Camino de Santiago: Day 27, Palas de Rei, Spain

Camino de Santiago: Day 26, Vilacha, Spain

Distance from Vilacha to Palas de Rei, Spain 27.9 kilometers

It rained all night while we were in Vilacha, but we woke up to a somewhat cooler and sunny day and started marching. It was another of those great days filled with beautiful scenery, quaint villages and almost abandoned little hamlets.  It was also a day we started to see more and more people.

The Bridge into Portomarin

The Bridge into Portomarin

Almost thirty percent of the people walking the Camino de Santiago begin their pilgrimage at the 110 kilometre mark in Sarria. Almost exactly shortest distance you can walk and still qualify for a “Compostela”, which carries great prestige in Spain. Apparently a Compostela looks great on a résumé. There are even tour companies that specialise in dropping its clients off at EXACTLY the minimum 100 kilometre mark, picking them up in a luxury coach about 20 kilometres later, driving them to a five star hotel to spend the night, then driving them back to the same point to begin another 20 kilometres. I know, “everyone walks their own camino” and “the camino gives you what you put into it”, but it is hard not to find this practice of doing the exact minimum to get your compostela pretty deceiving and distasteful.

Landscape Near Monterroso

Landscape Near Monterroso

We planned to make it a short day and stop walking about 1 PM, but at Ligonde every place was full. Airexe, “completo”. Portos, “no mas”. After being turned away in Lestedo, we decided to walk to the next biggish town Palas de Rei and look there, but when we were about halfway there we met a man handing out cards for a new albergue in town. He said he would give us a new double room for the price of two bunks in the albergue and we snapped it up. The room was pretty basic, but we were the first people to sleep on the beds, the shower had plenty of hot water and for €20 euros there was nothing to complain about.

Palas de Rei Isn't the Prettiest Town, but it had What We Needed

Palas de Rei Isn’t the Prettiest Town, but it had What We Needed

Palas de Rei was a pretty basic town. The architecture looked 1970’s minimalist, but we found dinner in a nice restaurant, shared a bottle of Rioja wine, talked with other pilgrims, some new, some from early on in the walk and enjoyed ourselves. It wasn’t what we expected, but it all turned out fine.

Camino de Santiago: Day 28, Arzúa, Spain


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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn't intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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