Camino Day 25: Vilalba to Baamonde

Today was supposed to be a good bit longer of a walk, but it was as Mikey’s first day back in shoes. Let’s just say, it didn’t go quite as expected.


        We left a little before 8am this morning. Above are the picnic tables where Mikey enjoyed local wine and cheese last night while FaceTime-ing with his parents.


Today was a mostly flat walk, so it was a good chance to try out the new foot wrap inside the hiking shoes. It seems to have held well, but Mikey was a little overzealous in his foot wrapping and severely limited the movement of his ankle.


We limped along through the forest and really noticed how green everything is in Galicia. I mean, it’s already July, but there was almost a cool mist in the air at 10am. (Mikey also read that SoCal is having a record heat wave right now, so he’s happy to be in Galicia!)


This was just a cool barn that we saw along the way. Just after it, Mikey pulled out his knife and started cutting off some of the foot wraps to liberate his ankle. The athletic tape was a good call – he just needs to take it easy around the joints.


Another rad casa.


OK, so we saw these rock walls everywhere today. There had been a few in the last couple of days, but it seemed like everyone had them along the walk today.


On this close-up shot you can see how the slate pieces are fitted together. This type of thin, sedimentary rock is common in Galicia, so it is naturally a great material from which one can construct a low fence. Kudos for using what you’ve got!


We reached Baamonde just after noon. The problem was that Mikey wasn’t ready to hike a 40km day yet. The bandages helped, but he really felt every step of the 24km he walked today.


So, we made a decision to spend the night here and walk less in the coming few days. It truly is an odd feeling to slow the pace so close to the finish line. Still, at the risk of further injury, perhaps a cautious approach is warranted.


Baamonde hosts a medieval church that, in height, towers over an adjacent tree. However, the tree by far dwarfs this house of worship in importance and admiration due to an interesting bit of local lore.


The story goes that, in 1971, the 700 year old tree was ordered to be cut down as its interior was all but hollowed out.


In defiance of the town council, local sculptor, Victor Corral Castro carved into the ancient tree’s base the smallest catholic chapel in the world and had it consecrated by a priest. Yeah, Spain in the 70’s wouldn’t even think of touching that!


Inside the hollowed tree is his original Saint Mary and Jesus carving. It’s not that big, but  it served its purpose in protecting a tree most likely planted when the church was under construction.


Other carvings are present on the outer part of the tree, but a fence has now been erected to prevent further additions.


Having our fill of history, we headed off to the truck stop for dinner!


Stop your judging – truck stops in Spain are actually known for inexpensive, but tasty and filling meals. A hefty T-bone steak, fries, salad, bread, a bottle of wine, and (not pictured) latte at the end came to 14€. Hey, when’s the last time you got a t-bone, salad, fries, bottle of wine, and coffee for $16?!


Well, that’s where we were. Mikey had just walked back to the albergue and was writing up this post as the last few pilgrims were heading to bed. If only we had all noticed that small sign outside of a closed bar earlier this afternoon:


    For the “inauguration” or opening night at Baamonde’s latest bar, we were treated to an 11:15pm start of live music by a local trio on a stage directly across from said new bar. This would be ok if this new bar was not located next to Mikey’s albergue.


Well, we almost searched for that pair of earplugs Mikey always carries, but never uses. On second thought – if you can’t beat them – join in! ¡Felicidades desde Baamonde!

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