I met two English speaking women on arrival yesterday, one from the U.S. And one from Australia. It was nice to speak to them, but it transpired this morning that they are light shiners and bag rustlers, the scourge of the laid-back pilgrim. The show started around 05:30 and was difficult to ignore. They were long gone when I made my way to the kitchen at just after 06:30. I made myself a delicious roll with all the salad ingredients left over from my supper – avocado, local cheese, chorizo, jamon and cherry tomatoes.
I passed many early risers in the first hour or so and then the trail quietened. I stopped at a bar at around 10 km for a hot drink and was soon back on my way.
Some features of today’s stage were familiar, but I didn’t remember walking so much on the road, albeit quiet country roads, which alternated with woodland tracks and pretty villages. I had walked around 30 km before I found a suitable spot to sit down and eat my roll.
There were already around six early arrivals at the private albergue when I arrived, including the flashers from this morning. So I opted for a different room where there are probably 20+ places and only a couple taken. I found myself a quiet corner and bagged my lower bunk. An hour or so later the place is bursting at the seams – all 52 places are on the verge of being taken and I am really missing the relative solitude of the Via de la Plata. Lots of pilgrims know eachother from the camino Frances and are chatting away loudly. It is not what I am used to and not what I like. But I have found a sunny corner in the courtyard and bought a bottle of wine and am happy keeping out of the way and typing my blog. If it wasn’t for the fact that I actively want to walk to the coast (and therefore walk ‘from sea to shining sea’) I could be very unhappy right now. But in fact I feel I can rise above all the hub-bub and have no desire to be part of it. I shall opt for the self-description of ‘serene’ rather than ‘miserable old git’, but not everyone might agree.
Unfortunately I have just returned to the dorm to find that my ‘quiet’ corner has been taken over by a man who can simultaneously snore very loudly, fart even louder and fondle himself in the underpants area then remove his fondling hand and stick his finger up his nose. Quite charming. I think I need to fish out the ear plugs tonight. Maybe the light-shining-bag-rustling women aren’t so bad after all!
This section of my camino is so different from when I walked it two years ago with Ella. Then the weather was really miserable – cold and very wet. The poor weather threatened to spoil the experience for my daughter, but luckily, just in the nick of time, the sun came out to welcome us to the coast, and all turned out well. This year the weather has been fabulous. Beautiful sunshine with enough wind to keep it from being too hot – just perfect! Even at this late stage I am a bit nervous about praising the Galician weather, which is renowned to rain more than the UK. But the sky is still blue and the sun is still shining, so I can only cross my fingers and hope it will continue for a few more days until I return home on 2 July.
I will aim to get off nice and early in the morning, but without the light shining and bag rustling, and try to get some space between me and the hordes.
I am really looking forward to meeting up with Olivier tomorrow in Finisterre, after seventeen days since he took his short-cut. I am sure he will take up where he left off and tease me mercilessly just like an annoying younger brother. But I will serenely let his jibes pass right over my head and enjoy the company of an old friend – an ‘old’ friend of all of thirty days’ standing. I lost the lovely Austrians today – they are walking directly to Muxia and then back to Santiago, so I may see them in the city.
This camino is a totally different experience from my previous two and I will try to explain why in an assessment post when I am back home. Meanwhile…
Distance according to Wikiloc 35.5 km
Accumulated elevation uphill 624 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 495 metres
Total distance walked 1,330.4 km, average 26.1 km per day
Hate the thought of snoring,farting,self fondlers and light shining rustlers In such close proximity!!!
You have achieved so much and had incredible experiences and met some fascinating characters in the course of this camino but I imagine that home is calling you quite loudly now. I hope that you are truly proud of you achievement Maggie……and I wonder what will be your next venture.
With our love and admiration
Pat & John xxx
I completely understand how you would miss the solitude…the number of pilgrims on the Camino Frances makes me shy away from it. I like the Camino del Norte so far. I haven’t seen too many pilgrims and they seem to be the non-fondling in broad daylight/rustling at night type…I dread reaching a point when I’ll be staying in albergues! (Just doing “practice” days when the weather cooperates since I live on the Camino del Norte.) Buen camino!
Let’s start with something positive: the divine flowers and the countryside. ❤ ❤
That fellow belongs in a frat house movie. Enough said. 😀 😀
Think you need to post the picture of him on FB with your description and see how many recognise him!! That would be amusing!!
Wonderful photos as usual.
Olveiroa, my favourite place….OMG, what happened whilst I was away from there for 2 years?
Rise above it…well above it and disconnect!
Some pictures says more than a thousand words!
