11 October, 2018 – DAY 2 – Pontedeume to Betanzos. ♥ 23 Kilometers
After our very long 45 kilometer DAY 1, we collapsed into bed and slept like babies! The Hotel Montebreamo treated us like royalty. Not only did they come and rescue us by car last night after we stupidly took a wrong turn (and wandered off in the dark an extra 5K) they gave us a larger room than we paid for, and they fussed over us so sweetly. In the morning, we received a fantastic breakfast cake made by hand by their daughter. If ever you walk the Inglés, this is THE PLACE to stay!!
Today was a beautiful day! It rained the night before, and everything was fresh and clean. The air was intoxicating. We had a lot of ups and downs, through forest and glen…and we loved it. So many trees! So many small paths! So much glorious nature! We took our time and simply enjoyed each step. Be sure to watch the attached video below to experience it!
If you walk the Inglés, be sure to stop a while and visit the medieval church before your decent into Betanzos. There is a powerful spirit of history, emotion and faith on this site. I longed to go inside, but alas, just as all of the churches and cathedrals we’ve passed so far, the door was locked, and all was quiet.
A large cemetery just before the final decent into Betanzos was another AMAZING find!! The ancient and modern mausoleums, intricate statues, and burial memorials provide a powerful feeling of gratitude for the gift of life. It’s a reminder that life is short and we can’t put our dreams on hold. I wonder about these souls who have lived and passed – who were they? What were their hopes and dreams? Who had they loved? What were their sorrows and joys? I ponder the brevity of life, and our interconnection to heaven. This cemetery also offers a stunning view of the city of Betanzos from the lower level.
One of my little hopes has been to get inside an old church or cathedral along the way and sing something. Alas, all of the churches have been closed and locked up tight so far. The cathedral on the hill next to this large cemetery was beautiful and I was thrilled to find the door open! However, a very large sign with a “no cell phone” image, and two people praying inside meant ix-nay on the singing idea! I’ll have to keep hoping…
Camino Miracles & Blessings Today (so many)!
- FINDING OUR ANGEL: Yesterday during a particularly long climb, I leaned against a road barrier to stretch my aching calf muscles. While I was stretching and catching my breath, a car passing by. A few minutes later the same car came back! A woman asked in Spanish if I was Okay. I reassurd her that I was, and she smiled and waved, then turned around and went down the road again. What a tremendous act of kindness!! TODAY when we passed through the town of Miño there was a sign pointing to an office of Tourism where we knew we could get a sello [stamp] for our credentials [pilgrim passport]. When we entered the office, a woman grinned and said “Oh! There you are!” and we said “Oh, WOW! There YOU are!” – It was the same woman who came back to check on me yesterday! What a blessing to get to thank her for her kindness. Jeff told her she was our “Camino Angel”. 🙂 [and can you believe it – in all our excitement we never got her name!!]
- CAMINO FAMILY: Meeting our new friends Azra and Gita from Jerusalem in Miño– and then meeting them again, and again during the day in random places.
- ABOVE AND BEYOND: Once we reached Betanzos we didn’t know how to find our hotel. We stopped at a little grocery and asked for directions. The woman behind the register definitely knew where it was, but she couldn’t speak Engilsh, and she didn’t know how to tell us. She started to draw us a map. The woman behind the butcher counter shouted something and counter girl took off her apron, motioned to us to follow her, and led us out the door and across the street to a clothing store. I assumed that someone in there spoke English and she would have them tell us where to go. However, after a lively exchange in Spanish, a tiny older woman removed her apron, and beckoned for us to follow. She led us all the way down a hill, up another street, down another street and then pointed that we were to go around the Correos office and our hotel was there. She cheerfully shook our hands and said “Buen Camino! Buen Camino!” and off she went climbing back up those two steep hills to her clothing store. WOW! She WALKED us there in person?? Really? What an incredible act of service! I feel so badly that I didn’t even get her name, or take a photo with her. However, here is a photo of the amazing Supermarket that cared enough to go the extra mile.
- BEGONIA: Such a remarkable woman! Begonia runs the night desk at Hotel Garelos. We had such a lovely conversation with her. She told us that tomorrow will be a very hard day, but to remember that “the Camino is in the mind“… and we should remember this when the going get’s rough. We highly recommend the Hotel Garelos– can’t say enough good (and today’s video features a little tour of our room). In the states this would be a $250+ room. Here, it was only $75 USD – plus it included a full hot breakfast. The location is very quiet, yet it is only one block walk from the main square and the Camino route.
Hope you enjoy the video.
¡Buen Camino! – Holly