Our route today was supposed to “somewhat monotonous” according to our guidebook, and while we didn’t pass through many large villages or towns, the scenery was beautiful. The first stage of our walk went fairly well. We encountered many more pilgrims along the way today, and a few of the dreaded bicyclists–Kris nearly got hit by one who was traveling opposite of the way that we were expecting.
We made it to the first checkpoint with little or no problem and we did as well with the second checkpoint. Between the second and last checkpoints I was a little confused.
Ignacio warned us not to follow the path that most of the pilgrims follow as we approach the town of Pedrouzo. He said that we needed to stay on the usual Pilgrim’s path, which would take us to checkpoint 3 and the conclusion of our walking for the day. The problem was that within 500 meters after setting out, we were confronted by a fork in the road with yellow arrows going either direction. Kris and I opted not to go underneath the highway, but continue on our way. It seemed the right choice, and I kept reminding myself that Ignacio had said to be alert as we approached the village. The problem was that the walk seemed to take forever and Kris was beginning to experience some pain walking.
We finally came to a point where we had to cross a highway, and it was there that we noticed that the path diverged with one route going into town and another through the forest. This leg, which should have been short, seemed to be interminable and even though it was the shortest leg of our route today, it felt the longest. I felt considerable relief as I noticed what looked like athletic nets at the crest of a hill and we could both hear the noises of children playing in the Sports Center that was our third and final checkpoint of the day.
When everyone had arrived at the checkpoint, Francisco drove us to a lovely spot for a superb outdoor lunch. We lingered over the excellent food and good conversation. Two in our group, Cheyl and Kathleen, ordered dishes with these enormous prawns. (The dishes also came with wet-wipes for your fingers, with good reason.) As Cheryl worked on one of her prawns, Francisco came to the table and showed her how most people ate them in Galicia, which turned out to be a messy, but fruitful operation.
After lunch, we drove to our new lodgings, Torre do Branca, The White Tower. We will call the White Tower home for the next two nights.