Thursday, July 16, 2015

San Juan de Villapanada - Bodenaya

Camino Primitivo / Camino Finisterre day 5.
Distance: 25.5km (106.0km), time spent: 10:21 (35:06).
Weather: Foggy and heavy in the morning, then sunny and blue sky (hot).

Yesterday, Domingo (the hospitalero at the place) recommended that we booked a bed in Bodenaya if we were planning of going there, so I put myself on the list over those wishing to book a place in advance (Bodenaya is a private albergue and it is possible to book in those). Still, I feel that this is a little bit against the spirit of the Camino. However, what is done is done and hence I could take it easy on the walk and enjoy it without being concerned for where I would spend the night. So, when most of the others started walking relatively early in the morning, I slept a little longer.

San Marcelo, the clouds are in retreat when I am on my way down from El Freisnu.

Only Valery and Marine are still at the albergue when I leave, outside there is even more of a depressive weather than it was yesterday morning, I cannot see Grado through the clouds that lies like a tight pillow in the valley below. The heavy layer of clouds lay brooding down in the valleys for some time, before it sank down into the ground and disappeared; leaving behind a scorching day in its wake. The route to Bodenaya is characterized by several ascents, when the Camino are entering the Cordilerra Cantabrica.

A pleasant walk between San Marcelo and Santa Eulalia de Dóriga.

I have to eat another breakfast at Cornellana, after having walked for about eight kilometres since San Juan de Villapanada. Where I was most excited about the walk down from El Freisnu (I went for a look at the cloister at the top but the door was locked as usual) where the clouds started to dissolve and the walk through San Marcelo and Santa Eulalia de Dóriga going on a path of a forgotten character. In Cornellana I see several of the pilgrims that were in the albergue, I did not have to walk so very far to catch up with them again.

Before Santa Eulalia de Dóriga, it was like walking into a forgotten place.

The old monastery, founded in 1024, in Cornellana is partly in ruins, but they are working to restore it to former glory. Inside the church, signboards are hanging explaining that you need to wear a helmet in some parts of the adjourning monastery. Light from the windows are reflected in the dust, from secluded corners one can hear coughing from pilgrims of old. After the monastery, you start the second climb of today, which leads to a long, but pleasant enough walk towards Salas.

The monastery in Cornellana, partly in ruins.

During the ascent, you pass a small industry area not yielding the nicest view of the day, but to compensate the factory has put a small resting place for pilgrims next to their office in a good Camino spirit. There, I find Xavi and Ruben together with Jeroen (Geronimo) from Holland. Jeroen was one of the pilgrims that had to be turned away from San Juan de Villapanada last night, but had a nice stay at Cabruñana instead.

Light in the darkness inside the monastery in Cornellana.

Just before Salas, Xavi, Ruben and I come across Vicente. He is lying tired next to a tree, empty for water in the heat (the clouds has now altogether disappeared). He carries a way too big and heavy backpack, and a way too small water bottle. We keep company to Salas, where we together with Pablo and Rocio sit down at Casa Pachon to eat. They explain to me which dishes I can select from for primero and secundo, but according to Xavi the food is heavy and more suitable in winter. Therefore, we retreats to another restaurant (Bar La Campa) further up to eat. Vicente is walking on, Marine and Valery arrives later (they stop for the day here in Salas).

View down towards Cornellana.

It is hot and we have been recommended a place where we can go bathing, but we overlook where we have to go to get there. So instead, we are walking in the forest on the steepest and longest climb of the day, from Salas and up towards Bodenaya. Neither at Cascada de Nonaya, a small waterfall around 250m off the route, is it possible to go swimming. Over us, the highway is crossing on huge bridges. We yet again find Vicente out of water, just after the worst part of the ascent; Ruben keeps company with him to Bodenaya.

Entering Salas, with Vicente, Xavi and Ruben.

We arrive at Bodenaya just about 18 o'clock, and it is a fantastic small albergue. It is private and donativo, which means that it is yourself that decides how much you want to pay for the stay. Axel, Elke, Jeroen, Fabrice, Elisabeth and Pol are already there, as well as the Austrian lady. David, the hospitalero, greets us welcome and tells us the rules at the place (you get a sort of new age-feeling of the place, here we are all a family and so forth, but it is never intrusive). We will be served a common dinner (three courses with wine), and afterwards we have to decide together at which time we wants to be awaken tomorrow (no own alarms allowed). In return, we will be waken up with calm music and come down to the scent of fresh coffee with the breakfast standing ready at the table. It sounds superbly. After we have taken a shower, we can throw the clothes we have been wearing in a basket, and then David will wash the clothes and we will find them dry and ready the next morning.

After Salas, the route passes over this old bridge. Below is the Cascade de Nonaya, a small waterfall.

Before dinner, David tells us a little about the coming days on the Camino. The dinner consists of a pasta salad as a starter, a lentil stew as the main course and I choose flan (caramel pudding) for desert. We decides upon being awakened at 6 o'clock tomorrow. During the dinner, we learn that it was not two choices of dishes for primero and two choices of dishes for secundo at Casa Pachon, but when you ordered you got all the four dishes. That is a lot of food.

Dinner in the albergue at Bodenaya.

Bodenaya is really just a small cluster of houses the route passes through. In the evening, we gather outside the albergue, where Xavi is entertaining us by playing guitar and singing (he is a musical teacher). It is a lovely evening, and a perfect end of a nice walk.

In the evening, Xavi plays guitar and sings outside the albergue (to the right) at Bodenaya.

<- San Juan de VillapanadaTineo ->

1 comment:

  1. I am so enjoying your posts. I've been searching for more complete knowledge of the Camino Primitivo. Thanks. I'll keep reading onward. ;)