About three weeks ago, John and I adjusted our room reservations for the remainder of the trip. The problem we had no solution for was today. If we wanted to have the big climb to Fronfría in the morning, and the last (hopefully) steep descent out of Fronfría in the morning also, it meant we would have only a six mile walk to the next logical town, Triavastela. Since there was no apparent solution to this dilemma, we decided to just go with it.
What a blessing it turned out to be! We awoke this morning to rain and tropical storm winds (gusting to 35-40 mph). We set out around 8:30 and it took us almost three hours to cover the first four miles. Sorry, no real pictures as I was afraid of getting the camera wet and permanently damaging it. Just imagine more lovely scenery, but with driving rain and gusty winds.
By the time we got to a nice new bar with two miles to go, it was apparent to me the steep downhill was just too risky for me in the high winds and rain. While my body, and particularly my legs, have been surprisingly resilient, my knees have been slowly weakening from the walking, and in particular from having to navigate steep descents. The result has been greater difficulty in managing my balance in downhill situations. Gusty winds were not what the doctor ordered.
After some discussion at the bar, I decided to take a taxi for the last two miles (aren’t you surprised by my common sense?) while John walked the remainder. Once again, the good Lord sent his angels to look after us, because of what I discovered once I got to our planned destination around noon.
We were suppose to stay in a private room at an albergue in Triacastela, but it was a reservation we made by phone and when I arrived, the nice young señorita Erica had no record of our reservation! As she said, “Viola, what are we to do?” She called the owner, who came down to the albergue, and by the time we were done, the owner had arranged for us to stay at the last (or next to last, not sure which) room at an old medieval villa 2 kilometers outside town. Arrangements were also made for a driver to take us there and then provide us transportation back to town for dinner (at a nice restaurant where we had lunch, which also happens to owned by the lady who owns the albergue).
Now here’s where the Lord’s help comes in. Shortly after I first arrived at the albergue, other pilgrims started arriving, all convinced the weather was too difficult to walk in and all looking for a room. If I had walked with John, it probably would have taken forever and by then the room we are now in would almost certain be gone.
So, our magical trip continues. When I figured out what had happened, I did take one picture outside the albergue. It will give you some idea of what the day was like.
I also took a couple of the pictures of where we are staying. The villa was built in 1636!
More rain scheduled for tomorrow but we only have 13 miles and a modest hill to climb and then we have our last day off before striking out for Santiago.
Blessings to all.