Day 42 Barbedelo to Portomarin – 19.65 km – 100km to go and the Hordes begin!

A quiet day. Not! We left Barbedelo at around 8:45 and missed saying goodbye to Shirley and Steve. We were at the 108km mark so in only 8km we would pass the 100km to go mark – yee ha! My feet were so happy to hear this that they sped up and we killed the first 8km in record time! Before we went too far however we hap’d upon a bagpipe player. I threw him a few coins and he winked at me. My beloved noticed too. He was a cute bagpipe player! Who would have thought Spain had traditional bagpipe players?


What disturbed us most today were the crowds that must have started 3km earlier in Saria. At our first break there was a lineup for the toilets! Not only that but the noise was so disturbing I could not stay and relax and walked on to the next town to have my cold drink and hot chips. (Sometimes its easier to eat what you know rather than risk having octopus tenticles placed in front of you when you order calamari.)
We were also noticing the complete lack of “Buen Camino’s”. We almost had to drag it out of some people! For 700km everyone said buen camino. Most disturbing was when an American girl said “What?” On a positive note however, we were now meeting even more new people. There were suddenly a lot of Spanish people which meant we were finally meeting some locals! I could practice language skills.
There were a few interesting occurrences today and the first was meeting up again with the pilgrim carrying Jesus on a stick. We love this man. I am sure he is carrying Jesus as some sort of penance for his sins. I do do not need to carry anything as the pain with every step for the last 700km has been penance enough! He and his mate were very kind and his friend offered to take my photo with him. I found their Spanish very hard to understand and finally concluded they might be Portuguese! Who knows – they might be basque or Galician also.
We also finally caught a lizard photo. This had fulfilled a personal challenge as the darn critters are usually so fast! There was also the odd local sleeping and the strange little windowless building they all had in there back yards. We (I) translated something that suggested the little buildings were for drying grains out. We thought they might have locked naughty children in them in days past!
On the way into town we spotted a couple of pilgrims soaking their feet below the bridge. Looking up at the stairs we had to climb and down at the stairs they had climbed made the idea somewhat unappealling. I had booked a room with a bath and that would suffice for today’s cold water pool!
We eventually arrived at Portomarin to enjoy a great plate of vegies (another Shirley recommendation) – this may sound a little odd, after all we see them growing everywhere but for some reason they never seem to make our plates. We were so thrilled as we had been seriously missing them.
The Camino had clearly changed today. Buen Camino was disappearing, we were lining up for toilets. There were so many people that the peaceful walks of the last few hundred kilometres were becoming a thing of the past. We knew our Camino was coming to an end. Maybe these changes would make it easier to bid farewell to this adventure. Just a hundred k’s to go.
Buen Camino!


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