Day 6 ( May 11) An Unexpected Reminder — 15 Miles

The morning started misty and colf. Breakfast was simply toast with butter and jam and an excellent pound cake, not sugary. To boost my energy level, I asked for cafe con leche (the Spanish version of cappuccino) but with two shots of espresso. I know that my Spanish is none too good. I saw that my host had raised eyebrows. She brought me my cafe con leche AND two separate cups of espresso. Did I have a buzz on when I walked outside.

Today’s walk required going over a mountain whose crest had rows of windmills followed by a lengthy descent to the crossing of a dam that created a major hydroelectric power station and reservoir and a final ascent to the town on the next mountain.

To reach the windmills, imagine walking up the equivalent of the Empire State Building that was covered in fog. About two thirds of the way up, an unexpected reminder appeared as graffiti written on the road — “the present is a gift.” I learned from my walks to try to live in the present. You can’t change the past and dwell in memories. Who knows what the future will hold. One can anticipate what may come but one should not expend energy on what may never happen. “It is what it is,” sums it up pretty well.

The Unexpected Reminder

At the top, the fog rolled in and out. I caught a glimpse of the windmills. Most of what I experienced was hearing the swooshing sound of the blades at they cut through the air. I read an article last month that said the blades spin at a maximum speed of 120 mph. What an amazing feat of engineering and construction.

Windmill At The Top

I was now on the descent towards the dam. The fog was still thick and created a visual drama.

Reservoir Over The Edge

The path snaked along the mountainside until I reached the dam. The midday heat had broken the fog with the sun behind the mountains. The resulting silhouette was a moment of beauty. The mountain in the far background was the one I had crested.

Alongside The Mountain
The Dam
The Reservoir

Six km remained of the walk with another 375 meters of ascent. A road side sign displayed the distance to Grandas de Salime where my hotel was located, the next major mountain pass for tomorrow’s walk, Puerto del Acebo, and Lugo. From Lugo, another 120 miles lay ahead to Santiago.

Roadside Distance Sign

On the road, I met a band of Lithuanians whom I had encountered two other times. They are long time friends and have traveled for years. Their next destination is Peru in 2024. I loved their exuberance — that’s youth. They left me in the dust,

Band of Lithuanian Caminoites

I arrived early at the hotel — about 2:45. I had the opportunity to surprise Sharon with a morning call EST, do my laundry, and take a nap before dinner. I met up with my walking partner, Gabriel. We went to the recommended restaurant where we saw several fellow travelers. For our three course menu dinner, we both chose the garbanzo soup for the first; the pork ribs for Gabriel and the cachopo (an Asturian specialty of breaded chicken filet with ham and cheese like our cordon blue) for our mains; and dessert. I asked for red wine and a bottle was brought (only a third imbibed in the end); and for Gabriel, two small bottles of Coke Zero. The total cost — 12 Euros each— completo including tax and service.

Garbanzo Soup
Pork Ribs
Vino Tinto

We also loved that the Restaurante A Relgada because it was “local.” To be honest, everything outside of the cities is local. Here were men playing cards two tables down from us. Throughout the evening, men came and went to play cards or drink and socialize at the bar. The dining area appear to have only Camino walkers. Today was a Thursday. I would bet that the restaurant will be filled with locals over the weekend. I saw an open reservation book as we left.

Card Players

2 thoughts on “Day 6 ( May 11) An Unexpected Reminder — 15 Miles

  1. I just have to say it is a pleasure to open my email in the morning and read your blog, see your photos of the countryside, food and companions. It’s a soothing respite from reading the morning news.


  2. That was a steep descent today! My stomach rolled when I saw the picture of the dam below! Interesting people you meet on the walks. The graffiti today- the present is a gift- is so true, and I will remember it! Your dinner looked delicious. Hope you get a good night’s sleep. I’ll catch up with you in tomorrow’s post!!


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