Day 25. Palas de Rei to Ribadiso. In both directions. 35 miles.
Before I start on today (Saturday 21st), I need to give an update on yesterday evening. While having a pint and seeing to our emails and the blog, we got chatting to a couple from Clonakilty in County Cork. They were cycling form Burgos to Santiago, and like many of the pilgrims we are meeting, using the services of a luggage transfer service i.e. you don't have to carry all your stuff with you on your back or on the bike: it's transported for you between overnight stops.
They were at the next table to us during the evening meal, so the conversation continued. the meal itself was excellent. No menu, you had to take what was served. Started with homemade soup (chicken stock, white beans, potatoes and turnip tops), followed by a huge platter of casseroled pork ribs, with chips and an enormous salad. A litre of chilled (!) red wine came with the meal. And for dessert there was a choice. I had pineapple cake and Brendan had local cheese with quince jelly. Neither of us took coffee but enjoyed the free glass of grappa. All the veg, the wine and the grappa were from the campsite's garden and vineyard. Probably the quinces too. So this is a restaurant to recommend. Camping Santa Marina, Portomarin. I'll add a link later.
We slept well last night.
A slightly complicated day. Brendan set off on foot from Portomarin to walk to Palas de Rei. I struck camp ( such a quaint expression!) then drove to Arzua where I'd found some information on the internet that there might be a campsite behind a hotel. The tourist office told me that it was possible to camp a few kilometres back at Ribadiso. This was hard to find, but there are two albuerges in this hamlet. We are camped at one of them with use of the facilities for €5 per person per night.
I cycled from Ribadiso to Palas de Rei and back getting caught in a thunder storm on the way back. But some good came of it. I stopped in a wayside cafe for a cup of coffee, and got a stamp for my Pilgrim Record.
It was dry when I got back to Ribadiso, so I pitched the the tent, then set off to collect Brendan from near Palas de Rei. We stopped in Melide for some food shopping.
Pouring with rain again when we got back to the tent, so headed across the road for a pint and a piece of pie while waiting for the rain to stop.
No wifi where we got our pie and pint, so spent a while writing up my blog post. I'll add it to the blog next time I can get wifi access.
Next task is to unpack everything and check out what the facilities are. The turned out to be excellent, with comfy sitting areas, showers, clean toilets with toilet paper provided. There is wifi at Albergue Los Caminantes where we are camped.
This is probably our most authentic Camino experience so far.
Here is a shot of Brendan sitting in the Albergue charging up his iPhone and checking his emails. A well deserved rest as he walked 25.5km today.