Day 11. Hotel Vilaseco to Rodeiro (18 km)

I set off well-fed from the Hotel Vilaseco, on a beautiful day. There was some uphill work to be done to go up 500 m in elevation to Monte Faro at 1187 m. I found it not too bad because the grade was reasonable and there were many shady patches along the way.

Near the top of Monte Faro, a path diverged from the road and took a steep path lined with 6 or 8 mossy stone crosses, up to the hermitage. This pilgrimage/ romería dates from the 17th century, and takes place in September, but I had the path to myself.

By the way, I know that I am not doing justice to these various places, big and small, old and new, in my trite tales. But I can’t develop (let alone document) all the facts and  impressions on my phone especially while still travelling. And whatever I said would still be inadequate! I’m just trying to give you a small taste of my experience.

Nearby, two pilgrims from Zaragosa were having a break. Then I walked up to the mirador a few 100m away, for panoramic views of Galicia. I would be walking next along that windmill route.

Coming down, there was a long walk along the exposed windmill route. One windmill wasn’t moving but there was a maintenance vehicle in attendance. I had thought the whole day would be a hard one in spite of not being long, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I enjoyed the walk.

I was pleased to come around a curve and find my Tres Amigos, who had taken a lower alternative. I slipped into their single file formation and walked on to Rodeiro, past villages, churches, gardens, fields, farms, animals…

In Galicia on weekends, it seems that many places have pop-up pulpo stands outside a bar or other location. Today, such a stand was operating at Hostal Carpinteiro. Pulpo is a very Galician dish. The octopus is deep fried whole, cut into little pieces, slathered with olive oil and maybe some spices, and served on wooden plates with toothpicks for eating. It doesn’t have a strong taste at all. The Amigos ordered a plate and we all dug in – it was an excellent appetizer for hungry pilgrims waiting for dinner time.

In the Hostal Carpinteras in Rodeiro, there were the 2 guys from Zaragosa, my 3 Amigos from Barcelona and Zaragosa, a man from Gran Canarias, and me. There was an albergue (dormitory) and private rooms. As usual, I took the latter.

There was an important soccer match on TV – Liverpool versus Reál Madrid. Madrid won.