Camino del Norte
Day 40 of our marathon and only a few more days of walking to go! Yippee!
It’s been a while since I last wrote anything –
We are presently about half way to the Atlantic coast at Finisterre which is 90 km from Santiago.
We stayed just one night at the Seminario Menor municipal albergue in Santiago after walking into town from the Camino Portugues. We had stayed there on our previous visit to Santiago and enjoyed our own private room. Alas, when we arrived they had no more private rooms available and we had to book two single beds in the dormitory with a dozen other peregrinos from around the world. This was October 10 which happens to be the 8th Anniversary of our first meeting ( Thanksgiving dinner at Haven on Gabriola Island, 2010).
I have been suffering with blisters on and off through much of our walk and we debated staying in Santiago for another day of rest. On our walk into town I tried walking the final 6 km in my flip flops….this relieved my poor baby toe and felt pretty good….I kept the flip flops on as we explored Santiago and had our anniversary dinner at a place we remembered fondly from last year. Dinner was just OK and we retired to our dormitory. Next morning we were up and underway before 7:00 am, walking through the dark streets of Santiago and using our headlamps as we left the city. I was back in my running shoes with a new blister between my toes from all the walking in flip flops…sigh! The good news was that my other toe felt better and the walking was OK.
The rain started just after sunrise and we walked in our red ponchos for a few hours before the rain stopped and the sun made a few appearances.
The walk out of Santiago to the west felt like a return to the Camino as it should be. We walked through forest trails and alongside a lovely river, the air was fresh and fragrant with the recent rains and our path was quiet, no longer the stream of pilgrims we had joined as we entered Santiago. Quiet roads and small villages, the requisite rock walls and ancient buildings, farmland. We passed an hour or two walking alongside two young women from Germany and arrived at an albergue we remembered from last year. Here we met our German girls again as we shared a room with 4 beds. This albergue is special as they offer a communal dinner. I’m sorry that we didn’t get any photos as 21 pilgrims sat together last night at 2 long tables and shared a wonderful meal….lentil soup, hot and wholesome made by the proprietor Maria followed by a Spanish omelette ….a perfect combination on a windy and wet evening….it reminded me of the best of the Camino experience.
We were up at 6:00am and on our way before 7:00. Headlamps and strong winds. Within an hour the rain started in earnest and we kept our ponchos on until reaching tonight’s choice only 25 km away. It rained without a break all day and continues still, with strong winds gusting as we crest the hills and walk along quiet country roads.
We have slowed down our pace and plan to take 4 days to cover the 90 km to Finisterre and will perhaps reach Muxia 32km north on the coast before catching a bus back to Santiago (we have a private room booked..) for one final night before our 5:00 am train to Madrid on the 17th.
The adventure continues.
Tim and Donna