When the going gets tough…Billy Ocean

Day 9- Mondoñedo to Vilalba- 36km.

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A friendly reminder of things to come.

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.

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Beautiful spot but a bit chilly.

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.

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The only way is up, baby!

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Our kindly bar keeper.

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On the first turn, looking down at Mondoñedo.

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An impressive arrangement of wood.

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.

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A beautiful forested path.

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..with this just a short time later.

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.

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Taken from our bedroom window.

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10 thoughts on “When the going gets tough…Billy Ocean

  1. Oh my goodness you are doing it tough. I don’t know how you keep on going. I’m so pleased you are treating yourselves to a little luxury. Bodil has arrived here and each morning we sit in comfort and read your blog and wonder how you keep on going? You’re both made of strong stuff that’s for sure.

    • The stages are ridiculously long on the Norte especially the distance between each bar.
      Say hi to Bodil for me. I can’t wait to see you both at Denis and Fran’s place. Xxxx

  2. Wowee you both are machines, well done on your exciting journey, it’s wonderful to read your blogs and share in your journey, stay safe xx

  3. Today, Wednesday 7.30am. Reading your story makes me tired and I will have to go back to bed soon.

    Not really folks. But you seem to have the bad elements with you. Are the spring flowers popping up yet or is it too early?

    There is a little Autumn in the air these passed few days. The rosellas are being harvested.The rate so far is 2kilos per fortnight and there will be some jars for you on your return.

    The 25mls of rain over a day and a half last week was a great help. I use Hibiscus Fertiliser -1/4 cup every 3 weeks is the sacret.

    Now you both must take things easy. These are not ideal walking conditions. And you have nothing else to prove. We are in awe of your achievements, folks.

    Lots of love The Scotts.

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