We successfully managed to reduce longer hours spent walking to a much more reasonable 11.5 miles today. This was all made possible by two decisions.
Number one – we headed back to the coast, rather than continue to follow a route that was situated in more mountainous terrain approximately a kilometer away from the Atlantic.
Number two – I finally figured out how to use Strava in airplane mode so that I was more accurately able to track how far we were walking each day . Thanks to my two sons Lincoln and Arlo, I followed their suggestions to enable background apps like voice, wi-fi, and data roaming but to slide the airplane mode switch on. The Strava app is not able to function in map mode while I’m walking like this but as soon as I finish and reach a Wi-Fi spot I am able to successfully convert all of the data into a normal Strava feed including a nice map to use as a souvenir of my track for the day.
We were able to walk with Camino pals Sherry and Mary for the whole morning which really helped to pass the time. Unfortunately they are on a scheduled trip supported by Camino Ways which is moving their luggage each day to a prearranged hotel that they have to reach. They had to reach Vigo today which was a bit longer then we will willing to walk. We hope we may see them at our home in Maine sometime in the future. Both Mame and I clicked with them.
Our walk today started along the shore front right outside our hotel window on the harbor and after working a bit east.
We turned directly north along the interior route toward Vigo which has a population of 300,000 people or a half 1 million in the general area. It will be a true challenge to get through there but with our new plan to stick with the shore we should be able to eliminate at least half of the hassle that would be coming out us from the west.
Today had moments of what I would call tedium as well as some very beautiful travel through some forested areas that gained a bit of elevation in two instances.
The tedium was the zigzag nature of our path as we wound back and forth through what probably could be called suburban areas. We definitely passed along the edge of a good size industrial park in the Nigran zone.
Despite being amidst many houses it took us almost until noon time until we found a small coffee shop where we could stop and take a break to eat our packed lunches.
We then went up and up through two wooded areas where we encountered a woman named Ann and who was walking her four dogs.
Ann had walked the French Camino two years ago. She had a lot to say about the crowds that she heard are populating that path this season. Ann clued me in on a little known hike across Europe that one of her friends just completed where he saw less than 150 travelers. It is also a pilgrimage path. Ann made me promise that I wouldn’t out give any details about it but I’m definitely going to check it out as a possibility in the future.
Ann asked us where we were going to be traveling and when I showed her a map she strongly suggested that we are off our intended route and turn west to the seaside all away into Vigo. Mame and I decided to do this but Mary and Sherry had to continue on with their scheduled route. Sad to separate.
Mame and I ended up walking approximately one additional mile before we found this super interesting and very well outfitted seaside motel in Samil- Hotel Playa de Vigo. We took the last room available for €55.
Even better was the dinner spot that the owner recommended- the Mara del Plata right down the street. €27 bought us an astounding seafood array: full salad for 2, pitcher of Sangria, pablon peppers- roasted, a free tostada, a huge serving of hake with red peppers and potatoes, and 3 free home -made coffee flavored aperitifs.
I am now waiting to take a sunset photo if the view across the Atlantic. It is now 9:48 pm and there is still a half hour to go. Even the glorious sun doesn’t want to go to bed here on this Camino by the sea.