To Palas de Reii

28.08.08 Thursday.

Portomarin to Palas de Rei.

Not a day when a lot happened. We got up, pursuing our Greek diver peregrino out of the hostal at about 0600 and wandered up the hill out of town having first crossed a footbridge over an arm of the reservoir. This was made of welded steel plates which moved in the darkness which Jane certainly would not have coped with. We continued to amble along, having only 25km to cover, through deep rural Galicia, passing through the mists that seem to be a feature of early morning here at this time of year. Cockerels crow and occasionally dogs bark but much less so that in France where our passage often incited the whole neighbourhood to frantic barking. The dogs are also seldom shut up or chained and mostly lie there in a stupor, possibly opening an eye to watch us pass.
The villages that we pass through are all rather small but there do seem to be café/bars on a fairly regular basis so you are never too far away from your next caffeine fix. One hamlet even had a table with coffee making stuff on it and a ‘donations’ box.
Each village and hamlet seems to be filled with old farm machinery; carts hay cutters etc. It is not clear when these were last used , if indeed they have been pensioned off, as their modern replacements are not immediately obvious.
The countryside undulates its way up to about 700m and drops down again to the town of Palas de Rei art about 550m. We arrive at 1200 and the albergue opens an hour later, after a beer or two. There is nothing else to do in town even the church is small and relatively uninspiring. In the afternoon we watch the locals waiting for a bus and the destruction of the concrete surface of a public area by large concrete smashing machines. They must be in a hurry as there was hardly a pause for siesta.
Fortunately Tim has managed to find a book to read in English or we really would have a problem! Both albergues in town have filled up by late afternoon so this must be a bit of a choke point on the surge onwards to Compostella.

Link to where we are on Google Maps