The morning hike from Villa Mazarife is calm and cool. We listen to birds and watch storks (? We are uncertain how to combine knowledge and bird names in different languages). We observe flowers and irrigation systems.
Our first stop in Hospital de Orbigo is across a river and into a full-on Renaissance Faire. Hostels have been booked 4 months in advance. A sign at a local albergue reads: “Keep calm. We are full.” The meme is alive and well (and we were not planning to stay).
In an effort to secure a sello (a stamp indicating that you are actually hiking the Camino), we stop at a bar (which is more of a pub/restaurant) where the bartender breaks down the demographics of the Camino (80% European, 20% United States, he says) and tries to tell us about a sequel to “The Way” (East? West? Martin Sheen? The actor from West Wing is making a 2nd movie about the Camino!)
Another long walk through nature leaves us hot and tired. The ups and downs are not intense (but are intense). We stop at a rest stop run by a Spaniard and Australian who rarely go into town and tend to avoid civilization altogether. They give us a stamp and say the rest of the walk is breezy.