Day 7: Berducedo to Grandas de Salime

20.7 km / 12.9 miles

So I’ll start by saying that every time I see the name for the town I’m staying in tonight, I can’t help but want to call it Grand Salami. Seattle Mariners fans will likely get my reference here. The original announcer for the Mariners, former Seattle icon Dave Niehaus, used to use the line “Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time!” when a grand slam home run was hit by a Mariners player.

Luckily no peregrinos decided to correct me when I said I’d be walking to “Grand Salami” today. I even told a few of them the reference as to why why I call it that.

I started out in the nearly dark today. It was such a peaceful morning and I had gotten a good night’s sleep so I couldn’t not get going early. I knew today would be another short day, but still with some hills. I also knew today might be another beautiful day on The Way scenery wise.

Today there were less cows and more people. Today was also the first day that really felt like I was on the Camino I know and love. I come do these walks for the walk, for the beauty of Spain or Portugal (depending on the route), but a big part of it is also for the people. The locals are great, but the people I meet walking the Camino can really make the full experience worth remembering for a lifetime.

Today was a short climb up to a beautiful viewpoint, descent into a small village, then another climb and descent to a dam and reservoir. The views today were stunning. I only wish the weather had held out to provide clearer views of the reservoir. After one final break, we climbed again to Grandas de Salime.

The cutest perro I’ve seen in Spain so far. Don’t tell the other perros I said that..
First geocache of this Camino! I told a couple pilgrim friends that I wanted to find this cache as we entered town and they joined me.

While I don’t have a Camino family (yet), I’m starting to get my regular Camino friends/acquaintances that I see nearly daily. They’re from Spain, France, Belgium, the US, Slovakia, Czechia, Brazil, Australia, etc. Before I came here, I saw a post on a Camino Facebook group about someone who said they were shy and said they were afraid they wouldn’t meet people. I, along with many others in the group, assured them that they would meet people and that everyone else would be in the same boat. Like staying in hostels when I traveled around New Zealand and Australia, people want and hope to meet others. They want to connect and find new friends on adventures like these.

Today I walked with my friends from the US and Belgium. Then when seeking out lunch, I ended up at a restaurant with those two along with two guys from Spain. I had probably the best meal of my Camino so far, and despite knowing the least amount of Spanish of the table, I had a fantastic time with the group. Somehow you make the communication work. Today was a needed day of this Camino. It’s been harder to find the groove, both physically and socially on this walk than my three others. But the pieces are connecting for that groove.

The best lentil soup I’ve ever had!
The beef was tender post roast. So good! Three course meal with endless lentil soup and a dessert including wine and beer – 12 euros. That’s a typical pilgrim’s meal.

So one thing I didn’t want to have to do, but am finding I have to do is make reservations for future nights. Normally on the Camino you want to walk until you decide you’re done for the day and then ask at an albergue for a bed. Perhaps the post Covid crowd, and maybe also the crowd of folks that have learned about the Camino are all converging at once. That along with the fact that some albergues have closed all together, means there just aren’t enough beds in each of the small villages to cover the demand. I talked to people that were walking to this town and then taking a taxi to a town nearby to stay for the night. And that’s definitely something I don’t want to have to do. So I’ve gone ahead and booked for the next three stays, which includes a rest day (so two nights accommodation) in Lugo.

While it’s not what I want to do, I feel good having the stress off of worrying about finding a bed. My own example was spending about an hour last night emailing and calling albergues, hostels and even hotels until I found a bed for tonight. I’m staying a bar/hostel…and I have to say, I’m slightly creeped out by the room I ended up with, but it’s the last one they had. Turns out, it is the bartender’s house part of the hostel that he sometimes rents out an extra room in for overflow pilgrims. It’s extremely cold in the room, the bed is very old and creaky and the floor definitely isn’t that clean.

I’m not sure what all is going on with the walls and ceiling of my room for tonight. I also don’t have an option to do laundry here so I’ll be in desperate need of doing laundry at tomorrow night’s albergue. Being able to go with the flow is definitely needed sometimes on the Camino.

3 thoughts on “Day 7: Berducedo to Grandas de Salime

  1. At least it’s a single room??? I guess that’s the flip side of the positive development of running into more people now on the trail – more people competing for rooms. That food looks amazing, though! I’m glad you were able to find a cache 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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