Portomarin to Ligonde
Second Day of Walking the Last 100 km to Santiago
Elevation: 434.55 meters up + 182.96 meters down
The morning was cold and misty when we walked out onto the streets. Everyone was glad for a shorter day today. We were walking from Portomarin to Ligonde, instead of the regular stage which takes you all the way to Palas de Rei.
After yesterday’s rain, more of us had opted for pants on this day, packing shorts away in our packs for later.
We found a place in town for breakfast, a cute cafe called D’Gusta.
They served up cafe con leche and tostadas. Plus fresh squeezed orange juice, a favorite option available in almost all the cafes I visited on the Camino.
They even had bacon and eggs on the menu.
Everything came out in stages. With so many pilgrims to serve, the cafes are super busy in the mornings but they rushed around and got all of us our breakfast. We had to split up among several tables, which was fine. During COVID, lots of folks don’t want you to move their tables around, and I was actually amazed at how often we got to eat altogether as a group on this trip. People accommodated us whenever possible, for which I was super grateful.
At other times, we split up and maybe you got a chance to sit with folks you hadn’t been with before.
After breakfast, we walked back to the town square to begin our walk.
Laura read us another Camino prayer before we headed out.
The Prayer to St James:
O God, who brought your servant Abraham out of the land of the Chaldeans, protecting him in
his wanderings, who guided the Hebrew people across the desert, we ask that you watch over us,
your servants, as we walk in the love of your name to Santiago de Compostela.
Be for us our companion on the walk,
Our guide at the crossroads,
Our breath in our weariness,
Our protection in danger,
Our albergue on the Camino,
Our shade in the heat,
Our light in the darkness,
Our consolation in our discouragements,
And our strength in our intentions.
So that with your guidance we may arrive safe and sound at the end of the Road and enriched
with grace and virtue we return safely to our homes filled with joy.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Apostle Santiago, pray for us.
Santa Maria, pray for us.
Then off we went.
Back down to the river and across a different bridge this time.
The misty clouds seemed to be hanging onto and around the river.
We walked a little ways along the road that ran beside the river before heading up into the hills.
The sky became more clear as we walked steadily upward, and everyone quickly warmed up.
Some folks even changed into their shorts on the side of the road.
It was exciting to see the kilometer markers drop below 100km!
There were only a very few remarks about how much uphill we had to do throughout the morning.
Everyone was a great sport!
And around 11:30am we stopped in the village of Gonzar for veggie pizza and roasted peppers, as well as more coffee and a few other treats.
We carried on uphill a little further, and there was an option to take a detour to see some ancient ruins, Castromaior.
About half of our group took the detour, while everyone else carried on up the hill.
The views from the top of the hill were lovely.
Plus it was just so encouraging to sort of reach the top and then head back down again.
We made another stop sometime after 2pm for drinks and snacks.
Then we only had one small hill left to climb before we dropped into the village of Ligonde.
At Ligonde, I had arranged for us to be picked up and carried away to our lodging for the night.
It had been a great day of walking, a bit easier than the day before, with lots of beautiful views.
We had been over hills and through forests.
And towards the end of the day, we started to see the eucalyptus trees.
When our host drove up, we all piled into his van and he took us about ten minutes off the Camino to a magical place called Casa Roan.
When we arrived, our driver introduced us to his lovely son, who checked us all in to their family estate.
After we made our way to our rooms, I wandered around and found their outdoor courtyard and seating.
I texted everyone that I had found the perfect spot to sit and have a drink in the sun.
Thankfully, the family had their own bar and restaurant, so we were served beers and sangria in the garden.
I stayed in the garden all afternoon, right up until dinner.
Everyone else came and went, so I had opportunities to visit with all the different ladies in our group. It was such a great group of women, and after two days of walking, we were all growing super comfortable with each other.
At some points there were several of us outside laughing and talking together, and then sometimes it was just one other person and me. The whole afternoon was such a gift, a perfect Camino memory.
We kept chasing down our host for more drinks, and we were also in awe of the work this family was doing in order to host folks on the Camino.
In addition to driving people to and from the Camino, they were also doing all the cooking for dinner and breakfast and getting all the rooms ready, which involved washing the sheets, hanging them to dry and then ironing them before putting them on the beds. Our sheets and pillowcases were embroidered with sweet little vines and flowers.
You could tell that an amazing amount of care had gone into turning this Casa Rural into a place to welcome visitors.
The rooms were decorated with antique furniture and most of our bathrooms had bathtubs, which everyone was excited about!
At 8pm, we headed to the dining room for our pilgrim dinner.
Our dinner was lovely of course, cooked by mother and father, and served by the son.
He recited the menu to us, letting us know what was possible for dinner.
We had many of the choices on offer, but my favorite was the “especial” salad with tomatoes and goat cheese. By the second course, I didn’t even need anything else.
But of course, I ate some fish and then Mary Polly and I shared a strawberry yogurt dessert.
After dinner, it was so lovely to be able to get up and head straight to our rooms. The moon was getting close to full. I noticed it shining between the dining room and our building.
We were all cold, so we had our host running around collecting extra blankets for us before crawling into bed and going to sleep.
The next morning, when I was going around to check on everyone, the sun was rising over the courtyard where I had sat so long the day before. It was going to be a gorgeous morning. No rain in sight.
I could easily have just stayed at Casa Roan and spend another day hanging around the beautiful property, but instead I hurried everyone to breakfast, which was as wonderful as dinner the night before.
Coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Yogurt and fruit. Plates of Spanish meats and cheese. Plus fresh bread of course.
We were well-fueled before we were taken back to the Camino for another day of walking.