I woke up in Casa do Rego after having a great night of sleep.
After dinner the previous night I spent some time talking to Samantha, a pilgrim from Australia. We talked about the amount of snoring in albergues along the Camino, and she gave me a pair of ear plugs.
Ear plugs are generally useless for me, but these were given to Samantha by her son, who is a mechanical engineer. Based on the amount of wine consumed at dinner Carol suspected that it would probably be a noisy night in the albergue.
I screwed in the ear plugs when I went to bed and hoped for the best.
When I woke up I thought it was so interesting that there hadn’t been much snoring during the night. Not a good test run for the ear plugs.
Then another woman in my room said she couldn’t sleep because of all the snoring.
Whoa! So the ear plugs really worked. They’re 3M ear plugs and such a Godsend. I’m so grateful to Samantha for sharing them with me.
I ate breakfast at Casa do Rego and had my usual bocadillo de jamón and zumo natural. Like the rest of the food at Casa do Rego it was amazingly delicious.
After breakfast I had the best chat with Carol and Lorenzo, the owners of Casa do Rego. We spent a long time talking about so many topics from life to the Camino.
We talked about life in America, life in Spain, the similarities, and the differences. We talked about how Americans tend to be more competitive about the Camino than people from other countries. We also talked about how, having done the Camino themselves, Carol and Lorenzo decided to leave Barcelona and run an albergue to have a better quality of life for themselves and their daughter.
We were talking and carrying on so much that I didn’t even care that I wasn’t getting an early start. I was having so much fun just hanging out that I could have stayed there forever.
At one point during our conversation they offered me a shot. At 9:30 in the morning?!, I thought. They reminded me that I’m in Spain now. Go with the flow.
I’m generally not a fan of shots, so I planned on only taking a sip just to get a taste. I wound up actually liking it, so I downed it all. Then Carol poured me another one. What a way to start the morning!
One of the hardest things I had to do on the Camino de Santiago is leave Carol, Lorenzo, y Mireia at Casa do Rego.
Samantha had a group of friends who were meeting up with her, so I left with them around 10:00. On any other day I wouldn’t want to leave so late, but now it even felt like it was too soon.
I only walked with Samantha and her friends briefly because they were walking with kids and going at a slower pace. I left them and continued on literally bouncing along the way.
Walking on Air
It was an 8.2 km walk to Portomarín, but it felt like a breeze. I felt better than I ever had on the Camino. The joy and conversation at Casa do Rego really gave me the boost I needed. Starting the morning with two shots doesn’t hurt either.
I truly felt like I was flying on the way to Portomarín. It helped that it was a sunny say and the countryside was beautiful.
When I got into Portomarín I saw the same dog I had run into outside of Casa El Arbol in La Faba. I found out her name is Lisa, and she was walking the Camino with her owner, Gianmarco. I sat and had lunch with them.
They are from Italy and started the Camino in St. Jean Pied de Port. I couldn’t believe Lisa had been walking all that way.
It hadn’t all been smooth sailing though. Lisa was bitten by a dog in one of the small villages, and she had once picked up something that caused her mouth to swell. Luckily, she was feeling better now.
After having lunch with Gianmarco and Lisa I went to see the Church of San Xoán. As I was walking up the church was being closed for the day. The woman closing the church was nice enough to let me go in for a couple minutes.
Not only was it Sunday but it was also Mother’s Day. Since my mother’s death it’s been a tough day for me, so I was grateful to be able to sit in peace in the church for a bit.
As I left the church I thanked the woman for her kindness and asked her name.
“Fe,” she told me. “Maria Fe.”
I told her my name is Imani, which means fe (faith). Imani Marie.
She pointed at me and said, “Fe Maria,” then pointed at herself and said, “Maria Fe.”
It was a beautiful moment, and I got a little choked up. I sat in the square and soaked it in for a little bit before leaving Portomarín.
As I left I decided I would walk to Ventas de Narón before stopping for the day.
Along the way I walked past a fertilizer plant. Woof! What a feast for the senses. I wanted to get past there as quickly as possible, which isn’t that easy on foot.
After an uneventful and largely unremarkable walk I arrived in Ventas de Narón. I decided to stay at O Cruceiro, which like the rest of the afternoon, was unremarkable. It was fine but nothing special and reinforced how much I was spoiled at Casa do Rego.
All in all it was a fantastic day, and the hospitality of Carol and Lorenzo carried me throughout.