14.4 Miles/34,238 Steps – (Total – 24.5/57,934)
The picture looks bucolic. The scenery did not disappoint. We climbed a huge flight of stairs and were deposited on a path right along the coast. The views were spectacular. The photo above is very similar to the one on the cover of our guidebook. God’s beauty was in the sky, the water, the lush green fields and the rocky cliffs.
We passed small villages and farms.
We were feeling great as we entered Castro Uridales – our intended destination. So we decided to go the the next town with multiple lodging options. We should have known that the Hobbit-like forest before town was a bad omen.
When we got into town, everything seemed to be closed. The phone numbers we had were disconnected. We ran into some other pilgrims who were also looking for a place to stay. We wandered back and forth through the small town of Islares. Then it began to rain.
We ran into someone on the street and Sonia asked where the hotel was in broken Spanish . (I am genetically predisposed to not ask questions about directions in any language. ) We understood parts of the answers and set off in the direction that was not recommended. As we approached the building he indicated, there was no visible signage, and no clear means of access.
We saw an overgrown field with faint tire tracks leading up. I told Sonia to wait and went ahead to look. The field was full of thorns and brambles, but part way up I saw a sign – “Hotel”. Alleluia! I turned back toward Sonia and she waved me ahead. As though my arrival a few seconds before would somehow secure a room. “Save yourself!” She jokingly pleaded.
There was a room. With an ocean view. In the corner. We were checked in with out a credit card. And we didn’t ask the price. At that point we didn’t care. God had provided once again.
When we checked out in the morning, we settled our bill. The total was €50.