We found the yellow arrows and much to Gina ' s chagrin, we started following them. She so wanted to walk along the water. The arrows were leading a bit inland but we were never far from the ocean. We would not have a day like yesterday however.
We meandered straight up a pretty forested hill and everyone was going good. We came to a village and we wanted a café/bathroom stop but after asking a local, were told that it was 5 minutes off Camino towards the water. Gina was voted down and we kept to the course of the arrows. Finally after another hour or so we came to a nice café spot. Threw off the packs and unlaced the shoes and ordered refreshments. Lena from Norway joined us and asked if she could walk with us a while. Evidently she regretted it since she ended up taking a bus later that day to Santiago! In reality, she was pressed for time and wanted to include a walk to Finisterre. I'm sure our upcoming trajectory solidified her decision.
Against our (John and mine) better judgment, we left the comfort of the yellow arrows and started heading down to the water. All along this coastal route, the rule of thumb has been to keep the ocean to your left and you will be just fine. Yeah right.
What began as a fairly easy day turned into a long hot highway to hell. Everyone started to depend on my GPS to make sure we were heading for our destination for the night, Vigo. This is a very large city and the gritty suburbs start way far out along the busy N13. It was holy hell all the way. Lunch in a stinky bus stop with 18 wheelers exploding by us did not bode well for digestion or appetite! Buen provecho, my a..... We ended up doing probably 10 more miles than we wanted and on the last breath of my phone finally found our hotel around 5:30 or so. Thank God we booked ahead. I cannot imagine trying to find accommodation at that point. 10 hours of torturous slog. I have no idea the kilometers we walked. Since walking from Lisbon we had hoped to leave this insane and deafening highway walking behind us.
We supposedly also learned this lesson on the last Camino but I guess it, too, needed revisiting or something. Do your own thing! Temptation to follow the crowd will always lead you astray!
Uncannily as Camino mystery would have it, we had all managed to book into the same hotel without realizing it. The Vila Plaza or something. The lobby was upscale and immaculate. The 6th floor room was decorated in sterile white cramped asylum motif. Hey, at least the view was good and the bedding was comfortable. Focus on the positive. Right?
We decided our clothes could not handle one more hand wash so we located a self service lavenderia. Gina had soap so we were good to go. 10 euro later, to wash and dry one load, we determined after a glass of wine that it was totally worth it. Clothes just get cleaner in a machine!
We went next door for dinner since our feet couldn't handle any more walking. Soup, fish, meat, salad, dessert and wine all cooked by Gramma and served by her son hit the spot. The fish was breaded and crispy and some of the best so far on this trip. We spoke in our very best Spanish that it was the best. Apparently they agreed and charged us 88€ for the meal when we were expecting pilgrim prices. About half that. In the spirit of the day, that would not be so.
Gina and Bill were laying over a day here and John and I considered it for about no seconds. Hotel already booked. Oh darn. Guess we'll just have to GET THE HELL OUT OF TOWN! Put a fork in it!!!