Again we were afforded the rare luxury of breakfast at our hotel, so we had no worries about looking for coffee from the start. We were soon out of the town, for what it was, and walking in open countryside.
It is fairly steep uphill to start but we are promised a day of down hill today. Although it is mainly true, we still have a few uphill sections, but it is generally easy and pleasant walking through mainly woodland. We meet Robert the German again on the road and we pass and re pass all day.
After 6.5 k we arrive at Vilabade and apart from the church there is little here to see, certainly nowhere to get refreshments. Fortunately after another 2k we arrive at Castroverde and as well as the fountain there are some great places to eat and drink.
Again after this refreshments become rare. In Santa Maria de Gondar there is a fountain said to make anyone drinking from it fall in love. I gave that a miss.
It is another 13k to Lugo and after about 5k it gets horrible. There are detours and we often have to follow the road. We pass through Bascuas and it has another of those vending machine stations. We grab a kitkat and a stamp, have a rest and are joined again by Robert. He is another struggling with injuries, but will not take a day off. We probably will not see him after today so we decide to say goodbye next time we see him.
Then as we get nearer the roads themselves become the problem. We have to detour for the footbridge and we are led through an area of desolation. The remains of demolished buildings and factories scar the landscape and we are glad when we take an underpass and start to climb towards the city. It is good going however and we set up a fantastic pace, making the outskirts by three o’clock.
We cross many roads and climb quite steeply the streets of the outskirts. We spot a launderette and hope we stop not to far away and just up the street we find a bar that is open despite this being siesta time. We order two beers and tortilla. Now normally you would get a slice, but they brought us what must have been a six egg omelet, despite our exertions we struggled with it. We sit outside watching the street, but despite being on the Camino route, we see no further pilgrims and we never see Robert again. We wish him luck in absentia, and hope his injuries do not stop him.
It was only a short walk now into Lugo but we struggled to find anywhere to stay, although many places are listed they are well hidden. On the main street as we came out of the city walls and back towards the Camino we found Pension 511. It was a bit of a dump, the sort of place you would rent if you had just been thrown out of your home, but it had a kitchen, a small dining area and a large balcony.
We were long overdue for a rest day, I could not convince Viv that the 11k to Tineo counted as one, so we were staying here two nights.
We got all our clothes washed in the Launderette and we could air everything outside. Finally I got rid of the old dog smell without resorting to the cheap deodorant. The old Roman town of Lugo gave us a good day of exploring and we managed to grab some provisions for our onward travelling.
The rest day did us some good as well as a chance to get some decent food. Unfortunately the rest did not do my joints any good. Standing in a shop, not carrying any weight my knee suddenly gave out. I was unable to stand and started to wonder if we would manage to finish.
I had not brought my knee supports with me and to add to our woes, I discovered I no longer had my sleeping bag either. So I would struggle to walk and could not take refuge in any alburgues. At least I had the high strength ibuprofen that I bought on the last Camino. This would be the one thing that saved us.
I limped around for the rest of the day, beer and ibuprofen, the only cure. At least we managed to replace the water bottle we lost, that’s two now and we can ill afford to be without them.