Day 2, Pontedeume to Presedo, 34.3km

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  • Monday 20th October, 2014
  • Presedo: Municipal Albergue (ph: Maria Jose 608 616 533), €6

What’s with all the hills? I was up and down hills like a yo-yo today! … I thought this was going to be a walk in the park 😉 Today certainly wasn’t!

Before leaving Pontedeume I had breakfast in a cafe knowing that I wasn’t going to pass another cafe until Mino, 10km away. The climb up and out of Pontedeume was a cheeky shock to the system and I was hot and sweating within minutes! The path eventually plateaued then went down, and up, then down, then up, then down… And this continued all day long for 34km!

After 20km I arrived in Betanzos – after crossing the bridge and walking through the ancient arch. Most guidebooks recommend staying here the night because there is an albergue and plenty of other accommodation options, as well as sights to see and lots of bars and restaurants. I had decided not to stay as I was trying to break my 4 days up into roughly 30km each day, but the albergue in Presedo where I was headed had no bars or restaurants nearby so I needed to buy food here in Betanzos. I was following the arrows when I came across a supermarket and saw a man closing one of the supermarket doors. I ran towards him, saying “por favour” and he let me inside. It was 2pm, siesta time, so I was very lucky that he let me inside. It was the smallest supermarket I could have found, with a very limited selection of food and as I felt under pressure to get in and out, I quickly picked up some cheese and bread rolls and resigned myself to the fact that this would be tonight’s dinner.

I thanked the man for letting me in, paid up and made my way to the main square. I decided then and there that if I could find a restaurant doing meals (not just tapas) then I would try to eat my main meal of the day now. I found a great place and had a delicious salad, it wasn’t the cheapest place I’m sure, but it was exactly what I had wanted. I must admit I was feeling tired with all the hills and it would have been lovely to stay the night in Betanzos, but not this time… I called ahead the albergue in Presedo (ph: 608 616 533) to make sure it would be open and I stumbled through a conversation with Maria but ultimately the deal was that I would call when I arrived. (The phone number is in the CSJ guide, but there’s no mention of this albergue in the Cicerone guide).

I left the restaurant with 1.5l of water… Other than the occasional fuente, I wasn’t going to pass another bar and it’s hot enough that I’m drinking a lot more than usual trying to keep hydrated.

I hadn’t seen anyone else on the trail all day, then just as I was about 1km before Presedo, I passed 2 Spanish women and 1 Italian man. The four of us were headed to the same albergue. We arrived and the albergue was locked so one of the Spanish ladies rang the number on the door and the hospitalero Maria drove to come and unlock the door for us. I had been expecting a basic albergue, but actually it was nicer than expected. 3 showers, 2 toilets, 2 stovetops and a sink, a small selection of pots and plates, a dorm with bunks that each had their own duvet, an outdoor seating area and a place to wash and hang clothes, as well as heaps of electrical outlets in the dorm room. The only thing it was missing was a bar or restaurant nearby! But, there were 2 posters on the door from restaurants advertising that they could deliver dinner to the albergue.

I was exhausted so after showering and washing my clothes, I ate my cheese bread rolls then laid down. The other 3 ordered takeaway and said it was a lovely dinner.


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