I was heading to A Coruña to decide whether I would start the Camino Ingles from there because it is said to be the original starting point for pilgrims arriving from Ireland and England. The trouble was it was only 75 kms and if I hadn’t already walked 25 in my home country (even though I’ve walked over 100km on the Frances in the last month) if I started in A Coruña I would not be eligible for a compostela. Remember this is the certificate granted to those who complete the last 100kms of any Camino.
Personally I already have two, I apparently have also earned some extra forgiveness for my many many sins – maybe I need to walk a few more kilometres anyway! Well forgiveness is not the reason I walk. Although the compostela is a recognition of completion so maybe I like to feel that sense of achievement.
For the last hour or so on the train a nice spanish girl sat next to me and we chatted in spanish about things, more or less! She was a student heading back to a place near A Coruña that teaches people how to make stained glass for cathedrals and grandiose buildings. At least that’s what I think she was doing!
Why did I leave the Frances this time you may ask. (Or you may not – either way I’m going to tell you). The truth is I knew too much. In Najera I had seen a man come into the salon to find a coffee wearing only his underwear and a money belt (lets call him money belt man). Since walking from Burgos I had seen money belt man with his wife a numerous times as we passed each other on the way. Some things cannot be unseen. Money belt man was one of them. At the breakfast stop after Castrojeriz they came in again – at Boadilla del camino – the list goes on.
In the bar the evening before leaving Casterojeriz we had been eating dinner when a man was entertaining a couple of ladies at the bar. The ladies had just started caminoing in Burgos it seemed. But I knew his laugh. It brought back memories of tengo frio and too much to drink. It was the sunstroke man who helped Mavis reach a crescendo of tengo frio! I had to get off the Frances. I knew too much! I was at risk of sharing stories that should not be shared!
Anyway I arrived late into A Coruña and took a hotel room near the railway, ate dinner and finally got to bed around midnight! I was exhausted.
In the morning I caught a bus into the Tower of Hercules and managed to have a tour of the city just by sitting in the local bus. I even caught sight of some scuba diving pilgrims! After all the jokes of my beloved telling people I had dragged him on the camino because he could go diving I had finally found where!
Anyway as impressive as A Coruña was I did not see one pilgrim and my love of the camino is really in part the friends that you make. So i decided to take the bus to Ferrol that afternoon and meet other pilgrims along with meetIng the minimum 100km requirement for the compostela. Bueno!
I snagged a single room in a small pension and visited Kilometre zero down at the tourist office before stopping for some food in a very quiet bar in the Main Street. There I met a lovely German girl who was fitting in a quick camino during a week long holiday.
I had suggested there was a short cut to Puentedeume on the morrow but my new friend felt obligated to take the long way. I suspected we would part ways and not meet again until Santiago. I was the master of the hypotenuse and I was not keen on walking extra to a place called Neda. In short, I did not feel the need to walk to Neda!
So I returned to my pension – exhausted again and ready for commencing my Camino Ingles on the morrow!