We are aiming to arrive Santiago this Friday. That means we don’t have to kill ourselves walking to get there. Finally we can actually enjoy the journey. We can leave late, stop for lunch, I can even drink wine on the way and still arrive in time to relax at the albergue.
I have to say that I have been walking with a shadow of sadness for loved ones and friends who have been dealing with lifes tragedies and challenges. Sometimes I don’t even notice the surroundings and have to remind myself that we are on this wonderful journey and our times of pain have been and will no doubt come again. I bring myself back to now and look around for some special reminders of the beauty in the world. I also am glad to be actually walking finally without every step feeling excruciating. The tracks are great, the trees give plenty of shade and the weather is so much milder than some days we have endured.
Leaving Arzua this morning we happ’d upon the local markets – it’s another nice thing about leaving late, you see a bit of action in the town you have stayed in. We also met a couple of nice nuns who wanted to stamp our credencials. I told one nun my husband was a very naughty boy – she said to me “You must be a naughty girl then” Well that was a surprise coming from a Nun and had me laughing down the track for quite a while.
We saw horse or at least we thought it was type of a horse and we were very sad to see all the flies around his head.
We actually walked for over 6 kilometres today before even seeing a bar to grab a coffee at. It actually was a pleasant walk again. I didnt even have to stop and tend to any foot or knee problems. In fact by the time we found the first bar the time for coffee had passed and it was time for a beer! It really was a good day.
A fellow was parked over the side of a bridge we had to cross about 5 kilometres in and he handed us a brochure that had a menu on it which included pimientos del padra. The brochure was for Tia Dolores at kilometre 29. We really were getting close to Santiago. Every half kilometre or so we saw a distance marker telling us how far we had to go now. Anyway the first bar was at kilometre 31 or something so after a quick drink we headed on to find Tia Dolores. It wasn’t a let down. We ordered scallops, pimientos and also ham croquettes which we had found to be quite tasty. We each had a beer and we sat back and relaxed just like the locals do. After all we only had about 3 kilometers or so to go for the day. Who would have thought a 12 kilometre hike was an easy day?
We arrived early at our albergue and were pleasantly surprised. The room was clean and modern. The grounds were lovely. The pool was a little disturbing but it was a pool primarily for your feet.
The only pool that did not entice me (Shirley we love it anyway)
We also heard news that Michelle and JC were planning a 50 plus kilometer day and might catch up to us. This was exciting – most people who can walk that far don’t slow down enough to talk to us – they are super hikers. We are so not in that category – if I walked 40kms I am sure I would end the day in hospital! 50 and they would be calling an ambulance (or a psychiatric ward). My Irish feet were not meant for marathons! Finally at 8.57pm precisely they arrived. Just in time for the 9pm cut off for food!
I do feel sad for some who have had to rush through to catch a plane and couldnt take a day off to socialise or rest or recover from injuries or to talk to the number of people we have had the pleasure of meeting. I am also glad we have had plenty of time so we didn’t feel the need to catch a bus when we needed to rest. We have certainly spent some time getting to Santiago!
Tears well in my eyes sometimes when I think of how far we have come and knowing that we have walked every step of the path and also knowing it will soon be at an end. I am trying to envisage how it might feel when we arrive at the Cathedral in Santiago and the journey is over. At the same time I am feeling a sense of euphoria knowing that we have come as far as we have. Life is good for us at the moment. Our boys are doing well without us. Our pets are well and still alive (or so we are led to believe – not sure about my plants though!) and we have had enough physical capacity to come this far.
Two more blogs to go from the Camino! Wherever you are in the world – Friday Morning Spanish time will be our time for a glass of champagne! Join with us for a toast – hopefully 5 or 6 pm Australian time! We will visit the Cathedral and light some candles for our friends and family, we will attend the pilgrim Mass and hopefully see the botefumeria swing and we will hit the town and celebrate the journey. But for now it is still two more days of walking – Buen Camino!
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