That walking distance included about 8 km walking around towns and backtracking segments!
Some photos of the walking path…
I thought I would stop in O Barco de Valdeorras. But I got there well before noon and didn’t know quite what to do with myself. It is a pretty town and the locals were going about their Sunday activities. It looked like festive tents and stalls were being set up along the river. But there were no other pilgrims around, so nobody to talk to. Well, not quite true – an old guy struck up conversation with me and invited me for coffee. But I was finding it hard to understand him and made excuses. Finally I just decided that I was here to walk, so that’s what I would do.
Onward to Vilamartin, after a slight tour of an industrial park while I was trying to walk the “natural” alternative. Got back on the regular route and swore to make no more deviations.
In Vilamartin, I entered the albergue to find that it was somewhat occupied by Ukrainian refugees. There were probably still beds available to pilgrims but I would have to call the posted number. It seemed intrusive to do so, and I found a hotel not too far back on the highway. Well, they had rooms but the restaurant was closed due to a private event. The nearest food was a gas station about 1 km away.
I compared 2 km for gas station food versus 6 km to get to a decent town. That’s what I did!
The last section of walking was quite nice, especially the (newer?) option near A Rua that avoids 1-2 km walking along the road that has some narrow shoulders. The path was up on the hillside with good views. [Edit to add: Afterwards some other pilgrims indicated that they hadn’t noticed the optional path avoiding this stretch of road walking. Just after passing the dam Presa de Santiago, the Camino intersects the lower level of old highway and the new highway N-120 passes over. There was a big notice with a map, and the route along the road was quite obvious. For the newer path, you need to cross the road, and walk under the new highway overpass before you see the arrow pointing left on a wide dirt path. Sorry, but no convenient photo instructions!]
Dónde está Abuela?
Here’s a friendly horse I passed this morning. I stopped to take a picture just for you, and he came over. A little later, a woman passed me, walking with her dog and cat (in the lower right corner of the photo).