21.2mi/34.11km from O Càdavo Baleira to Lugo
We’ve made it through the thick of the Cantabrian Mountains and are now heading gradually downhill towards the more densely populated parts of Galicia. More than half the day was on roads, which didn’t offer the kinds of visual delights we’ve had while climbing over successive ridges of those mountains. So in the end, this was the longest day we’ve had and yet somehow we took surprisingly few photos. David did however get a photo of me with our old buddy Toastie… and then a brutal slow-mo video of me eating said buddy.
The day was neatly split into thirds with brief stops at the pretty town of Castroverde, and an awesome pilgrim albergue/bar at Villar de Cas called “A Pociña de Muñiz.” What was a brief snack stop there turned into a laid-back session with the owner’s mellow German Shepherd and a few familiar peregrinos who happened upon us. We were briefly tempted to stick around for the night, as the owner mentioned that he was going to make a massive barbacoa (open pit bbq) on his 4’x3’ grill. But, we had to press onward to Lugo.
At around mile 19 we were definitely in the outskirts of Lugo, in villages where pilgrim hospitals used to stand. It was around this point that we began looking for the “100km” marker that signals that final stretch of the pilgrimage to Santiago. After a drop all the way down to river level and a climb all the way up to the city walls, we came across that 100km marker – a huge sculpture right at one of the main entrances to the city! After photo time we entered the gates of Lugo’s old city walls, built by the Romans in the 200s AD, and which still completely encircle the old city.
Seeing the jovial atmosphere all around Lugo, and listening to our barking bodies, we resolved to take a “rest day” here tomorrow. It was a good choice. We ran into the Andalusian old-timers Manuel and Gregorio as well as the Ariel and Angela couple. All together, we had a nice evening enjoying pinchos, vinos, and good foods. Tomorrow, we relax and recuperate. After the difficulty of this trail so far, we need it.