Day 31 Cacabelos – Trabadelo

What can I say about the municipal albergue in Cacabelos?? If you haven’t stayed there then it’s difficult to describe. The thought of having lots of little rooms each with only two beds sounds appealing however the reality leans toward a slightly ‘Alcatraz’ feel. Within an hour of being there I was planning on tunnelling my way out to freedom.

Anyway, after a night of being captive in Stalag Luft iii I hit the road around 7ish. There was no coffee on offer so fuelled only by water and a desire to escape the Luftwaffe search teams I hit the road and climbed speedily out of town.

It was around 2km to Pieros, a tiny place that again offered no coffee. By this point my brain and body were rapidly exchanging confused messages.

Body -“We appear to be awake and walking.. but without caffeine??”

Brain – “tell me about it.. I’m doing everything I can to stay alert and find a cafe”

Body- “be quick about it, another half hour without a stimulant and I’m calling it a day and finding a ditch to lie in”

So, with a less than positive internal dialogue I continued on until I got to Villafranca del Bierzo. I found a bar, placated mind body and soul with caffeine and then added a chocolate croissant just by way of an apology.

From Villafranca (where I caught up with Jess and Susan) we walked through Pereje and through a valley to Trabadelo.

Trabadelo is a very pleasant little place. Around 70 residents, a few bars and a sawmill that has deposited stacks of cut trees and lumber pretty much everywhere along the path as you walk into town.

I had decided to stay in an albergue in Trabadelo as I fancied a couple of short days. My guide book suggested a place called Casa Susi and I had rang ahead to reserve a bed. It turns out I had probably picked the best place around. The albergue is lovely, has a sunny garden to one side and a river at the bottom of the garden where you can dip your aching feet after a long day. (I can imagine pilgrims further down stream drinking from the clear mountain stream and remarking on the slightly odd taste).

So once more I was alone. Jess and Susan had worked out an itinerary that took them another 8km today with more long days to follow. It appears that our paths won’t cross again although you never know what’s around the next corner on the Camino. Randy is only a few km behind so hopefully I’ll get to meet up with him again in the near future, if nothing else just so I get to watch him tackle the huge hill looming a day or so ahead of me. It’s always a special moment that’s well worth experiencing.

It’s strange how relationships are formed on the Camino. A chance meeting with a stranger turns into a partnership that can last for hours, days or even weeks. It’s always sad when someone you’ve got to know and like has to take a different path, and leaving people behind (or Infront) is never much fun. I’m not saying I’m the most sociable or emotional chap on the Camino but there’s definitely some people that I’ve met that I hope to see again. On the plus side I guess there’s also new people that I’ve yet to meet. The one thing that your never short of on the camino is a friendly face.

Ah well, it’s mid afternoon, my freshly washed socks are drying in the sun (I’m so domesticated) and I’m considering a glass of wine and a siesta before the communal evening meal.

Buen Camino.


6 thoughts on “Day 31 Cacabelos – Trabadelo

  1. I’ve heard of that albergue. I’ve a feeling that my slight claustrophobia would get kicked into overdrive in one of those “cells.” Your commentary on the people you meet along the way jibes with my experience. It was always nice knowing there’d be familiar faces at the next albergue. Those friendships become so important. I’ve found it hard to explain to others who haven’t walked.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We stayed there – in theory, it would be fine. In practice, I was at nearly my most “stabby” of the 4 weeks on the journey. The boneheads next door had no concept of “respectful volume”, and my banging on the shared wall at 11pm had no effect.

    Agree that there’s a bittersweet aspect to the connections formed en route. We have made facebook/email contact with a few, but have embraced the transient nature of some of our connections…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like your pre-existing wisdom is coming through your current Camino experience. It is hard to say bye, but already your silver lining thread is kicking in, ready for the yet to come. Have a lovely evening, and till tomorrow…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh jeeze…. Stayed there in Cacabelos at the end of the season. To add to the weirdness, almost every restaurant was closed for holidays and we had to eat at a place that only sold microwaved dinners. It was really weird. However, there was a woman doing massage therapy at the albergue, and that was totally a legitimate consolation for *everything else*.

    Your post reminds me of the many times I said “good bye” to the same lads… fellas I thought I’d never see again. After the final day in Santiago I never did see or hear from the one again; the other, however, is sure to be a lifelong friend and we have even caught up on a transatlantic trip that he took with his wife.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Know what you mean about that albergue. My favourite rule from the list pasted on the cell wall was ‘Furniture may not be removed from the room’. Being an obedient soul I resisted the urge to put one of the beds in my backpack when I left the next morning.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Your observations of the friendships formed along the Way are spot on I think with most everyone who has walked! At times bittersweet and others jubilant

    I remember the albergue you speak of.
    Daughter and I were persuaded to stay there, we walked it to it and she said nope, we walked back to square and found another . Sounds like I am glad we did

    Liked by 1 person

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