Camino de Santiago (Inglés) Day 3 Walk: 24.1km (15 miles) from Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma
This morning I had to be sure to get an early start, because the albergue in the next stop, Hospital de Bruma only had 22 beds. 22! That’s much fewer than the 35 beds in this night’s albergue, and not only that, if you don’t get a bed in the albergue, you’ll have to call around to a private lodge nearby and have them pick you up in a car - there’s just nothing else nearby.
So, bright and early, I got up, ate an apple and green plum I bought yesterday, and set off around 6:20am.
Still completely dark out, Betanzos was well lit.
But again, once out of town, there was not a single streetlight - just the moon and my headlight (which I’d come to realize was really not up to snuff - in the picture below it just illuminated a tiny patch of tree directly in front).
I’d also come to realize that I enjoyed these early morning walks most of all. The thrill of walking in pitch darkness gave way to the morning light coming gently, little by little. And all in perfectly still tranquility.
It was quite remarkable how few people one comes across, walking through Galicia.
Today’s walk involved a lot of roadside walking.
Few cars in this first stretch meant that it wasn’t too stressful with traffic zooming by.
So I could still admire the mist lifting off of the fields.
I also liked seeing the vegetation along the road. Here were some tiny apples.
And here, a kiwi tree. I never knew kiwi fruit grew like this!
And here was a plantation of eucalyptus trees. Very orderly.
One negative aspect about having just simply no one about, was that there were no establishments where I could get my stamp! I knew I would get one at the albergue, but I also needed to get a second stamp for the day.
Getting desperate towards the end, I stopped into the first cafetería I came across, despite not really needing a coffee and despite not really wanting stamps from cafeterías or restaurants, since I’d learned that they were often rather dull stamps, like the stamp that they use for invoices. This establishment was no different, and they must get so many pilgrims desperate for a stamp that they set up a table for a self-serve stamp. The stamp wasn’t pretty, and the service wasn’t that friendly, but oh well, it did the trick.
This last stretch of the way to get to Hospital de Bruma wasn’t very pleasant. Not only were we walking on the road with no shoulder, the scenery was of electricity stations, there was also substantial traffic, much of it big rigs.
You certainly get the sense that you’re not in the wilderness here.
In the end, you do end up taking a path away from the big road, through kind of a tunnel of trees.
The grain storages and houses indicate that we’re back to civilization…
…but would I be one of the lucky 22 to get a bed in the albergue?