Continued from Exploring Betanzos.
This day’s hike was short but sweet, because I split this most challenging stage by staying in Presedo. As my tracked hike screenshot shows, it was 8.5 miles (14 km), but it was still a challenging and hilly hike with a 1565 ft. elevation gain.
The hike out of Betanzos was steep and went from cobblestone to asphalt to gravel, and eventually, dirt paths over rolling hills with farms.
Susan Jagannath’s Camino Inglés guidebook mentions that the path through this section of the Camino has been tamped down for many years by pilgrims’ footsteps, pressing the path to a level lower than the forest floor! This photo shows the depth of the path.
I remember feeling this was the ultimate way to ground into mother earth, as if I were plugging into one of her channels. And to be walking “six-feet under” made me feel really alive and invigorated! Not to mention that it was cooler than it would have been on the surface.
The higher elevations brought welcome clouds and moisture, and for the first time on this Camino, rain was in the forecast.
Nancy and I arrived at the municipal albergue, which is in the middle of farm country, around 2:30 p.m. The guidebooks said to just look for the sign on the door and call the hospitalero listed. We did that, and within fifteen minutes, Mary arrived to welcome us to Albergue de Peregrinos de Presedo.
Mary showed us the facilities; we picked out our beds, then put the disposable sheets on. There were only two other people checking in, so we had a good choice of beds. I suppose most pilgrims don’t split this stage.
I captured a video of the albergue the next morning, which you’ll see at the end of this post. I didn’t take any photos when I arrived because all I could think about was a good meal, and a cold beer! Fortunately there’s a restaurant 400 meters away.
Mesón-Museo, the only gig in town!
This place is not just a restaurant. It’s a museum showcasing colorful pilgrim art by Alfredo Erias Martinez.
We picked a table outside on their large patio.
Nancy made friends with the house cat. I’m more of a dog person, but this feisty kitty was adorable, and she knows how to get handouts!
There were options for the three-course meal, and I chose a salad, callos (hearty pork and bean stew) and flan.
They have a garden where they grow the vegetables they serve. The fresh tomatoes and lettuce on this salad was so delicious! Flan for dessert was really satisfying.
After dinner, we met our knight in shining armor!
Back at the albergue, I took a shower and rested. They had no Wi-Fi, so I ended up just relaxing, reading, and writing in my journal. A digital detox!
The Next Morning
I captured a video inside the albergue before heading out.
Here’s my Camino card reading for the day.
I like being the last to leave an albergue. This time, I had the responsibility to lock up and put the key in the mailbox.
On my way out of town, I met Nancy at the Mesón-Museo for our first breakfast.
They make a good café con leche and a delicious chocolate spice cake!
Our little friend was on Nancy’s chair when we returned to the table.
Check out the yellow arrows pointing to the Camino and the restaurant. Mesón-Museo is a true pilgrim’s nest!
Up next, Presedo to Bruma.