1st October, 2019
- Day 24: Navia to Ribadeo
- Distance: 33km
- Weather: Overcast then a beautiful day
- Accommodation: Albergue de Peregrinos de Ribadeo, €6
The sky is on fire as the sun rises just as I leave Navia. I’m listening to a new audiobook, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (City of Girls was brilliant but sadly I finished it last night in bed). I’ve not heard of this new book but it was on sale and my phone was recommending it.
I stop in La Caridad for a second breakfast but can’t find a pastelería so I settle for a bar and a jamon baguette instead. I’m gripped by this new audiobook; it’s deeply troubling and sad yet a true story with glimmers of hope and love.
I take the coastal alternative again, via Tapia, the last day to be by the coast before the Camino turns inland in Ribadeo. I also stop on every bench I pass to give my full attention to the audiobook.
In Tapia I pass the albergue, it’s beside the sea in a stunning location. I’m compelled to keep walking but if I stop now, it’s early and hot enough that I could actually go for a swim… I continue on.
The book ends while I’m crossing the bridge over the Ría de Ribadeo, leaving Asturias for Ribadeo in Galicia. I stop half-way, tears streaming down my face. I didn’t want it to end. What a story.
I know there’s an albergue in Ribadeo, but it only has 12 beds and it’s after 5pm. I’m not worried, booking.com shows a heap of pensions available, but the Camino takes me near the albergue so I pop in, just in case there’s space. Incredibly, there’s one bed left and I can’t believe my luck. Sigrid is here too 🙂 She tells me quite a few couples had come by in the afternoon but as there was only one bed available, they kept going. Lucky me! She’s already been to the shops and is going to cook risotto for dinner and says there’s plenty if I want to join her… it feels like Christmas! With some time to spare, I walk to the old town to do some sightseeing and have a cheeky glass of Albariño, this region is where it comes from after all.
I arrive back at the albergue just as the hospitalero does to stamp everyone’s credential and collect the €6 payment. Sigrid serves up a hearty and flavoursome vegetable risotto and I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.