I spent last night waking up abruptly from bad dreams about things I’d forgotten to do at work! In one of my dreams I’d decided to leave Santiago and go straight back to work, even though I have five days of holiday left. My working life is starting to encroach on my holiday as my boss knows I’m now in Santiago and is probably a bit bored of doing my job and so has started to text me about work related topics! I know if I hung around in Santiago or went to the beach I’d basically be working remotely; so I decided to keep walking and not face the reality of board meetings and 2 hour commutes for as long as possible.
I started walking at 7am today which as it turns out was far too late. Today was the first day I got turned away at my first choice Albergue as there’s more traffic on the Camino Finisterre. Santiago is obviously where all caminos meet, and with more people arriving into Santiago than any prior year this ‘extension’ is naturally very busy with those who have done the Frances, Portuguese and any of the other routes.
It’s also been easier making friends on this route. You do have groups who decided to walk together after Frances who are naturally tight after a month together. But as many pilgrims take a day or two (or none, as I) in Santiago, many groups split up here and so new friendship groups can be formed. I’ve spoken to more people today than in the 11 days prior. In fact it was a lady who I met here who was recommending the Albergue we couldn’t get into, as now I have no guidebook and am not sure of the best places to go! I do have an app, that has an interactive map, so I know if I’m straying off route but the Camino is very well marked.
The highlight of today’s route is a medieval bridge and falls at Ponte Maceira about 15kms into the walk. The lowlight was the steep 400m elevation about 8kms in. This is the first time on the Camino I have had to stop a few times on a hill to cool down and wipe away the sweat forming on my brow! All totalled though today’s registered less hill climbing than the ‘EPIC’ day and actually less than yesterday also.
The Albergue here is a bit smelly and a bit like what I imagine a low security women’s prison looks like (based off Season 3 of Orange is the new Black). It was also more expensive than any Albergue so far at 12€. The menus and Albergues are more pricey after Santiago but I guess it’s all relative. What’s 12€ for a bed really? As long as I don’t get bitten by bed bugs, I’ll be fine.
To get to Muxia for Friday, which I would really prefer as then i’ll get a full rest day by the beach, it means pulling off two 30+kms in two days. This afternoon was proper hot, so this is ambitious. Let’s see if I can get to Oliveria tomorrow – if so, I might just have pulled off the plan from day 1! Those 38 years of carb loading would have finally paid off!