We had to call in at a bank to exchange travellers cheques and the post office to post some things back home. We were shocked at the cost, over €20 for around 1.2kg, if we’d known it would be that expensive we’d have just posted the compostelas, but we had everything packaged up and just wanted to post it and get going. I’d wanted to fly back from Santiago as I felt the ride back to the coast and on to Santander would be an anti-climax, but Christine was adamant and she played the environmental card, which is hard to argue against. I still think this would have been the better option.
We breakfasted at the friendly and cheap pasteleria and eventually left at 10:45. The route out was the same as the way in, so it was quick and easy, then we opted for the N547 rather than returning through Melide. It was fairly quiet by British main road standards but much of the traffic comprised heavy lorries. With the wind behind us we made good progress through moorland and woodland. At the autovia junction we turned off along the N-V1, a recently upgraded secondary road with very little traffic, reaching the refugio at Baamonde around 17:00. It had the atmosphere of a simple grade YHA hostel, with a fairly well-equipped kitchen including a fridge and outside showers (hot water). Five walkers were staying, including a British couple who were having to curtail their adventure because of knee problems.