. This is really part of the camino, having time for the people you meet.
They waved me off with the ’buen camino ,’, and I set out of town to reach Castro where i would stay the night. Started to rain a little so I picked up the pace. I was tired, but soon I would be there. At this ooint I just wanted to be there.
I arrived late after a long day on the camino. The people there were really nice and got me food and showed me to my room. My roommate was almost asleep so we said ’hola!’ In the dark and introduced ourselves. I tried to sort all the impressions from the day while falling asleep, so many. I did know though that it was another good day.