Day 55: Campiello to Berducedo (27 kms)

Morning mist burning off

We woke up fully expecting to see, well nothing. Early morning fog has been with us for a couple of days. But, this morning we were pleasantly surprised to see a thin layer of mist that was rapidly burning off. This was great news as walking the Hospitales route is all about the view. We were anxious to get going, but breakfast was set for 7:30 at Herminia’s restaurant next door. Robin and I were at the door at 7:15. It was finally unlocked at 7:40, and in we went. In short the breakfast we paid for wasn’t ready. We nibbled on some cake, and had a cup of coffee, and decided that getting underway was more important than haggling over breakfast. Off we went really anxious to get on the mountain. We enjoyed a few kilometers of flat terrain as we made our way through Borres. Immediately upon leaving Borres we started climbing. The first bit, about half an hour, wasn’t bad. We leveled off and enjoyed the trail. We came to the place where the Camino splits into the Hospitales (upper route), and the Pola de Allende (lower route). We swung right and took the Hospitales route. The weather was perfect, and both Robin and I had a good night’s sleep, so we felt ready for a little exercise. As it turned out the day would offer plenty of that. I had many different expectations of what the trail would be like today, but in truth it was better than what I had imagined. For a start, the first part of the serious climb followed a dirt/gravel road, which from a distance did not look too steep. In fact it wasn’t, but it was long. There were a few steep pitches, but slow and steady got the job done. Robin led our summit team and we topped the mountain after climbing for 1.5 hours from where the steep part begins (which was 1h15m from our room in Berducedo). As advertised the views were stunning. But more than that we were alone, in a world without man made sound. It was peaceful, quiet, and breathtaking. I expected to encounter other pilgrims, but for whatever reason we never saw another person until we were well into our descent. Moving up, and then around the mountain ridges gave us a wonderful day of simply being pilgrims. The trip down the mountain required a few more ups before we were truly heading down. But, down we eventually went over some very broken rock until we reached Lago. As we huffed up the hill into town we rounded up facing a bar that was actually open. Approaching the terrace we saw some friends who had just proceeded us down the mountain, and we joined them for a cold drink (no beer yet as we still had a little over 3 kms to go for the day). Refreshed, we set out for Berducedo where we arrived around 3:45. The little (12 beds) municipal albergue was full. We met 7 or 8 people who were walking on to the next town, 4 kms away. Robin and I opted for a room in a private albergue, and flopped down. It had been a very tiring, but wonderful day. We were happy to be done for the day, but it will be a day we will long remember.

Decisions, decisions
Going up at the start
The neighborhood
Before it got steep
Pilgrim Robin
The steep part begins
The trail
Not at the top yet
Ruins of a pilgrim hospital
Still a bit more climbing
Almost at the top
The top
The way out
Starting down, looking back
The edge of the trail
Looking down from the trail
Down doesn’t always mean down
Where are we
The bar at Lago
The church at Berducedo
Private albergue in Berducedo

 

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