A rainy day in Villafranca

Day 26

I hit the road this morning about 8:15 after breakfast at the hotel.  Nice breakfast, standard European breakfast.  Some protein, some carbs, juice and tea.

It had been raining about 7:30 but had stopped by 8.  The forecast called for more rain, so I put the pack cover on and got my poncho out before I left.  Good thing – I was maybe a kilometer down the road when the rain started again.  And it was a steady, soaking rain (badly needed for the crops).  It lasted about 2.5 hours then turned to drizzle for the last half hour.  A quick stop in Trabadelo for a bottle of water and some pastry (and warming up/drying out a bit).  By the time I got to La Portela de Valcarce it was time for lunch and I could see wisps of blue in the clouds.  

We’ve been quite lucky so far with little rain and it’s badly needed here, so no complaints.

They were calling for thunderstorms and more rain after 2 PM.  I wanted to beat the rain, which never materialized (forecasts here are every bit as bad as in the US), and was in the inn by 2.

Much of today’s stage was along a roadway, though the A6 autoway provided a couple of overpasses creating a shelter where we could take a break out of the rain.  There was a nice river roaring along the side of the trail for about half the walk  today, which was a nice sound both with and without the rain.

The poncho did its job, though I think I’ve noted before that it’s not well ventilated so water from perspiration builds up on the inside making one’s clothes damp and clammy.  Still it’s better than getting drenched with rain.  The only thing that gets really wet are the shoes and socks – and wet socks often lead to blisters (fortunately, I only count one new blister today).  

All of the clothes I have with me – except the merino wool socks – are moisture wicking and quick dry.  So generally there’s not a problem getting wet or washing the clothes at the hotel.  Socks are a different matter. I’ve got 3 pair and I wear one pair pretty much only in the evening because they are not as comfortable for walking.  The shoes themselves dry reasonably well, but being out in the sun will make that faster.  And if worse comes to worse, I can change clothes and stuff the wet ones into a wet bag (sometimes called a dry bag) in my pack (which keeps everything else dry).  No problem today, it was a short day and things will dry if we don’t get a storm.

Tonight is in Herrerias and this is cow country.  The clanging of the cowbells in the valley almost remind one of Switzerland with the mountains and green foliage.  And it is again a night spent before a big climb the next day… and again my Nashville friends agree.

The inn is very nice.  The room is rustic but clean with modern bath and accessories.  Why can’t local hotels and inns in the US be as nice as the ones I encounter here?  I think we all know the answer to that, sadly.  Dinner at 7 with my friends dorm Nashville and someone from France that they met.  Good to see them and exchange stories of others we’ve met along the way.  

Tomorrow is a long day.  Wish I had a bathtub here, but a warm shower was an acceptable substitute.  

Not many pictures today, and I’m working on uploading the ones from the past few days.  The photo site address is in one of the earlier posts.