We walked back through the town centre. I was dosed up with ibuprofen and already relying on my sticks. The nights rest had done little to ease the pain in my knees. In the main street however we stopped for some breakfast and while we ate a girl kept coming around with cake. It appears to be the main sales pitch here, although they must realize we will not be buying a cake to take with us they are happy to keep giving us samples.
As we leave we latched on to the back of yet another group of Germans. Foolishly I followed and we took a protracted route that took us back to the street we should have been on from the start. There was a couple who had a cart to pull with their luggage on and another older guy who seemed to be just hanging on.
We crossed a bridge and then followed the river for a while. They kept telling us of an alternative route that was in their guide book, but it was not in ours. When the Camino turned sharply uphill, they did their best to convince us to follow. Our route may have more hills, but it also has waymarks and it is in our guidebook. We did not relish the thought of loosing these Germans on a route we did not know,so we left them there.
There is much diverting here, most of the paths the book says to ignore as they are unnecessary diversions. Because of this when we got to San Roman da Retorta, we had travelled 18 without a break, we ignored the next diversion as well.
A few k down the road we stopped for something to eat, we stopped and sat at the base of a cross, fortunately we had food with us. I checked the book and the GPS, should’ve gone the other way. This route was higher and 2.5k longer. We were not lost, just on a different road, again.
After this there was a lot of open country, hills and bogs. The knee pain was draining me and the complete lack of any sort of refreshment was telling on us. Time and again what looked like a settlement turned out to be nothing worth writing home about.
With 27k clocked up we had all but given up, we crested a hill and headed towards a house. There were tables and a brolly outside, then deep joy a sign on the gate. I was stopping here for a beer, no argument.
A tall guy was standing inside, he spoke to me in Spanish, then perfect English. I took him (wrongly) to be the owner. Turns out he was Mexican and also on the Camino. This was, in fact, a Casa Rural. We could stay here as well as eat and drink. There was a washing line for our clothes, Wifi, beer, food and a bed, what more could we ask.
Spent a pleasant afternoon in the sun, drinking beer and talking to the Mexicans. Then we had a lovely meal, home cooked in the house, with wine, of course.