As I get nearer to Santiago there seems to be more people walking, and the Albergues are filling up much more quickly. Yesterday, even though I arrived at about 3.30, there were only two beds left. I guess this is because some people walk the Camino from only about 100 km away, and I am approaching that point.

I started early again today, just before dawn. Breakfast was a banana and some bread and jam.

It was really nice to put on clean clothes this morning. Yesterday afternoon I shared a great load of washing in a proper washing machine and dryer with Catherine from France, Aileen from Germany and Eva from the Czech Republic. I have been hand washing clothes each day I hasten to add, but this doesn’t get them really clean, and drying them is even more of a problem, so I am often putting on slightly damp clothes or attaching them to the back of my rucksack to dry during the day.

After only half a kilometre I passed a cafe, and thinking this might be the only one for at long while stopped for coffee.

Today’s walk was a relatively easy one. It was more like walking in Essex. The path was flat. Where yesterday it was all blue sky and sunshine, today has been overcast and chilly. I walked for a little while with Martin from Holland and Aileen from Germany, and we did find somewhere else for coffee along the way. I then stopped by a beautiful little medieval bridge over a river to say my prayers, and then carried on walking through a forest of oak trees.

Towards lunchtime I saw lots of sparrows. You don’t see so many sparrows in England nowadays, at least not on our bird table, yet they were so common when I was a boy. It was lovely to watch them dancing and darting along the hedgerow. Walking for a short while alongside an autoroute I saw a road sign saying Santiago 131km. Getting there.

I reached Vilalba by two and stopped for the day, staying st a small hostel: so pretty basic, but a room of my own and hopefully a good night’s sleep. Just a 20km walk today. Almost a stroll. Dinner tonight was not so good: some rather ordinary chicken and chips. As I leave the coast behind I seem to be leaving the good food behind as well.