Day 30 – Portmarin to San Xulian

Pronounced San Julian. 25kms today and another strange day.  

As I have mentioned about Galicia the valleys are shrouded in clouds of a morning so this morning as I left town again it was a very thick fog.  Very damp also so my hair was wet even though I worked up a sweat climbing the mountain to get out of town.  

It has been interesting the last 2 days as a lot of people have joined the way to walk the last 100kms in a week.  Unfortunately they do not seem to understand the pilgrim way as they are loud, don’t turn the light off, slam doors. I shouldn’t be so negative but it seems like the peace and serenity of the pilgrimage has been lost a little.  

This morning as I left town people were walking in packs and talking so loudly it felt like they were screaming at each other and there is no hola! Or buen Camino!  I walked past a few people and said buen Camino and was totally ignored and they kept on talking.  

For that reason I decided not to stay in the big towns anymore but go to the little out of the way places and stay in local Albergue’s.  

As we are on the final leg of our fantastic journey from Sarria onwards we have to get at least 2 stamps on our credentials.  Of course I have been like a kid in a candy store so I have been getting 3-4 a day anyway.  The stamps have to be dated.  This meant that by the time I got to Sarria my original credential from St Jean Pied de Port was totally full.  

I went to the church in Sarria and they issued me with another one and put ‘continuation’ on it so I now have a new one and yes it is filling up quickly.  Averaging 5-6 a day now.  

Headed out of town this morning and of course first there was a mountain to climb.  I didn’t want to stop too early as there were so many people walking the cafes and bars were full and running out of food.  

I got to Gonzar and stopped for the ever fabulous Zumo de naranjo and kept on trucking. 

Just past Gonzar my head came out of the clouds at the top of  the mountain and what an incredible view.  It was like being in an aeroplane flying above the clouds

Of course once you get above the clouds the sun is relentless and another very hot day.  

Next stop Ligonde and it was breakfast time with croissants coffee and orange juice.  All the tables and chairs outside were all so wet due to being in the clouds for most of the morning. 

The walk today was so pretty most of it through woodland. One of the guys I was walking with likened it to The Shire in Lord of the Rings 

So pretty.

Got into Palas de Rei about 12.30 and it was time for a sit down and a grande cerveza. 

As I sat admiring the view along came a lot of my fellow pilgrims from the last 5 weeks. Frances, Pierre, Julie and Angela from South Africa.  

Unfortunately Oswin and Kian who I have been walking with the last couple of days left me today.  Oswin is in hospital due to not feeling well for the last few days.  Not sure what it is and Kian has decided to walk a bit faster to get to Santiago a bit quicker.  I hope Oswin is ok.  I have had such a lovely time walking with them.  Two really nice guys.

I wasn’t very keen on staying in another big town tonight so said goodbye to everyone and walked on.  No doubt will see them over the next few days and if not in Santiago. 

Thought I would go onto San Xulian which was another 4kms down the road and again through beautiful countryside 

Got to the albergue and walked in only to be told it had closed for the winter.  OMG!  I was going to have to walk to Melide which was another 10kms down the road.  Oh well off I went down the street rounded the corner and there was the cutest loveliest albergue called Casa Domingo. It had a huge shell out the front and hardly anyone here.  I am now sitting in the most beautiful garden with hammocks and lounge chairs sun drenched. What a little paradise. Give me this over the city any day.  

Apparently this place used to be an old mill and now transformed into an albergue 

I have just booked in for my pilgrims dinner and it looks wonderful back to the days when I first started of the communal dinner.  Don’t seem to have had one of those for a while.  Too busy trying out the local fare of octopus and mussels and prawns. Can’t quite bring myself to try the eel but the local fish has been exceptional 

Tomorrow is another day closer to the end so until then 

Buenos noches

Author: Baguettes cheese and wine

Cycling through Brittany and the Loire valley in June

7 thoughts on “Day 30 – Portmarin to San Xulian”

  1. Phew so glad to hear the albergue was around the corner Mags. All that noise, crowds and people ignoring others was upsetting. Too much like my life!


  2. Thirteen years ago there were a lot less people doing the Camino, now there are about 250,000 people a year doing it. Yes, the atmosphere is very different in the last 110kms but we didn’t have anything else to compare it with and loved it totally but definitely did hear about the difference.


  3. Good decision to stay in the smaller villages. I’ll say Buen Camino even if the new walkers (not pilgrims) won’t say it !


  4. Looks like a lovely walk today! Shame about the crowds but your decision to go to a smaller town for the night was a good choice. I so don’t want it to end, I am really enjoying your blog, it makes my day. I get up every morning looking for your blog and sharing it with Deb. We are loving it!


  5. it is strange when the vibe changes.. I can totally identify with your frustration with the behavior of the new walkers…but it is not as if you can skip the last bit..given the whole point of the exercise is to get to Santiago! good to hear that you found a lovely place to stay a.d did not have to walk 10 kms to get a close now..enjoy the last few kilometres..I am so look


  6. Yes – I’m also feeling sad that your wonderful adventure is nearing the end….I’ve just loved your photos and blog each morning. Your energy is contagious so I want to jump out of bed!!! Continue to enjoy yourself and savour your last few days. xx


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