Day 2, San Juan de Villapanada to Bodenaya, 27.7km

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  • Thursday 2nd October, 2014
  • Bodenaya Albergue, Donativo

I slept well in the albergue and woke just before 7am, surprised that everyone was still asleep and that I hadn’t been woken at 5am with headlamps pointing in my face and the noise of people packing bags. No-one started to get up until almost 7:30am… What a sleep-in!

I needed to “repair” my feet after yesterday’s blister that appeared on my right foot and then I sat and ate a boiled egg for brekkie before leaving the albergue at 8:30am with Neil.

It was a very misty morning in the hills and not long after leaving the albergue we came across a dead snake on the road, it was only about 45cm long but we asked someone what it was and they said it was a “viveros European” and that it is a venomous snake… Well that certainly wouldn’t be the first I’ve seen on my walks! … Just call me a snake charmer! 😉

We passed lots more horreos built 3-4m above ground (grain and crops storehouses to keep out vermin). We also passed lots of apple orchards (still in cider country) and had quite a few hills to go up and down. The views were lovely. Over the 27km there was very limited road walking and it was refreshing to always be on a track beside a river or through forest.

We stopped for lunch in Salas where a lot of other people from last night were staying. There was a film crew and 2 “fake pilgrims,” (so the locals told us, but what they really meant was they were actors) opposite where we were eating lunch and we watched the 2 pilgrims walk a 20m stretch 3-4 times. They were all rugged up in long pants and fleeces whereas Neil and I were in shorts and t-shirts and dripping with sweat! The weather is incredibly humid and much warmer than I was expecting, I think today was 24 but it seems hotter because of the humidity.

The Cicerone guidebook that I’m using had today’s stage down as 24.5km but my garmin gps recorded 27.7km and in my new shoes it felt like 50! … Update on my new shoes: I hope to replace them with Salomons in Lugo in a few days time! … My heels and the bottom of both feet are hurting like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I changed the insoles today to the original Merrell ones but no better… Serves me right for not testing them before now!

We arrived at the albergue around 3:45pm and were welcomed by Alex (Alejandro), the owner of the Bodenaya Albergue. He explained to us that the communal dinner would be at 8pm and during dinner everyone would decide together what time to wake up in the morning. He said he would wake us with music and then breakfast would be served 15 minutes later. It’s a donativo albergue and it is one of the nicest I’ve ever stayed in. He even had a basket for everyone to drop their dirty clothes in and told us they would be washed and dried and ready before bed at 10pm.

There are 20 people here in the albergue and it feels like a full house, I’m not sure how many beds there are but it doesn’t look like there are any spare. It’s very comfortable and dinner was a delicious lentil soup and pasta salad with creme caramel for dessert and red wine… All cooked by Alex. Tonight I met people from Greece, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland.

It was another perfect day on the camino!




4 responses to “Day 2, San Juan de Villapanada to Bodenaya, 27.7km

  1. Kat — your pictures are wonderful We will be following in your footsteps in June 2015! Thanks for sharing this wonderful narrative. I hope you get the shoe situation sorted out! Tia on the forum suggested Tineo as a possible place for shoes before Lugo. Thought I would mention it here in case you don’t have time to check the forum. Ultreia! Liz — (from the Camino Forum)


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