Day 43: Berducedo, Spain

Date:Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Start:Albergue Quintana, Grado
Stop:Albergue Camino Primitivo, Berducedo
Distance (Day**Total):24   **   1198 km
Elev Gain/Loss (Day**Total):825/-627   **   32290 meters
Moving Time (hh:mm):7:18
Day High Temp:22 C

If you’re taking the Hospitales (high) route, today is the big day. Step climb up to a plateau with majestic views and then a steep climb down. There are a lot of people – not Camino Frances crowded but the most crowded it’s been since I got on the Primitivo. It starts of overcast and foggy but soon clears up. It is a beautiful day. There is something other worldly and magical about the light. There is only other place where I felt the same awe about the light and the was the South of France, specifically Arles.

Near the top there is a plateau with breathtaking views. I linger and take an eerie video of people walking up, from the mist, onto the plateau.

This day has everything; steep climbs and even steeper descends. One section, down, was especially treacherous. Very rocky and involved a little bit of scrambling on the edge of a drop. Ridge walks. Mountain pastures. A glorious day. The Le Puy route, my first long, pass-thru walk, has always been my favorite and then the others have bunched together. As my first walk, I still have a soft spot for Le Puy but the Primitivo is definitely a very close second. I would repeat the Primitivo.

I know there is going to be a bottleneck, today. There are no other options between last night’s stop and Berducedo. Plus the albergue I wanted to stay at has great reviews. So, I reserve a bed. Good thing. All 18 beds are spoken for and the other albergue is full, also. People have to walk on another 4.5 km to Mesa, which has two albergues.

The reviews turn out to be accurate. The albergue is very nice, clean and run with the utmost efficiency by the Polish manager. She speaks fluent English and has an interesting story. She moved out here, to this tiny village, with her husband, decades ago. Eventually, her husband got bored and wanted to move. She didn’t. He moved to South America. She stayed. I walk around the village a little bit but there is not much to see. If it weren’t for the pilgrims, this village would not exist.

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