Day 24 – Camponaraya to Vega De Valcarce 29.1km

Woke up to the third day of rain in a row. Now I don’t know if it was psychological or I actually felt a cold coming on. I felt exhausted, but that was probably because I stayed up till 11pm watching Orange is the New Black on my iPad. Bad move. Sleep deprivation is never a good idea if you know that you’ll be spending the next day hiking. Lesson definitely learnt.

It took me quite a while to get back in the game whilst Jason was plodding along comfortably as he usually is. Luckily the rain was quite mild today so for most of our journey it was overcast which is what we call ‘perfect hiking weather.’ There were a few hills to climb today but we were distracted by the spectacular scenery which was what appeared to be endless vineyards meshing greens, reds, oranges and yellows that we just couldn’t take our eyes off. It was truly some of the most spectacular views we have seen on this trip so far.

We arrived in Villafranca just after 12pm and headed straight for the supermarket where we picked up our delicious lunch of cold tortilla and blue cheese with mini toasties. We ate this outside a nursing home and as per usual, were getting quite odd looks from passerbys. We only had about 10km to go with plenty of time to spare (or so we thought), so we decided to go at a very relaxed pace. We ventured into a small town where we had a quick sit down in front of an old lady’s house. She gestured for us to come towards her so we did. She then gave us each a large handful of uncracked walnuts and proceeded to have what appeared to be a very interesting conversation with us in Spanish and of course we had no clue what she was saying so we just said ‘Gracias’ and ‘No Espanol’ a dozen times before she greeted us with ‘Buen Camino.’

By about 3.30pm we arrived in the town we were planning to stay at, Trabadello, only to find all 3 of the Albergues were closed. Despite being fairly tired, we decided to press onto the next town 4km away. It surprisingly didn’t take too long so we didn’t feel too bad. Unfortunately both Albergues were closed here too. Shit. Ok so on to the next town – surely there must be something open right? Another 2km on, only to find everything there was closed once again. By this stage I was over it; my legs were sore, I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep. Our very last hope was the next town which was only 1km away. When we arrived in Vega De Valcarce there wasn’t too many signs of life, but after 15 minutes of walking through town we saw a few signs for Albergues. We were aiming for the municipal and when we arrived, of course, it just had to be closed. We knew that in 500 metres we would reach the end of the town, if there was nothing available, that would mean another 3km and me potentially breaking down In tears. As luck would have it, a beautiful new building appeared as we turned the corner, an open Albergue! As we walked to the reception we recognised Sun from Korea who we’d crossed paths with several times. She raved about this Albergue and that is exactly what we needed to hear. We checked in and couldn’t be happier.

Spent the evening having a quick lentil salad and doing nothing!

Total cost for today:
– Breakfast: €1 Oat biscuits
– Lunch: €2 Tortilla & blue cheese
– Dinner: €2 Lentil salad
– Snacks: €2 Chips and Chocolate
– Accommodation: €10

Total cost per person: €17

Til next time
Ann & Jason xo

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