Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 Camino Caracoles - el Ferrol to Neda

We met in the cafeteria at 8am after leaving our luggage and paying for the accommodation. We were all sending extra baggage ahead and I had booked Jacotrans to transfer 5 bags each day.  Finn and I were supposed to share the pink suitcase, Marlene would have the khaki kit bag, Gail her suitcase, Bob a duffle bag and Penny a suitcase. They quoted me €5 per bag per day.
When Finn and I packed the pink bag (which Kathy and I had shared and was now half empty) Finn found that he couldn't get all his stuff into it. We decided that we should buy another bag for him but he would share the khaki bag with Marlene for one day.  I emailed Jacotrans to let them know that we would have an extra bag from Thursday and that I would put another €40 in an envelope for them. They replied that they wouldn't charge us extra for the 6th bag. So, we got one bag for free!
At breakfast I read some of the first day's stage from Johnnie Walker's notes. I asked each one why the were Caracoles. Penny - because she was very slow: Bob because he will be 90 years old in 3 month's time: Finn because he has peripheral neuropathy,  Gail because she has 'funny' feet, Marlene because of her childhood polio and me because I'm walking with my broken arm in a cast. What an odd group we are!
We were all a little nervous starting out and we took a photo of the first Camino sign we saw. Johnnie's signs and route descriptions were easy to follow. When we had gone about 5 km we stopped at a cafeteria for a drink and Mercedes, the waitress, was so delighted to see us she brought us free Madelena cake and little chocolates. Our first Camino angel.
There was a Chinese Bazaar across the road so Gail, Marlene and I went to look for a bag. Marlene ended up buying a new suitcase on wheels which she and Gail carried between them for a while. Then Gail took over caring for Penny by carring her pack and Finn carried the suitcase.
It took us almost 7 hours to walk to Neda and by the time we got there - about 11km - we were all hot, tired and ready to stop.
For about 2km you can see where you have come from and wish you had a boat to save you all that mileage!
The Hostal Maragoto is run by a friendly mother and daughter and the rooms are comfortable but ours was 51 steps up! After checking in and lugging the cases upstairs,  I went down to ask for the wifi password.  Back up again we did some washing then went down to ask about dinner. Back up again and so it went on. Straight after dinner I was prone on the bed!

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