Day 45: A Fonsagrada, Spain

Date:Thursday, July 11, 2019
Start:Albergue Casa Sanchez, Grandas de Salime
Stop:Albergue Cantibrico, A Fonsagrada
Distance (Day**Total):28   **   1248 km
Elev Gain/Loss (Day**Total):785/-415   **   35053 meters
Moving Time (hh:mm):4:58
Day High Temp:29 C

The bar where I had the best tortilla ever, yesterday, opens early for breakfast. So, I head over there as soon as it opens. Initially, I’m the only one there but soon two other people join me. I’ve seen the guy since starting the Primitivo. He’s Spanish and doesn’t speak any English. I’ve seen the woman a couple of times. Dutch but lives in Spain. We walk at a different pace but seem to end up in the same town at the end of the day and frequently at the same albergue. I quickly chow down my standard breakfast – cortado and tostada and am on my way. It is really foggy.

The fog soon burns off and, once again, I am above the clouds.

It is a hot day. After coming down a mountain, I find a bar by the side of the road. It is by itself. Nothing else around. There are about half a dozen other pilgrims. I stop for a coke and something to eat. Leaving the bar means going back up a hill. And going up I run across . . . Welcome!

I keep moving. Lots of cattle. Lots of hills. More hills than cattle.

I get to a fork. Dirt trail to the left. Asphalt road to the right. Trail markers indicate that I can go either way. The town of A Fonagrada directly in front of me, at the same elevations where I’m currently standing, contemplating which way to go. We are separated by a deep ravine between us. The dirt track drops precipitously. And there will be an equally steep climb up. Did I mention it was really hot, middle of the afternoon, near the end of the day. I kinda remember remember reading somewhere to stick to the left, the dirt trail. Couldn’t remember why. Perhaps the road avoids the ravine but, as a result, is longer and more dangerous. Dirt trail it is.

It turns out to be even steeper than I had expected, the last several 100 meters is a real killer. But the whole thing is relatively short. I’m soon in my albergue. I’m one of the first ones there but the place soon fills up. I didn’t make a reservation because there are several albergues and I normally arrive earlier than most people. But if I were arriving after 4 pm, I would definitely reserve a bed. I will make a reservation if I happened to be an especially big pilgrim bubble, there aren’t many options of where you can stop that day, few albergues or I want to stay at one that is especially popular.

After a shower, I head out for a beer. Yay!!!! They have my favorite (Spanish) beer. And some tapas that come with the beer. Yay!! Chicken cutlet on bread. Quite delicious. I walk around a little bit.

Afterwards, I walk around a little bit. Many of the towns and villages you go thru are rural, oriented towards farming and on the poorer side. Not A Fonsagrada. It’s very cute. Perched on a hill, with a valley surrounding it and then mountains in the distance. The houses look very nice. Wealthy. Probably where people have 2nd homes. Clean. No cow shit. Unfortunately, I don’t have any really good pictures of the town. Just this one. Every trip, it’s the same thing. Take more pictures!

A Fonsagrada

For dinner I head to Restaurante Ventorillo, which I had spotted earlier, during my walk. It’s cute. Has a small, shaded garden with seating. The menu looks good. The pilgrim menu is slightly more expensive (but still hell of a deal) than normal but, based on past experience, that’s usually a good sign. And it is really good. Service is good. Not too crowded because it’s early – around 7:30 pm. For Spain. There are other pilgrims. Some I’ve met before. I meet a young Italian woman. She speaks fluent English. This is her first camino and she is going very fast. Today, she did what I had done in two days – 40 km. The distance by itself isn’t a lot but when you factor in the elevation gain/loss; that’s impressive. It’s good to be young. She admitted that it was a tad too much and tomorrow she’s going to take it easy.

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