Your such a trooper not letting circumstances get the better of you. Good you won’t have to endure the oblivious behavior of some much longer.
Wondering if it would be totally bizarre to change into your day clothes at night to sleep in and pack your bags at night so you can be off with the least amount of disturbance in the morning.
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Meant to write “you’re” not “your.”
The wildlife today has been so varied, from the sublime rolling fields and flaura – to the wild beast of the albergue! Jeez…… 35km today was no mean feat at this stage. Hope your able to get a little quality sleep tonight. It is June 2nd you arrive back home isn’t it, or is it July 2nd…. or have I not been listening properly?(maybe your taking a break before going home?) Enjoy your last day.
Priceless photo of the fondling farter, definitely needs to go viral! We know you can rise above such things, your flower photos prove it!
ps Who said men couldn´t multi task!!
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Oh my I am giggling so hard at Katherine Paterson’s note…. Ah Maggie, you are almost there. I can only imagine how crowded it feels for you. BTW. did I ever tell you about my friend Tracy Saunders who has a donative off Camino close to Muxia… her home that she opens up to the pilgrims to “decompress” after a Camino before hoping on to transportation back home. http://www.thelittlefoxhouse.com I believe you would like her and her place.
More information than I wanted. 😉
Wow Maggie…you have put up with so much. I don’t think I would be able to endure the fellow in the bunk. I’d run out of there. Just wanted to tell you that I SO appreciate your honesty and really telling it as it is rather than glossing over things and pretending all was ok. You are an incredible trooper. Your blog is wonderful and I am so happy that it is still going. Enjoy the next part of your trip and I look forward to hearing all about it, no matter what it is.
Cathy from Bend, Oregon
Enjoyed today’s posting very much Maggie. The photos as ever are stunning. Loved Katherine’s quip about men and multi-tasking! Those huge numbers in the Albergues sound awful but I guess it’s because you were used to peace and solitude. Rise above it and ignore. Walking in excess of 30kms at this stage is VERY impressive. Buen Camino – wonder woman.
What a funny description of your dormitory bedfellows maggie. Love your photos as usual. (Although not the one of your dormitory bedfellow!) 🙂
Wonderfully descriptive and honest post. The fondling farter even beats living on a yacht with seven men, an experience from my past that pales into the acceptable alongside yours. Thanks for the belly laugh Katherine. And I like Ingrid’s decompression suggestion, which sounds ideal. Hoping like mad that your good weather has stayed with you and you are walkingbin the dry as I write. Here a hail storm is raging ……
Ha ha hooting with laughter at the farting fondling nose picking snorer (can change all those adjectives to nouns) and totally understanding why you want more privacy at the moment. Amazing what puts you off a place – but you will laugh when you look back.
For me it was a pilgrim who projectile vomited from a top bunk on to the floor then scrabbled and slid around trying to wipe it up – the young girl in the bunk below was not amused!
Keep it up Maggie, enjoy the Vino, and tomorrow’s another day! Love your macro flower shots by the way!
My best congratulations!!! It is real pleasure to read your posts and refresh my own two years old feelings when I made my Camino (Arles – Montpellier – Carcassonne – St-Jean-Pied-de-Port – Santiago – Finisterre).
I may be paranoid but just as there are thieves pretending to be pilgrims, couldn’t there be exhibitionists pretending to be pilgrims also. This man just happens to take a nap and exhibits such repulsive behavior. Well he’s sleeping and can’t be blamed for what he does in his sleep? Or is he asleep? I think I’ll talk to a hospitalero if I see similar behavior or maybe ask another man to approach this guy to cool it. On the other hand, I might just go into another room. Don’t know for sure what I’d do.
Thank you for identifying some of our male frailties, a good reminder to practice my manners when I start on the Camino next week 🙂
Well Maggie – you certainly have to take the good with the bad but I did laugh out loud at your great description of the snoring guy with wind and the itches. Yuk! If ever I do a long walk I will absolutely NOT be staying in a room full of strangers. You have my absolute respect on that one. I would also be with you in the corner in the sunshine keeping myself to myself. I don’t think that makes us miserable, just serene as you say. Enjoy your last day and rest afterwards.. Great reading your blog and seeing your fab photos. What an achievement!!!! Love Heather xxx
Oh my goodness! All the wonderful things we have to look forward to when we start in just a short week. I only hope I am as good a trooper as you are Maggie. I will miss reading your posts immensely. But look forward to living my own. Thank you for taking the time and energy to post each day. I have lived reading and following you!
Buen Camino and safe travels home.
Cheri- Dallas TX