Went a bit farther than planned today because a lot of places are closed for the winter.
The day started quite foggy and chilly.
By the time I got to Villafranca del Bierzo, where I had to make a route decision, the fog was still in the hills. I had 3 choices… (a) most scenic IF the fog burned off, involving some serious ups and downs (like 400 m up and down, THREE times!) and a significantly longer distance, (b) quite scenic route IF the fog burned off, involving one 450 m climb and 400 m descent, (c) shortest lowest route following roads through the valley with no hills. I pretended to consider the options and decide on the basis of the fog still shrouding the hills.
Are you surprised that I chose (c)? The fog did burn off and I pretended to be surprised and disappointed that I didn’t take a higher route.
In fact, my route was not bad. It was on a path separated from a road on one side that had little traffic, and a lovely river on the other side.
Nearby there was an impressive new highway and overpasses.
As the sun went down behind the hills, I looked for suitable accommodation. I had decided I was ready for a cheaper dorm tonight and finally found a good place – Albergue Sarracin in Vega de Valcarce. Just me and one other person there, for €10.
The bar is nice, with the owner family eating at the next table, and I’ve had a better-than-average pilgrim meal – I asked for salad instead of fries.
There is a strange middle-Eastern/bollywood movie (dubbed in Spanish) on the TV.
It is warm here in the bar, but I might need to wear my down vest and merino neck warmer to bed, unless the albergue heating has started up.
I can’t believe what a long post I’ve written on an uneventful day!
6 thoughts on “Day 33: Cacabelos to Vega de Valcarce (26 km)”
Keep them coming Clare. I remember that route – I made no pretence of even considering the alternatives.
I was happy about the fog!
I would have picked option c without even thinking twice. At least you had the gumption to pretend to think about it…
Gumption might be to think about it, but to pretend to think… maybe not!
I had a few conversations prior choosing option C as well. At the point at which you have to choose, a few things may be going on….For me, I was struggling to “warm up” each morning, and it takes me some time to just walk smoothly, about twenty minutes. Okay, that’s not a good reason. At this point on Camino, I was tired. I was tired and sometimes wet and cold, and I had also read that there was a divider to walk behind. Also, because of that new highway, there is less traffic—so there we go!
Honestly, it was an okay and shorter, easier walk on that day. If I had had more time, I may have considered one of the more strenuous routes, but as a very solo walker at that point, and rarely seeing others, I thought it might be an unwise decision, particularly as my navigation system consisted primarily of “looking for yellow arrows”. One must always remember that an errant arrow could exist, and in the cold and wet, why chance it?
I figured you would go for option ‘a’
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