Breakfast was served at 7:30am and Herminia served us large delicious coffees, followed by fresh baked bread with homemade apple marmalade, cake and donuts. We ordered sandwiches to go as we were going to take the Hospitales (high) option and had read that there was nowhere to get food or drink for 20km.
We set off at 8:30am towards hills covered in mist in front of us and a gorgeous pink sky behind us. After a few km we reached Borres and the reviews I had read of the Albergue were confirmed; people who stayed there last night described it as basic, dirty and only cold water. There was a quaint bar in a stone building in the very small village and the owner very kindly filled up my 2 litre bottle with water. I hadn’t realised there was also a fountain just as you leave the village.
We came to the split in the camino where you could take the lower option or the higher (Hospitales) option and as soon as we took the higher route we started going up and up and up. My Cicerone guidebook states, “While this is one of the most demanding walks on any camino, made more so by the lack of resources, it is strikingly beautiful with expansive mountain vistas unfolding in all directions.”
There were quite a few horses on the trail, and some were wearing bells so I guess they weren’t wild. The views looking back were spectacular and I kept thanking Santiago / Jacob for allowing us to see the surrounding hills and mountains as opposed to raining and being cloudy.
We climbed up to 1230m and had 360 degree views of mountains. The wind picked up and the temperature dropped but every time I thought I should take my pack off and dig out a jacket, the sun came out and it was quite warm.
The path alternated from a nice 4WD country track to an ankle twisting shale track and it was hard to go fast on the latter as you were constantly trying to find the best place to put each foot so as not to twist or strain anything. We saw the ruins of the 3 former pilgrim hospitals and it did make me wonder why the original camino path from 1000 years ago crossed the top of these mountains rather than taking a lower route??
At 1:30pm we arrived in Montefurado and after more than 20km since setting off, it was time to take off my pack and lie down on the nice soft grass next to the tiny chapel. We turned it into a lunch break and started to eat the enormous bocadillos that we’d bought from our albergue in the morning. We ate, took off our shoes, wiggled our toes, and I stretched my back before the clouds suddenly turned grey and the wind picked up again. Seconds after we packed up and started to leave it began to lightly rain. The rain got heavier and it was time to put on my wet weather gear and cover my pack, the first time so far on this camino.
Day 4, Campiello to Berducedo
We walked downhill and in the rain for about an hour before reaching a tiny village called Lago that had a bar and served a delicious hot chocolate to warm me up again. It was just another 4km from here to Berducedo where there are 2 albergues. The municipal albergue was full so I headed over to the private albergue and was very fortunate to get a bed in a 5 bed room, separated from the dorm bunk bed area. My roomies for the night are Rik and Rens from Holland and Janine and Keith from America.