20 July. La Laguna to Villafranca. 30K
Just 3K past O Cebreiro we started our descent from the mountain at 6AM. It was a dark grey but enough light so that we got by without head lamps. Very quiet as we passed just a few pilgrims. It is odd going the opposite direction FROM Santiago making it more difficult to connect with fellow pilgrims.
The morning was quite pleasant as we made it 17K to Casa Susi at 10:00 for our second tea break. Sue had a delicious Apple Cake and Russian Caravan Tea and we caught up on news of the Camino from her and her Partner Fermin. They are struggling as the restrictions in Castille & Leon keep them from opening their Albergue.
We lingered a bit too long for this pleasant stop leaving around noon. Opting for the mountain path rather than the road to Villafranca made for a challenging first hour as the sun beat down on us getting as high as 34C/93F.
Once at the ridge we enjoyed a slight breeze and magnificent views of the mountains and Rio Valcarce Valley below.
We crossed the bridge into Villafranca around 2:30 and moments later were greeted by the two of most friendly and accommodating Hospitaleras on The Camino; Maria and her Mother Mercedes. They sat us down as we caught up on their news and poured us several glasses of cold water with lemon slices.
For our Menu del Dia we chose one of my favorites on The Camino, Restaurante El Casino. Their most unusual, for Spain, starter of Pumpkin and Carrot soup was delicious.
And they provided a black pepper grinder which you rarely see. The second course of Veal and Chips was good as well. For dessert the homemade yoghurt with English cream and berry jam was light and flavorful.
Why not stay an extra day as tomorrow is supposed to be equally hot.