Day 9. Monforte de Lemos to Torre Vilariño (17 km)

Today was a good day, starting with coffee and orange juice at the bar attached to the hotel. A crew of train workers had just left. These Spanish bar/cafes are at the core to daily life in Spain.

After a look back at the bridge, I found myself in a line of pilgrims, as the group of 3 Spanish friends (2 from Barcelona, 1 from Zaragoza) who I had chatted with yesterday emerged from their hostal. My American friends had already disappeared ahead to a further destination.

Lots of nice views and interesting variety in today’s walk. It is still rather hot.

My 3 Amigos walk at just the right speed for me, and they are experienced Camino pilgrims. They always walk “together”, waiting at key points to keep each other in sight, but rarely side by side. They encourage me to go ahead and walk my own walk. There is not a lot of chatter, but they are clearly old friends. We were all headed to the same place – Torre Vilariño.

This Casa Rural – Torre Vilariño is excellent, with good food, and they give a good rate to pilgrims.

After mid-afternoon dinner, I went to an ethnographic museum just up the road, where I got a very interesting private tour by a woman. She explained about life along the Minho River over the years before the damming and flooding of the river in the 1950s-1970s. (When people speak directly to me in standard Spanish, I am pleased that I understand almost everything. One-on-one, I can ask for explanation if I miss something.) The museum is on a large property that included herb and ornamental landscaping, a demonstration vineyard, a noble family’s house from 15-18°C (I think), and even a castro being excavated. (These pre-Roman settlements are scattered all over the place!) It is worth spending a couple of hours here.

Torre Vilariño was definitely a highlight, especially with the very hospitable Suzana as host.