Camino ~ Portomarin to Palas de Rei

Portomarin church square
Portomarin church square

Day 10 … Tuesday, 11 August 2015

After yesterday’s lag, I got up at 5.15am and started walking at dawn in the dark and cold. But many pilgrims were already ahead of me, some were even having breakfast. How did they get ready so early!

Without a torchlight, I was hoping the moonlight would help but since I started the Camino, the moon has gone from bright gibbous to a saffron crescent.

Then came an “angel” of the morning on a motorcycle shining his light on the pilgrim path and guiding us till the first light.

Entering the woods before sunrise
The Proteccion Civil patrols the Camino route to keep pilgrims safe and lend assistance in the event of emergency

Trying to make up for lost distance, I walked non-stop till noon except for a short visit to a small church for a prayer and stopping by some farms to admire the animals.

Mother and new born on the first day in the field

Most of the way was very pleasant walking because of the beautiful tree-lined paths and cool fresh air. I could walk all day in this kind of terrain.


Stopped for lunch and met my Hungarian friend again. We ended up walking together for the rest of the day exchanging histories of our countries. Arrived to Palas de Rei after 4pm to full houses everywhere, decided to skip the town and try our luck in the next village. Thirty minutes later at nondescript highway bar & restaurant, we got the last two beds for the night in the smallest room ever.


After yesterday, you would expect me to be more prudent. I should plan your route and book my accommodation in advance, especially when there are hundreds of ‘100km’ pilgrims sharing the same path. But somehow being structured and systematic just feels out of place in the Camino.

Life is more interesting when every day brings an element of adventure and you can be surprised by the unexpected.

This is one of the things I learn from the Camino – take your chances and make each day special.

Carpe diem – whatever that means to you.

Joan Yap


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