I walked in low mountain cloud this morning; it blew in drifts across the path and after a while I stopped in a bus shelter and doned the 'red hunchback'. It's an atmospheric walk and after an incline it's a undulating sort of day. Gentle light and gentle gradients.
I'm back amongst oak woods and beef-cattle wearing bells. I stop to chat to a young horse and a couple of friendly dogs. Dogs are generally chained and bark wildly when anyone walks by- some are very scary and jump wildly at the ends of their chains.
I see my first motorway sign for Santiago which says it's 131km away. Slowly I'm creeping up on it!
I cross a clear dark river, a Medieval bridge in a birch wood and ford a small stream. The cloud begins to lift about 11.30am and blue sky peeps through.
There have been a few modern maize stores on the route built from air-bricks raised on concrete legs. Interesting but they lack the charm of the traditional wooden ones. On the outskirts of Vilalba there is a cemetery with an amazing concrete filigree boundary wall which I make a short detour to photograph.
I arrive at the Municipal Albergue in the outskirts of town at 12.45am but decide to walk into the centre to a private 10€ one, as I wanted to see the town. It's clean and I feel refreshed after a hot shower and change of clothes.
It's a nice place with a large parish church and a larger fortified tower. I eat my picnic lunch in the town square in the sun and then find a bar with wifi to catch up with the wider world. All very depressing on the Brexit front.
At 5pm I go in search of the Parochial office where I can get a new Spanish Credencial, since mine is almost full of stamps. I don't think they get many pilgrims ringing the bell!
While wandering around I meet a British couple from London in a bar. They are walking without packs and are staying in the hotel in town. It's nice to speak English again.
I find a good Menu del Dia in the local bar for 9€. A very delicious kale soup followed by meat balls and almond 'Santiago' tart with a full bottle of white wine which I share with the Belgian guy. He's off early tomorrow as he has to return home in a few days.