Day 9- Mondoñedo to Vilalba- 36km.
Let me just clarify, I am in no way what you would call a masochist, but today was another tough day. However please try and stick to the end of this post as it gets a whole lot better.
We knew that we would need a lot of coffee and carbs to get us up the first eleven kilometre climb, so we had done some reconnaissance work the day before and found the El Perigrino Bar just around the corner. The bar owner opens early for the pilgrims, and in this case, it was just us two and a few crusty locals waiting outside the door at 7.45am. Fuelled up, we headed up, up, and up the range, only stopping four hours later in Gontàn. The predicted weather was for rain. Even the locals in the bar thought that we would get drenched. However, even though the road was wet, the rain stayed away and eventually we saw a little sunshine.
By the time we reached the summit, a familiar foe awaited us. The Galician wind that was flying over the roof of the passing forest, met us face first at the top of the climb and continued to be a driving deterrent for the rest of the day. As such, my face is the colour of a tomato as I, again, couldn’t walk five paces without losing my hat.
At Gontàn we made the decision to push on and try to make it Vilalba, twenty kilometres further along. The guidebook said that (time)” passes quickly as the camino meanders easily along rural roads through forested paths and farming villages”. The forested paths were still wet and muddy, slowing us down, and when we were out in the open, the wind would drive us nearly backwards. We eventually got into Vilalba at 5.45pm, (this is were it improves), and headed straight for the Parador.
We have lashed out and shouted ourselves to a night of luxury in the Parador de Vilalba, which has a fifteenth century medieval tower attached to its annex. Feeling more human after our hour long soaking in the bathtub, we are now heading into the Tower for dinner.
Life is good at the top.