Camino del Norte Day 32: Almost there

November 1, 2015

A Roxica to Boimorto: 15 miles

The last few days of our hike have been, if not easier, then smoother.  There are still challenging hills, still hurting body parts, and if anything, our bodies are starting to tire out.  My feet have swollen up like balloons, so much so that it was hard to get my shoes on this morning, and Dale in general just feels tired and achy.

But the doubts have gotten easier to manage, we’ve gotten stronger mentally, and we are learning to apply the lessons of the Camino more consistently.  And Detlef is a great distraction.

We are so close.  We’ll be in Santiago in three days, so hopefully we can hang tough for that long!

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Celebrating the season: a Camino marker with a pumpkin on top. Markers in Galicia often include the distance left to reach Santiago. It was thrilling to watch the number drop. When Dale took this picture, we had 57.225 km (34 miles) left

In Sobrado dos Monxes we saw the Monasterio de Santa Maria de Sobrado, a monastery founded in 952.  It became a Cisterian monastery in 1142, and more features were added to it over the centuries.

There was an albergue at the monastery, but it was too early to stop, so we took pictures and continued on.

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We did, however, need a lunch break, and we ended up taking a long one in Sobrado.  We had the menú del día, a three-course menu that you will find all over Spain, and that’s because the Spanish government passed a law in the 1960s that restaurants should provide affordable meals for everyone, including the locals who might otherwise not have the money to eat out.  The government specified exactly what items should be included on the menubread, first and second plates, dessert, and a drink, usually a bottle of vino.  When Dale and I eat out on our own, I’m usually the only one who gets the menú del día, but I still get an entire bottle of wine (no, I don’t drink it all by myself).  There’s usually at least two choices (often more) for first and second plates and dessert.  The menú can vary in price, but it’s meant to be affordable.  We’ve seen it anywhere from 7-13€ per person.  Not bad for a three-course meal!

The quality of the meal varies from place to place, but today’s food was particularly delicious.  My first plate was Galician soup, my main course was fish, and I had homemade chocolate cake for dessert.  Dale and Detlef had similar dishes.  It was incredibly enjoyable, but perhaps eating a huge meal was not the smartest idea, considering we still had six miles left to hike.  We all struggled with the motivation and energy to return to the trail and had to fight the urge to turn around and check into the albergue at the monastery, but we resumed our hike and finally made it to Boimorto several hours later.  At least we had enough common-sense to turn down the bottles of wine.  Vino surely would’ve done us in for the day!