Casa Rural Santa Eulalia (161€)
We take a cab to Porto Camino (15€), where we’re back on the trail, very muddy at first, but then quite pleasant. As we hike ups and downs, a warm mist settles in. Clearly there has been a great deal of rain here lately… everything is soggy. We stop after an hour for C&CC, and Nick has a new best friend, a cat. Few pilgrims are on the road, for the vast majority had ended their journey in Santiago. We give way to several herds of cows, ushered from field to field. This is cattle country, very grassy. Around 12:30 PM we look for our Casa Rural’s pick up point (the inn is several kilometers off the trail), are confused, but then set straight by three local girls wearing construction jackets and purposefully walking somewhere. They point the way to a little snack stand, where we call for a pick up, and presently are spirited away in a sleek, very fast black Mercedes. We arrive at an enchanted (at first glance) old villa. Our upstairs room has a grand cloth crown over the bed and a balcony sunroom. All gorgeous, except for one thing… everything is damp. Not just damp! Wet! And BRRRRRRRR. We have arrived at 1:30, and lunch will be served 2:30 in the dining room in a nearby building. In the sunroom we warm up as best we can. Lunch is OK… salad, fish and beef with fries, cheese and quince pastry for dessert. Back to our room for a siesta with attempts to snuggle away the dampness. Dinner at 9, with a large party sharing the room and quite taken with their importance. We ask for poco portions, preferring only soup and wine, then cheese for dessert. Overall, we have a dim view of the place, but the only other choice was a gite where a guest had posted “These women are CRAZED!” Anyway, this inn had insisted on a wire transfer 50€ deposit, only to have their local bank disclaim knowledge of their existence, and return the deposit – less, of course, a 49€ fee! Crooks, and for all we know, our somewhat slippery, increasingly off-putting host may have been complicit.
Note to future pilgrims going this way: We would instead recommend tarrying at the Casa Jurjo in A Picota, an alternate Casa Rural that fetches you up and drops you off the next morning. Last night it was regrettably booked solid.