Day 39, Portomarín to Palais de Rei

After a brief walk around town, it was small but a stunning location and seeing the water in the dam is a novelty. Most of the rivers have been dried up or just small trickles of water. I walked up to the church, there was an event on so I didn’t get to go inside but the outside was unusual by Spanish standards. 

The church was rebuilt from its original site which was in the reservoir, it was built as both a place of worship and defence.

Statue on the way back from dinner

Having reviewed dinner options they were a little limited so we waited for Restaurante Perez to open at 7.30pm. Morag and Hugh joined me and we headed in dead on 7.30pm. The place really started to fill up, pilgrims in one room but lots of locals too. The food whilst a Pilgrim menu was very good actually, we all enjoyed our dinner and wine for €9!!

This morning I was first down for breakfast but it was surprisingly well organised, good coffee and plenty of continental breakfast. I am very used to this now, bread ham and cheese for breakfast and a yoghurt, it is perfect really.

I set off about 8.15am, it was still dark but only just, the sun was coming up. I wanted to get off early as the forecast was better for the morning than the afternoon. 

The route was varied today, lots of woodland paths and gentle climbs as well as paths alongside roads. Despite the map looking pretty road based, the walk felt rural again. Distance was 26km, it actually went pretty fast.

How many pilgrims!!!

I stopped for a coffee after 12km, it had just started to rain heavily so it made sense to have a break. I enjoyed my coffee and resisted cake today!! It was nice to warm up a little, I am now having my coffee inside rather than outside given it is really autumnal, I may need to but an extra layer.

I received a message from Kari that she has caught up with George which is nice, I need to look out for them arriving in Santiago, they are 1 day behind at the moment but will be 2 days by the time we arrive.

I also received a message from Andy and Wendy, the couple from Melton Mowbray who I met at Stansted on the way out. They have arrived in Santiago, they are the first of the group I travelled out with. They had not booked their trip but were booking as they went, they have clearly powered through with minimal stops. They had a great tip though, get in line for the certificate the next day, they got in line this morning at 8.30am and only had a 30 minute wait. I have heard of others have 7 hours to wait. Since I have a couple of spare days I am certainly going to follow this advice.

Squash season
Could be England!

Andy and Wendy fly out on Sunday so I should see them when I arrive on Saturday which is great. It feels odd to be this close to arriving, only 3 days of walking now!!

Our place this evening is lovely. Very friendly, I was not allowed to carry my bag up to my room, they carried it for me and explained all the spots in town. Very helpful. Dinner is out again tonight but at least I have a description of all the places in town and they are all open from 7pm, which is brilliant.

Just having a beer to celebrate arrival, and the heavens have opened! The forecast was right, the morning whilst drizzling was pretty dry, however now it is pouring. Morag and Hugh are not in yet so they will be damp! I am sure they cannot be far out now.

I am off to find lunch before my shower, for some reason today I am absolutely starving. No chance of waiting until 7pm. I joined a group of 3, two brother one of whom lives in the US and the other in Australia, and the daughter from Australia. They are in the same hotel as me but I joined them for lunch which was lovely.

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