Thursday, May 2, 2024

Spain's Camino Primitivo Day 6: Berducido to Grandes de Salime


Day 6 was a bittersweet one.  Antonio needed to take the 6:45AM bus back home so he could work his final two weeks before retiring.  I wish he could have stayed with us and my Camino experience was much enriched because I got to know him a little bit.

This day is also supposed to cross beautiful landscapes, but the weather started out wet and foggy.  Nagore and I hiked together, though we were usually separated by several hundred yards.  She enjoyed Basque music in her earbuds, and since I am normally a solo traveler, I did not mind the separation.  She was a faster hiker than I am with a lighter pack.  And I stopped often to take pictures.

The clouds broke some as we progressed, dropping down to a dammed reservoir, then climbing back up at the end of the day. We would get occasional glimpses of our destination, on the other side of a deep valley.

After dropping down to a road, we found an overlook, shown to the right of the photo below.

We then climbed the dam and started ascending.  We stopped for a snack and a coke at the yellow restaurant on the left side of the photo below (Nagore had coffee), and could see the Argentinian couple crossing the dam behind us as we climbed.  

I was really beat when we arrived in the town of Grandes de Salime, so we went directly to the municipal hostel and checked in.  There was another pilgrim there already - someone we hadn't seen before and never saw again - he left very early the next morning.  He wasn't very talkative, but I think he was doing his camino by logging big miles each day.  The rest of our group from the night before eventually made their way to our albergue, except (obviously) for Antonio and for the Belgian fellow we had encountered.  Below is a photo of the albergue where we stayed.  The only downside of this hostel was the shortage of outlets, so it was harder for me to recharge my phone and GPS receiver than most nights.

My cellphone had become a big problem by this point.  I was getting texts from the Spanish SIM card company saying that I needed to pay them more money, and I was starting to think that they were holding my phone hostage!  The Argentinians used the albergue's wifi to watch a movie on Netflix, while I could not even send out a single line of text.  If the problem continued, I'd have to get a different SIM card in Lugo - the next large city - but we would not reach there for another 3 or 4 days!

I spent some of my afternoon exploring Grandes de Salime. It only has a population of around 900 people, but after the last couple of days, it seemed like the big city!  The town church was open, so I was able to see inside and obtain a stamp. There was a multi-lingual sign outside the church stating that construction generally dated to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Day 6 Camino stats: 
Date: Monday, March 25, 2024
Distance: 13.2 miles  
Time: 5 hours, 16 minutes
Start time: 7:48 AM
End time: 1:04 PM
Total daily steps: 40,343 steps 

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