We are not sure that they are called matrimonial pillows but they are often on the beds they call matrimonial (about 2/3 size of a queen). It is an evil device that runs full width of the bed that the happy couple get to wrestle for control of throughout the night. Individual pillows on large beds are cheered when discovered in our rooms. Nobody really wins with these diabolical devices. When I rule Spain they will be outlawed and all burned by decree. We just don’t much like them.
So we got up a bit slowly this morning after fighting to a draw over the pillow all night. There was breakfast in the hotel with multiple coffees – but not quite enough. Walked out into a much cooler and windier day. Rain overnight had reduced the humidity to a more comfortable level. Weather very variable so never felt “just right” all day and clothes were put on and off, zippers and hoods up and down, buffs adjusted etc continuously.
The trail had a long climb up O Acebo to a ridge peppered with windmills that provided a view of all the windmills that were scattered on all the high points in every direction. We also noted the wind that howled and proved that these windmill placements were not random. Walking not very hard otherwise although the advice to stay to the road was heard the geographic reference was not uploaded and was discovered with our shoes.
We passed from Asturia to Galicia at top of O Acebo. Both sides of border look like extracts from Martha Stewart’s “3000 things you can make from slate” book.
The bars were few but well spaced. The fifth day walking in a row made us feel pretty worn out but not sore. The hotel is pretty basic but they made a nice charcuterie plate and a hearty dinner.
Diana has made friends with all the dogs in O Fonsagrada and they run up to get attention. Nice lift after tiring day.
We were in Salas last night and really enjoyed this little town. We had dinner with a German engineer from Hanover named Olaf – walking the second half of his Norte/Primitivo combo that he started last year. He is an experienced hiker having walked a 600 km trail from Oslo to Trondheim and several long walks in northern England. He was a bit lonely as he speaks little Spanish,French or Italian and all he had encountered in his first 3 days were people who only spoke those languages.
We had met him early during the day and bumped into him throughout the day and ended up in same hotel. He was good company and enjoyed the opportunity to talk – even in his second language.
We set out from Salas around 0730 after a breakfast at Cafe Luciania – where Luciania packed us a little snack unsolicited- very nice gesture that helped with long day of walking.
We walked about 33 km with about 1000m of gain. It was cool and misty to start and never got too warm. Walking was pretty easy and trail was mostly dirt, gravel and a bit of mud. Mud can be a problem but tee are three days without rain so things were trending to dryer rather than wetter. Long 5 km steady climb out of Salas and then we walked along a ridge on one side of a green valley below a endless line up of wind turbines. Not hard walking day. Tomorrow will be.
Arrived at Casa Herminia – a budding empire of involved in housing, feeding, and supplying pilgrims – really lovely is spot. Apparently her bid to vertically integrate pilgrim care is viewed dimly by her countrymen – at the rate she is growing she may end up running the country.
Had dinner with 4 other pilgrims – a German civil servant, a French doctor and an Italian couple from Milan. It was a good mix as not enough of one language group to partner off. Dinner was absurdly good Asturian stew (potatoes, greens, beans, and meat), chicken soup, salad and braised oxtail. This place had a dormitory as well as a number of hotel rooms so gave us first communal dinner with other pilgrims. Nice experience.
We have 27 km big climbing day tomorrow on “Hospitales Route”. Weather looks great and we have stocked up with food as we will be about 6 hours between towns through middle of day.