O O O it’s magic – in O Pedrouzo. Very nearly decided to head on down the track to Santiago today. The weather is muchly improved and with only 19kms done it feels very lazy indeed to be shutting up shop and into the albergue for midday. O Pedrouza looked like a dump from the first turn off so my feet decided to walk on up the hill, looking back down over my shoulder I could see many bars and restaurants in the town and with my swelling knee decided it was sensible to call it a day and leave myself the gentle 19kms tomorrow into Santiago.
I’ve walked up and down this town looking for a spot in the sun in which to enjoy the afternoon but every bar was on the wrong side of the road. Going back to the albergue I asked the hospitalero in Spanish for his restaurant recommendation, he replied, in Spanish, for me to use my eyes! How rude! I wondered why, on Memrise, they teach you ‘tu eres un genio’ and now I know why, give me a sarcy response and i’ll give you one my Spanish friend! And with that I went off into O Pedrouzo using my eyes to find the best restaurant!
I came across the best menu I have found on the way not far from the albergue. The team in Taste the Way were preparing their new menu in English and in exchange for my translation services I got to eat for free and drink several glasses of the house red. Taste the way is a fab idea, they specialise in delicacies you will have seen across all the regions of the way from Navarre to Rioja to Castille y Leon and Galicia. It’s a beautifully done botega with lots of delicious food and wine and a decent menu peligrino. (They haven’t paid me to say this – it’s really one of the best restaurants on the way). I stuck to caldo and vegetarian lasagne honouring my pledge to try to eat as few meat based meals as possible and ease my carnivorous guilt.
The walk from Ribadosa was very easy but I didn’t stop to take off my shoes or take any real breaks this 19kms as my feet are pretty pain free. However – my shins and legs would have appreciated the rest as my right shin decided to swell up in a familiar place – St Irene! For those paying attention you’ll remember the infected blister of my prior Camino for Clarisa at St Irene! Then it was so bad she actually stopped and never completed the Camino just 22k outside of the city and I carried on stamping both our pilgrim passports into Santiago. Well i’ll be damned if some malaise will stop me, I’ll crawl to St James on my knees if that’s what it takes (and it may take that!) tomorrow for I am both stubborn and superstitious! It seems my middle aged body with its flabby bits is not really well cut out for 260kms in 9 days, where the heart and head is willing the body is giving out!
So onto Santiago tomorrow then! I have a spring in my limp at the thought and will get some early shuteye today to ensure I make good time and get to pilgrim mass all clean and ship shape! The shin splints are concerning for the ridiculously hilly Camino Finisterre but that’s one to worry about for another day! For this day I’m well fed, in good spirits and cosily tucked away ready for my afternoon nap in the albergue R.E.M. Ultreia fellow pilgrims!