Morgade to Ventas de Naron – 23.2K

This entry is part 14 of 29 in the series Part 4: Astorga to Santiago to Finisterre

Casa Molar (58€, inc. dinner)


Nick’s Birthday!!!  We have a long day ahead, but what the heck!  We’re up for it.  Out the door at 8:35 AM.  We make excellent time… out of town, then down, then up and so it goes. It’s a long 9.5 kilometers to our first stop in Portomarin, and we’re more than ready for CC and C and a Magnum ice-cream bar, double-chocolate, birthday-appropriate.  We have a nice conservation with two women from San Francisco and Oakland… two of many who’ve started in Sarria to merit a 100 kilometer Camino certification.  At 12 kilometers  we find the way poorly marked.  Anyway, we get back on track and head… UP! UP! UP!  We are up for it and slough on… with 7.5 kilometers to the next tiny town and all of it RELENTLESSLY UP!  This is harder than we thought. We take off our jackets and tie them around our waists; I notice that my undershirt has gone too long without laundering, and stop to pack it away.  And up we climb.  The stone markers are ticking away kilometers at a slow pace and we recalculate our ETA from 3 to 4 PM .  In a small town, Ganzo, we stop to share a bocadillo of ham and tomatoes.  The place is filled with male bicycle testosterone and I need to get out!  We exit and continue on, with the day now freezing and windy, yet curiously exhilarating.  Now, only three tiny towns to go, 6 kilometers; ETA extended to 4:45.  The wind begins to pick up and, actually, helps us along and at 4:30 we MAGICALLY behold our Casa Molar, a beacon in the coming night!  Our arrival is actually earlier than we anticipated.  Our room is tiny and basic, with the bathroom down the hall, but with a cama matrimonial … Goodie, I sleep better when I’m in the same bed as Nick.  We go downstairs for a GIANT VASO DE VINO for me, and a gin and tonic for Nick, chips for both.  Then up to our room until dinner… me to shower, Nick to nap.  Dinner includes fun people… a group of five women from Wales, a couple from Germany, a single fellow from ?, with good advice to fellow pilgrims.  The lights go ON and OFF, several times… the atmosphere is jolly. Bonnie:  macaroni with tuna and bacon and eggs / Nick: cream of potato soup, then steak with fries.  All goes well until the main courses arrive and mine is crummy… SOB!!!  But I let the sweet waitress off the hook by suggesting more wine instead of a different entrée.  Upstairs to sleep, soundly.

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