A soft grey day- perfect for walking. It's a short walk today to minimise the arduous uphill hike the following. It's only 8km but feels longer because of the 250m ascent, but it's lovely to be in the mountains again.
I've noticed many springs on the route, sometimes in the middle of nowhere and have seen local people filling containers to take the water home. They often have nice new stone surrounds and look well used. I've made a point of emptying the rather nasty chlorinated tap-water out of my drinking bottle when I come across one. The water usually tastes very nice.
The albergue at Mondoñego is in a converted civic building; Galicia takes pilgrims seriously. They must be a major source of income! I'm the first there and since no one is at reception, I go upstairs to pick a good bunk. Minutes later a friendly policeman arrives to book me in; he obviously acts as the hospitalero and stamps my credencial with the POLICIA LOCAL sello.
The town has an old bridge, a fountain and a maze of old white painted buildings with cobbled streets and bars spilling out onto a grand square in front of the honey-coloured cathedral.
It's Sunday and lots of shops are open in the morning, but I stupidly miss them and end up not having food for tomorrow's walk. Instead I go for a coffee with the Danish girls and then Mass in the Cathedral.
It has an amazing organ with trumpet pipes that look as if they would fire a twenty-gun salute across the aisle. There are about 20 people in the congregation with a couple of friendly old chaps at the back who talk loudly all the way through; an elderly priest presides. I'm the only pilgrim.
The cathedral has some rather amazing wall-paintings. One set shows Muslim soldiers weeping over a dead Christian knight surrounded by wailing women and decapitated babies. Or that's my reading of it.
After a wander around the town, I go out for a late lunch for a Menu del Dia which I think included ribs of beef followed by ice cream.
I haven't found a tumble-drier yet so I'm sleeping in my silk liner and layers of paper sheets- which is fine. But I won't risk another dodgy albergue!