Portomarín - The twelfth step ... Three months in Spain - CycleBlaze

May 11, 2022


Another short but hilly day.  Actually, one long uphill and a nice long downhill.

We skipped breakfast this morning because our milk had gone sour overnight so halfway up the hill we stopped at what looked like a luxury albergue for something to fill the hole.  Just toast, marmaleda and orange juice.  We were pleasantly surprised to be rushed for only eleven Euros when we were expecting a lot more.  As we were cycling away Leigh heard the owner shouting after us.  "He must be telling us we're going the wrong way" she said.  Ten minutes later a car pulled up next to her on an especially steep section of the climb.  I heard her say "I can't speak now!".  Then the car pulled up next to me and it was the owner of the albergue with my sunglasses that I had left behind.  True kindness.

Galicia currently seems to consist of little else but pine trees, eucalyptus plantations and hills.
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Tea and coffee stop at the top of the climb.
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Portomarín is a small village (population of the entire municipality of 115 km² only 2006) on the Rio Miño, which was dammed in the nineteen sixties which drowned the original settlement.  Many of the old buildings were deconstructed and moved higher up the hillside to escape the water and parts of the old village are visible when water levels are low.  Until the first part of the last century there was no vehicular access to the village at all, no doubt because of the steep valley in which it lies.  We will have to climb out of here tomorrow!

Neat bicycle station near the village center.
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A Chilean pilgrim I was talking to this morning said the numbers on the Camino more than doubled after he reached Sarria, which the town we head to tomorrow, so with us going in the opposite direction the route should start getting a bit quieter.  Today's route once again followed the Camino it was all on paved roads so we didn't have to do too much pilgrim dodging.

Today's ride: 24 km (15 miles)
Total: 1,616 km (1,004 miles)

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