Stage 5: Berducedo – Grandas de Salime


m. cumulative ascension


Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.
Chieff Seattle

The protagonist of the night in Berducedo has not been any snorer, luckily, but an Australian of curious look

I had seen him for the first time just arriving in Berducedo. He was shirtless and counter-direction. And I wasn’t the only one who found it on that stretch, regardless of the time.

The thing is that José Antonio, a painter from Santander, went to the hostel to look for I do not remember what inside the backpack of I do not remember who. This one who I do not remember slept in the bunk next to the Australian, and José Antonio looked for what I do not remember in the backpack that he did not do, that of the Australian.

With the bad luck that the Australian entered while he was looking for what I do not remember in the backpack that he did not do, and that neither José Antonio spoke English nor the Australian spoke Spanish. I am convinced that the Australian, today, still believes that he is missing something in his backpack.

It was also the first time (and only, during the Camino Primitivo as such) that we encountered an Oriental person. She was a girl and she was travelling alone. I asked him the name, but if for western names I’m bad, for eastern ones you can imagine. The only thing I remember about her name is that she would have passed perfectly as the author of The Art of War.

Salida de sol en Berducedo

Recovering sensations

The day has started cold. And painful. The 4 kilometres to La Mesa have been a fucking ordeal. I just needed to change my backpack for a cross. Each step seemed to be the last, the one I would take before getting into the taxi, with an Australian inside or not. But past the town, I have risen. The climb that takes you from 900 to 1100 meters in a kilometre and a half has helped me to start to run up. And I’ve gone really fast until the end.

Don’t ask me why. Although it is true that, with a rise, the posture adopted by the body makes the steps less painful, today’s stage has been, above all, downhill. And on the road. The road, once it reaches 1100 meters, goes down. For a few kilometres on asphalt, then, entering a stunning and cloudy forest, where I have even gone down running for a while.

They are 8 kilometres of uninterrupted descent until we stay at 300 meters of altitude, in a reservoir. There, I’ve met people again. First, a couple of unknown girls; then, climbing again, Leonie and Agata, and after them, I have overtaken all the ones I have seen in front of me.

Bosque hacia Grandas de Salime

Spending the day in Grandas de Salime

So, I arrived very soon at Grandas de Salime, a little before one o’clock. I took the opportunity to put a washing machine, go for a drink with the pilgrims who were arriving, greet, barefoot, the group of Sandra and Álvaro while they ate and the waiter told me to fit or to leave, and to sit, outside a bar, sunbathing, with my feet uncovered.

The day ended with a community dinner of those of us who started in San Juan de Villapañada. Do you want me to tell you the truth? I was really looking forward to it! There weren’t many of us, only 6 of us, but it’s been nice to sit around a table with them again. There was also a Lithuanian, who has acted as a cook on a very uninspired night to cook, seen the result. So, I’ve offered myself to cook at the next dinner where we meet again.

Taking advantage of the fact that we were little, I offered the bottle of virgin olive oil that I have been carrying from the first day, so that the salad fit them better. Astrid and her father have loved it. They are Danish, they make their way together, and the preferred color of the two is green.

Astrid y su padre

And tomorrow, Galicia and octopus

Dinner has been arranged on desserts, with a very generous piece of chocolate ice cream and cream. And after a brief chat and leaving the kitchen clean and tidy, we pulled towards the bunk beds. Tomorrow we have 25 kilometres more and start eating octopus: we enter Galicia. And we got to the middle of the Camino. Having as I have my feet, it will touch to be strong, although we must walk two hundred kilometres, and we have to walk them with a smile.

The Track


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