Camino del Norte: Day 21, Abadin to Vilalba

This morning it was absolutely ice cold when we got up. Our joints were sore, it was hard to get out of our warm beds, and worst of all, putting on cold clothes for hiking. We each really only have three outfits with us and we try to keep one clean at all times to sleep in. So every morning getting out of our clean sleep clothes is always tough, but this morning because of the temperature was especially challenging.

The whole first part of the hike I was wishing for gloves, so was Scott. In all reality they would only really help us for three days out of this whole trip so it’s definitely not worth carrying, but in this moment they sounded so nice. It wasn’t rainy, or very cloudy, we were just stuck under a lot of tree cover in the mountains, which made for extra chilly conditions. A lot of our hike was one soft dirt or loose gravel and wow were my feet thankful. Ever since I switched to Chacos a week and a half ago, I haven’t gone back to regular hiking boots so any soft ground is especially nice for me.

We didn’t go through any big towns today, it was mostly just forest, sprinkled with a few houses here and there and lots of farm land. There was a distant sound of the highway but it was quiet enough we could tune it out.

To get us through our kilometers we listened to several interesting Podcasts. The first was about the take over of the “bowl” in the fast casual food industry, personally I am a big fan of burrito bowls, rice bowls, smoothie bowls, so that was definitely a good one for me. Then we listened to one about the restaurant in America that claims to have created the first hamburger and refuses to serve anything with ketchup in their 120 year old establishment. If you haven’t head of Louis Lunch, check it out. I know I will be once back in the US. The last one we listened to was about the new president of Mexico and how he is going up against the cartel for illegally selling gas. I think you can tell which were my choice of podcasts and which were Scott’s.

We arrived in the town of Vilalba before noon. Each day I feel like we are getting quicker but time is passing all the same. The first Albergue of the town is 2.6km away from the city center, but was really cheap so we checked it out. I didn’t like the idea of walking back and forth into the city to get groceries and dinner so Scott suggested we check out a high rated Albergue in town that was only a few euros more.

On our way to the other Albergue we stopped at a grocery store, a new chain called Grandis. It was grand! The biggest grocery store we had been in since we got to Europe, it was almost overwhelming. Still not as big as American grocery stores, but this place really had it all. We got all our favorite things that we usually have to piece together from several grocery stores. The chocolate bars we like, the flavor of yogurt they only carry rarely, the best crunchies.  I was impressed and very pleased. (We also stopped at a bakery, duh :))

The Albergue we ended up at actually had a really good location. It was at the very end of the town so it gives us a few meters head start for tomorrow. First thing I noticed though was that it smelled so good, a rarity for these places. Check-in was easy, the kitchen was fully loaded, and the bunks were comfortable and had their own reading lights. This has got to be one of the top Albergues we’ve been to.

After we settled in, I facetimed Saige (she’s living in Australia) and it was so nice to get to see and talk to her! Scott finally figured out a way to quench his boredom… Netflix. Since we got to the Albergue he has been binge watching a new show. Whatever it takes to keep him occupied, I guess. He seems happy and content so that’s what counts. He took a small break from his show and I made quesadillas for dinner (he is convinced I accidentally purchased fake meat and put it in them, we will never know for sure).

We finished off with Oreos and cheap chocolate mousse. Thank goodness we are doing all this hiking or else these endless bakery trips and every night desserts would be very dangerous. Now Scott is back watching his show and I am contemplating starting something on Netflix. Looking for suggestions!

Another easy day ahead of us tomorrow as we zero in on Santiago. Only about 120 kilometers to go!

Today’s Stats:

Number of km: 21.0km 
Percent paved trail- 9.9km
Percent unpaved trail- 11.1km

Difficulty- Easy
Cities passed through: As Paredes, Goiriz
Albergue- Albergue Castelos, pillows, blankets full kitchen, common space, outdoor space, clothes lines, washer and dryer, hot showers, TV, and wifi

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