Camino 2016 – Day 2 – Negreira to Santa Marina – September 3rd
More strenuous…and hotter!
I was 2nd to wake in this one room Albergue Alecrin. An Italian girl who was first to bed was busy getting her gear ready and her movement woke me up. It was 5.30am. I decided to make a move myself at that stage. After a quick breakfast of tea, a breakfast bar and some chocolate, I threw on my rucksack and started out. Negreira was dark…and quiet. Walking up the main street, I came to the edge of town where the medieval festival was still ongoing and there was no sign of it ending. I heard someone shout “Hola peregrino!” from one of the many bars. I walk through the town’s original walls and into darkness.
The first 10 kilometers on this stage are all essentially up, up, up! You have to gain 300 km in elevation, about 900 feet, which can take energy. I passed through Zas, A Pena and Fornos, mostly in darkness but I was greatly aware that as soon as the sun would rise, the temperatures would reach the levels yesterday. I had my trusted phone with me, guiding me as I knew I would be lost without some form of light. I was glad to have plenty of water too. The terrain from Negreira is divided between roadway and forest. On roadway, you are constantly checking for cars which come at great speed, while in the forest, the opposite applies. Leaving the roadway, I passed through forest, with dirt tracks and stone walls. The light was diminished by high trees. Ever since leaving Negreira, I had been debating with myself should I continue to Olveiroa or stop somewhere beforehand. My ankles were sore from the previous day’s exertions and I knew that 34km might be a little bit too much for today. Anyway, I walked on..
Just before Villaserio, I was greeted by a small shelter selling food and snacks. It was great to have a cafe con leche however the owner had limited English. I stopped here for a while and met two girls from Slovenia and Italy. One had walked from Lugo and the other had walked from Leon, both were continuing to Muxia together. We decided to walk together for a while as they wanted to practice their English. I was pleased to help! I really enjoyed their company, and they had great stories to tell me about their times on the Camino. Hmm…the Primitivo..I might walk that next year! One had visited Ireland many times and had traveled parts that I had not been to!! I felt bad now 🙂 Passing Vilaserio, I noticed the fabulous new albergue. Next time around, I would love to stop off here.
The time quickly passed as we chatted and marched up the hills together. We were keeping a very good pace, I figured more than 5 km/hr. The sun was splitting the stones at this time and we decided to find a place for a somewhere for a drink. My energy was sapping but they both wanted to reach Olveiroa today. I saw a sign for Albergue Casa Pepa just off the Camino and we aimed for there. I decided that I would stay here for the night, while they would move on after some lunch and a beer.We said goodbye but I had a feeling that we would meet again. Never say goodbye on the Camino, folks 🙂
I checked in to this great albergue and found a bed to myself. I was the first there but it was full before the evening was over. Casa Pepa is just off the Camino and is family run. The owners are very friendly and even if you don’t plan on staying, do drop in and say hello and buy a drink. I had covered 21km today, but I couldn’t help think “what if”. What if I stuck with the girls and walked to Olveiroa? I would not see Muxia this year but it will be there next year. So be it. I thought of the rest of this Camino. I thought of Finisterre and how I would get there. I thought of the sun set and I thought of returning to Santiago. All these things brought a smile to my face. How could I say I have failed?
I washed my clothes, had a shower and had an amazing menu del peregrino. Afterwards, I sat outside in the shade, watching the world go by. I met many Irish people stopping by for a drink as they walk to Olveiroa. Tomorrow, I would walk closer to the sea.