Day 8- Ribadeo to Mondoñedo- 36km.
Happy Easter to all.
Unbeknown to us, we must be getting fitter, as we smashed out another long day. Spain converted to daylight savings time overnight, so we were out the door at our usual early starting time, anywhere after seven am, however the sun still had another ninety minutes to show itself. So we walked by moonlight for a while as we started heading inland and up into the mountains.
The temperature was hovering around nine degrees celsius but those pesky Galician winds still had the intensity to blow you all over the path and freeze you to the core. Luckily the steady climb kept the sweat factor up and it was only when you stopped that you’d freeze. Ergo- don’t stop. In fact we walked solidly for five and a half hours before we got to our first open bar at San Xusto at the twenty-three kilometre mark.
We had just twenty minutes to wait before the attached restaurant opened and then we feasted on a spicy chickpea soup and beef so tender that at the sight of the fork, it fell off the bone. We were feeling recharged for almost anything and with Michael all liquored up, we made the decision to walk beyond the recommended stage ending at Lourenzà which was a mere 4.5km away, and aim for Mondoñedo, a 13km post-lunch stroll with two hill climbs to tackle. Such gusto. Such stupidity.
We began regretting our decision with five kilometres to go. It seems to be a barrier on the Camino. The last five kilometres drag, as your feet protest, your back begins to spasm, and your mind plays tricks on you. The wind gusts were gaining in intensity and they made walking in a straight line an impossibility but that could have been the delerium kicking in as well. We finally reached our destination at 5pm and checked into the 18th century Seminary of Santa Catalina which is just behind the 13th century Cathedral of Asuncion. Hopefully some devine wisdom will seep into our senses as we sleep.