What a difference a day makes! Yesterday we blew thru 38k on the camino between Alto do Poio and Sarria and, today, just 24k from Sarria to Portomarin. The two days were like chalk and cheese with today, despite the shorter distance offering the far greater challenge.
Last night in the gorgeous (best so far) Albergue, Casa Peltre in Sarria, we were kept awake until midnight by giggling and chit-chatting Argentinians who also awoke us at 6am with a score of separate alarms, none of which they managed to wake up for and by the time we left the Albergue at 7.30, the bastards were still asleep in their beds. However, noisy Argentinians were the least of our worries, looking out of the window at the splendid gardens of the Casa Peltre we found the dark clouds of a Galician storm, together with thunder, lightening and torrential rain.
If you want the rainbows you gotta put up with the rain – Dolly
I haven’t required any rain gear so far on the camino, the worst Ive faced is a slight drizzle. This was a downpour. And one that was to last the entire day, swamping the camino with mud and forcing us into buying appropriate footwear and waterproof trousers and ponchos.
My new goretex Salomon trainers are fabulous but like any new shoes, you really don’t want a 25k rain hike as your opportunity to break them in. No choice. And, the new gear adds another couple of KGs to my pack! What a good job I’m super strong now after 35 days on camino! However, I really can not complain. Unbelievably, I’ve faced no rain so far and the first time I do my Albergue is opposite an outdoor hiking shop! An outdoor hiking shop that opened at 7.30am!! How’s that for being born under a good sign? And, despite being super wet and smelly tonight in Portomarin, I have emerged from this day blister free.
Today’s walk from Sarria to Portomarin has, as expected, many more pilgrims and many more Spanish families doing the minimum 100k walk in order to get the certificate at Santiago. They all looked jolly cheesed off at the weather, with one Irishwoman remarking that it was warmer today in Dublin (we enjoyed highs of 14 degrees today on the walk).
(That’s 25 seconds neither of us will ever get back). Yesterday’s 38k hike, despite the distance, was much easier with very cool but dry conditions and not too taxing in terms of terrain, in fact, as we came over O Cebreiro we were mostly on a downhill trajectory. The scenery over the last two days puts me in mind of the British Isles far more than Spain and I feel very comforted by the homely feel of green, rolling hills and familiar trees!
Tonight, I’m so exhausted I expect I’ll skip dinner and just get myself to bed and try to catch up on the sleep stolen from me by the Argentinians. We’re now 88kms and 4 sleeps from Santiago. Animo!