September 10, 2015: Toast and coffee in the dining room started out what appeared to be a beautiful morning at the foot of the mountains. We stepped out the door and turned left and were immediately on the Camino opting to take the Pereje route along the N-VI and following the river. We felt this choice would be the easiest on Heather’s right leg and hip, and we were attempting to prevent any further injury. She felt great as the morning walk began. After a slight climb out of town, the road soon leveled out and was quite manageable for her. At this point we could look back to Villafranca and see where we had spent the night.
After an hour or so we stopped at a rest area in the sunshine that was now beginning to spill over the hills in the east.
We stopped again to rest in Pereje at the top of the long street that is called Camino Santiago where Heather entered a small mercado and tried to obtain some Iburprofen along with some nuts and a Coke Zero. She was told by the gruff shopkeeper that the sodas were not cold so we just left the place without buying anything. Up the road about 3.5 km was a pleasant turn off into the woods before reaching Trabadelo. This was a nice respite from the constant noise of the busy road. We were also joined here by the pilgrims who had taken the Pradela Route earlier in the day, so the Camino got a little more crowded.
At La Portela, we stopped at a truck stop/restaurant and purchased some fresh cheese and bread, then sat outside and ate that and some cashews we had brought from home. We didn’t finish all the cheese, so we gave what was left to a young pilgrim who was just stopping by, and we got up to continue on. After 1.5 km, I started to feel some nausea and was certain I was going to throw up. In Ambasmestas, we found a bench to sit down on for a bit. I drank some water and tried to regain my equilibrium. In a few moments I could feel the nausea subside to some degree and decided to give walking a go once again. After a few hundred meters, I was back to normal. Whew! We were thinking that the cashews might have been rancid.
From this point, we followed along the river through a series of delightful villages with lovely country homes painted in bright colors. It was a magnificent day. There were wildflowers galore along with personal and communal gardens that were still thriving at this time of year. In Vega de Valcarce, we ran into our Australian friends Vic and Heather who were staying at a pension there for the night. Heather had been injured and had taken a taxi for a couple of days, but she was hoping to walk the next day. They said with confidence that they would see us tomorrow at the top of the mountain. We said goodbye and headed towards Ruitelan. In Ruitelan, we were able to stop at an ATM and get some Euros and right next door was a Farmacia so Heather could get some Ibuprofen and Compeed for her Ampollas (blisters).
After Ruitelan, the trail led back to the main road, and we had a steady, but relatively short, climb until we reached the outskirts of Las Herrerias. Our pension was just off the road to the left, and it was a special place. We settled in here around 1:00 pm. Heather strung up a clothesline in our room and washed out some of our things. Some we put out on our balcony in the sunshine. After a shower, I went downstairs, and had a large beer while I logged on to the Internet through the WiFi connection that would not work in the room. After a while, Heather came downstairs, and we sat in the warm sunshine while several more guests checked in. At 7:30 we had a wonderful dinner in the dining room and retired for the night.