At La Cala Pilgrims Inn, on the Coastal Camino Portuguese in the small village of Oia.
After resuming Camino Levante and walking 26 days we enjoyed a couple days in Santiago. We wanted to be somewhere quieter outside of a city somewhere in Galicia. Unexpectedly, some business dealings required us to go to Baiona on the Portuguese Coastal Way.
About 17K south of Baiona and a slightly less distance north from A Pasaxe across the Miño River from Portugal, is the small village of Oia. To the west is the Atlantic with the constant sound of the waves breaking on the rocky shore, lush green mountains to the east. A population of 3,000 but it seems like a few hundred other than weekends.
Oia is home to one of the nicer albergues/inns on this or any Camino, La Cala Pilgrims Inn. The owner, Tanya of Iowa,
is one of the kindest, friendliest, generous Hospitaleros anywhere on The Camino. sipping wine, shifting my gaze between the mountains and the sea, my attention keeps getting drawn back to the beautiful 12th Century Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria de Oia a few stone throws to the north.
Some think of La Cala as an Albergue, but I would suggest at least it is a luxury albergue; with super comfortable beds, real cotton sheets, terry cloth towels, and a killer shower. She is a true pilgrim lover going overboard to make the pilgrim experience pleasant and comfortable for tired peregrinos.
This is most definitely not your typical albergue. Tanya keeps the kitchen stocked with good wine, eggs, bagels with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, fresh fruit, juice, milk, etc.. Even beer. Certainly La Cala is more Inn than Albergue. There are 10 beds; with 2 rooms with 2 beds each and 2 rooms with 3 beds each. No bunk beds here.
It is relatively quiet this early in the year and we thought we had the Inn to ourselves, but last night a Spanish woman, Francisca of Madrid walked in around 10PM. This morning Mika and I sat with Francisca talking about a wide range of topics; the world’s religions, Frank McCourt’s book, “Angela’s Ashes”, the Asian Center in Madrid, and the beauty of the Camino.
Perhaps it’s time to start walking again. Why not start in Lisbon as I will be able to spend another night in La Cala Pilgrims Inn.