This morning we got a late start. It’s becoming harder to get up and on the go in the morning….partially due to fatigue and restless sleep. But in these last stages, if you want to avoid the crowded trails, you have to leave earlier and that is what we plan to do the next couple days. There were parts today that felt like it was a race. And honestly, when you have walked as many kilometres as many of us have, the newbies irritate a bit. I mean, do people ‘need’ to walk 5 abreast across the trail…..pet peeve on any trail, anywhere.
This morning we were in this chaotic race of passing, not stopping to rest, passing, not stopping to adjust or take jackets off, and such. You get this weird feeling about passing people, stopping to take a jacket off or fix your shoes, then having to re-pass people. It’s chaotic. And a bit crazy. There are so many people walking the last bit. And it shouldn’t bother me but….it makes this whole experience a bit crazy.
We made our way through towns until Melide, a bigger center and kind of the half way point of the day at 14 kms in. And we found the great Pulperia there, had a fantastic meal of pulpo and croquettes, plus a desert that was lovely also. This was one of the most efficient restaurants I have ever been in. The staff were literally running to tend to guests and we had our pulpo in a matter of minutes. Fabulous to watch them pull it out of the boiling pot and slice it, season with olive oil and paprika, then send it out on wooden serving plates. I found a happy place!
From there we continued on, stopping in some small towns, a few churches and such. One thing that struck me was how many pilgrims do not remove there hats when entering a church. When I took mine off before I went in there were a few men who suddenly realized this and immediately took of there caps. Some of the churches we have been have been so beautiful. Not in a big, stereo system and video, lights and displays kind of way, but in a simplistic, charming way. Many have bouquets of fresh flowers at the alter which perfumes the air. And many have large stones on the floor, likely the original stonework in some cases.
We made our way towards Ribadiso, where we will stay for tonight, leaving us two more short days of walking to Santiago. The albergue we are at is small but has a bar and a place for guests to soak their feet outside. The view of the valley, and the hill we just climbed is splendid. And I am happy. I know the end is near and it’s okay. I miss home too. And I really miss Grant. But I want to finish this and make sure Ally gets to a beach in Finesterre before we go home! She deserves it!