Day 24 of our Adventure: WALK!!
CAMINO Day 16
Monday September 25, 2017
Expected: 17km / 10.6 miles / 5 hours
Actual: 18 miles / 7.5 hours
Total Ascent: 3248 ft.
Total Descent: 2625 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 5; Waymarking: 2
Scenery Rating: 5
La Pola de Allande to La Mesa
The guidebook says, “today involves a significant ascent and ranks among the pilgrimage’s most strenuous stages; it also has the potential to be one of the most memorable.” We started out with a 2000-foot climb, followed by an abrupt descent on a very treacherous downhill trail. It was indeed one of the most memorable days of our lives!
Besides breathtaking scenery, we passed cows ~ LOTS of cows ~ no longer fenced in, a few blocking the trail. There were very few towns, only a few places at the very end to stop for coffee and facilities. There was a 14th Century church in Berducedo, where most Peregrinos stop. We made it to our destination, La Mesa, only to find that there was 1 Albergue (nobody there), and what appeared to be a private home that served breakfast and dinner. We met up with a very friendly pilgrim from Italy, Fabio, who thankfully spoke English and helped us to get our daily “Pilgrim’s Stamp”, and then we had a beer with him (okay, I had wine, but the guys had beer). We had arranged to get a ride back to Pola de Allande for the night, and then we’ll start in La Mesa tomorrow.
On our journey today we passed fields with mushrooms that looked like the houses that you’d see in children’s nursery rhyme books. They were gigantic! I would only need about 10 of them for an entire batch of Mushroom Velouté. We walked through a very peaceful pine forest that looked totally out of place but had a calm effect after the strenuous miles we had just finished.
Tomorrow we will walk to Grandas de Salime, another “Difficulty 5” walk based on what we’ve read. I taped my knees and ankles in anticipation of the downhill portions. Good decision.