It’s nice to be back in Galicia, with its many rural farms and rustic hamlets, full of stone houses with slate roofs. I love seeing cozy spires of smoke coming from the chimneys. Services are few and far between, so it’s important to bring enough snacks and water. The sun was finally shining today, but the temperatures were still pleasantly cool. We passed a Romeria along the way, which is a yearly festival where the people of small towns do a procession to their local church or hermitage and have a big fiesta, with lots of food and LOTS of alcohol. We wandered about a bit, looking at the intricate pastries for sale and admiring the racks of ribs and boiled octopus on offer.
Most of today was gently uphill through a green valley with mountains towering on either side. We hardly saw anyone else all day. The Gontan albergue is quite lovely, with24 beds, a kitchen and even wifi! As in all Xunta albergues, we were issued a disposable fitted sheet and pillow case.
We took advantage of the sunny afternoon to finally get our laundry dry and enjoyed another delicious pasta dinner with supplies from the nearby village shop. Two Spanish guys who we had seen for the last few days arrived quite late after having stopped to eat at the Romeria. Sadly, all the beds were full and the hospitalero sent them to check at the sport center, which was closed. For legal reasons, they were not allowed to sleep on the floor of the albergue, even though there was plenty of space and even several couches in the dining room. There were no hotels within walking distance and the next albergue was more than 20km away.
Finally, a Czech couple offered the use of their tent and we offered the use of our sleeping pads, so the two were allowed to camp in the yard outside. It was a very cold night, so I hope they were able to keep warm!