Yesterday evening there were more than twenty for dinner. I enjoyed the company of an English speaking woman for a change – an American couple who are walking a little and taxi-ing a lot. There was an Austrian guy who arrived ‘a caballo’ but when I tried to engage him in conversation (because I was particularly interested in his mode of transport) he seemed very dismissive, four Spanish guys walking together, and my ‘family’. Lentil soup followed by cold meat and salad, with some apple cake to finish up. I had a couple of servings of soup and a piece of cake, and joined in some jovial conversation with the spanish guys surrounding me.
I have a gripe to share. Men and bathrooms! Why do they have to make such a mess with the water. I have now shared enough bathrooms with various male pilgrims to see a very clear pattern. They splash water on their faces in the morning and it ends up on the floor. Not a little bit, but a lot. This morning I was minding my own business tying up my hair when a (Spanish) guy entered and used the loo directly behind me and left the door open. Why?? I quickly pushed the door closed on him whilst he finished his ‘business’, but then he emerged and took up a position at the basin next to me and continued to vigorously splash water over his face, at the same time splashing the floor and also splashing me. Not good manners by anyone’s standards. In general I have found that groups of men walking together are not very inclusive of others – they go about their business as if no-one else exists. I was very glad this morning when this group of four busily passed me early in the day and were then out of my sight for the rest of my day.
Today was fabulous. I don’t have time to go into detail. Enjoy the photos and I will expand tomorrow.
Yesterday was a glorious day for walking. Although so cold in the morning that I had to stop after a few minutes and search in my backpack for a pair of socks to wear on my freezing hands (I lost my gloves a few days ago). But the rising sun and the scenery were spectacular. It was a fairly long day but the rewards of the countryside and the birdsong, the easy tracks and the change in elevation all added up to perfection. The trail took us up to a high ridge where many wind turbines were lazily deciding whether they could be bothered to turn in the barely moving air and then we meandered through woodland and wide open spaces until eventually the village of San Pesro suddenly popped up in front of my eyes. I had turned on my music around 7 km from our destination and I was suddenly empowered with great strength and enthusiasm to just walk to the extreme. I powered on as if the air was carrying me and enjoyed every second of the walk.
The weather turned sunny but there was always cool air to bring the temperature down. Perfect walking conditions.
The sound of the cuckoo has accompanied me every day of this camino, and today I was treated to the sight of eagles soaring above me. So huge was the shadow of one low flying bird that I first though an aeroplane was passing overhead.
I have now walked almost 800 km and am prepared and ready to continue this camino to its rightful end. I was not sure when I set out how far I would reach before feeling I had had enough. I knew that I wanted to reach Mérida, but now I am ten days beyond that point and less than three weeks from my destination, firstly Santiago de Compostela and then Finisterre, at which point I can claim to have walked from coast to coast – Málaga to Finisterre.
There have been lots of questions about the state of my feet. They are good. My heels are a bit bruised but no more blisters and at the end of a day’s walk now, my first thought isn’t related to removing my boots (more likely – where is the bar!) All is well, I am strong and motivated, and very glad of all the support I am receiving.
We shared ourselves around the accommodation in the village – I stayed at the albergue Miliario for 10€ – a tiny house with two bedrooms each with four beds and bed linen provided.
Distance according to Wikiloc – 29 km
Accumulated elevation uphill 378 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 355 metres
Total distance walked 789.8 km, average 27.2 km per day