A symphony of snoring , dominated by the Bavarian bass section , would be an apt description of the nocturnal experience in the Cadavo albergue. For once I wasn’t the main culprit as I don’t think I slept more than an hour or so. First thing in the morning I made the decision to book into a hotel in Lugo to catch up on sleep.
It was a long walk of 30.5km today so I got out early and walked pretty much non-stop aiming to arrive at Lugo mid afternoon. The route took us steadily downhill to Lugo with long unbroken stretches on paths through woodland or by the side of quiet country lanes. I remarked in my Camino Frances blog on how much Galicia reminded me of the West of Ireland and today I felt that I could have been walking along a Boreen in Aclare , County Sligo , a very familiar memory from my childhood holidays. It was all mossy stone walls , small fields containing a few cows , old farmhouses with an adjoining vegetable patch , a henhouse and a slumbering dog by the gate . I remembered that the replay of the All Ireland Gaelic Football Final was to take place today and hoped that Mayo would finally overcome the curse. That great song by The Saw Doctors came to mind as I meandered along.
I arrived at Lugo around 3.00pm and walked through the outer suburbs towards the old centre of the city which is completely surrounded by the world’s largest surviving Roman walls ( declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2000 ) . They are a very impressive sight.
Within the Roman Walls was a typical old Spanish city containing a warren of narrow streets , a large central Plaza , a magnificent cathedral and lots and lots of people of all generations promenading , eating and drinking. It was a Saturday evening and it seemed like everyone in the city was out enjoying themselves. My hotel was within the old walls so I had a good look around before heading off to eat some octopus cooked the Galician way and washed down with a couple of glasses of Albariño. Throughout dinner I was glancing at my phone for the live score updates from the All Ireland Final. By all accounts it was a real thriller but sadly Mayo lost by a single point. The curse continues . Feck .
Lugo is around 100km from Santiago so there were some new faces on the walk on day 9. In order to receive the Compostela you need to have walked the last 100km of any of the Camino routes ( or cycled 200km ). I followed generally flat , wooded terrain for the duration of the walk today and saw my first Galician Horreo of the trip. After a few kilometres I met four ladies from the Bournemouth and Bristol areas who had started in Lugo. They were the first English people I’d met on the trip and were doing an organised walk with ” Camino Ways ” , most of their baggage being transported between hotels en route to Santiago. They were all very experienced nurses , now working in senior management roles , three in the hospital setting and one managing the GP out of hours service in Bournemouth. I walked with them for several hours and they were great fun , recounting some hilarious stories. We had a long chat about the current state of the NHS and all were agreed that the system was under huge strain for a variety of reasons but in the main due to underfunding. There was also general agreement that Jeremy Hunt and his ilk are a shower of bastards.