Clean

Last night we were just relieved to get to our albergue.   It wasn’t as nice as we’d hoped though and we even considered walking on,  if the weather hadn’t been so bad I think we would have.

Our room was off of another room and through a cave like corridor with rock and stone instead of walls.   The same stone lined our bedroom walls.   They were cold and wet and the damp was making puddles on the floor.

There was one toilet for women and another for men and whilst they were nice bathrooms they were some distance from our bedroom and on another floor! We all had the same thought… This is going to be fun in the middle of the night.   To make matters worse there were odd steps where you weren’t expected them and coming down the stairs there was also a very low door; both Pam and I cracked our heads on this.

And if all of that wasn’t bad enough there was no power, or on and off power.   The water reached us via a pump and so we also had no water… and no working loo!

We dumped our wet clothes where ever we could hang them and then headed over to the bar where there was a fire, food and drink and wifi.   There was actually a huge woodburner and everyone had moved their shoes around it… stuffed with newspaper to try and absorb the water.

We ate with a lovely couple from Canada…  They had been friends for 40 years and they were great company.   He had walked from St Jean and she had met up with him in Sarria. A popular staring point as you can walk 100 kilometres and still get your compostella… And your ticket into heaven.

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We left this morning at just after 8.00 and headed off under one of the most amazing skies I’ve ever seen!  It wasn’t raining but all around is debris from the storm.   Mud,  stones,  leaves,  chestnuts,  rocks,  branches and even a couple of trees either blown over by the wind or maybe the huge amount of rain water?  We saw on the news that the coast had been battered by 140km winds and there has been a fair amount of damage.   I think we had a lucky escape yesterday and so on reflection maybe our albergue wasn’t so bad after all.

Our journey continues up and down. I for one wouldn’t mind a bit more flat again but there is no denying it’s very pretty in Galicia.  The fields are surrounded by dry stone walls,   the grass is very green and they have fresian cows… Can’t help but think it looks like Devon.

I had another heart in the mouth moment crossing the river bridge into Portomarín; it was far too high and far too open for this pilgrim so I walked in the middle of the road and moved as fast as my weary legs could carry me.  Looking back the Colorado contingent were happily taking photos and admiring the views!

We stayed in Portomarín for breakfast and watched the news; everywhere there is talk of the hospital staff in the US and Madrid who have contracted Ebola… it’s all in Spanish but we get the drift.  It makes me realise how adrift from my own world I really am.

Leaving Portomarín behind, we walked on to Casa de Molar at Ventas de Naron. We stopped a little earlier than usual today.   The weather is fine but it is windy and we all wanted a hot shower and clean clothes.

There is an albergue but we choose to have a private bedroom… only an extra 10€.  I spent maybe 20 minutes under the hot hot water and only stopped because I knew there would be a queue for the bathroom.  I think almost my entire contents of my rucksack is in the wash.   Oooh It feels good to be clean again.

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3 thoughts on “Clean

  1. Well Colleen that's it now your last weekend on this amazing journey!!!
    Your feelings must be a bit emotional now knowing that you are almost done.
    The feeling of relief that your at the end, no more walking. To see family again but possibly not see the faces you have met along the way again.
    Tha fact that you could do it and you did!! Because I'm quite sure you will now get there. But never doughted that you wouldn't.
    The thoughts and memories that you now have I can't wait to hear.
    Hope the rain has subsided a bit so you can finish in the dry and enjoy your last few days on the rocky roads.
    Take care my so brave little sis. Love you and very very proud.x

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  2. Well, I didn't do the last hundred kms for several reasons, one being time and another the crowds – after the solitude of the Camino, the noise and bustle are a bit off-putting. but I did love Santiago and met Ed and Tim there as they celebrated the end of their cycle ride (10 days) along the Camino. And I had only done 250 km in that time!
    But even with two passports and 700 kms covered, they didn't give me a compostella for the pilgrimage. I was too tired to be upset but one day will finish the last 150 and qualify.
    Hope you are still walking well and beginning to feel the euphoria of the last kms. And the absolute joy of being able to stop walking. I still walked all round Santiago three times because it didn't seem natural to stop moving!!
    Good luck with the final stages – We can't imagine you falling by the wayside – as the song goes – “Whoso beset her round, With dismal stories, Do but themselves confound, Her strength the more is.” – not good word order but that's poetic licence …. and the thought is there!
    Expect to feel footsore for several days but that won't trouble you at all!!

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  3. Not far to go now, darling girl!

    Best of all, look out for your first sight of the cathedral in Santiago whilst you are still a long way off and absorb the festive atmosphere walking into town.

    A MUST-DO, get up on the roof of the Cathedral on one of their guided tours. Not just for the views, but to see the bishop's appartments and to see his dining room with stone depictions of some musical instruments now no longer in existence.

    I was given a tip which you may or may not want to do. I was told to get to the cathedral one morning early, say before 7 am and certainly before the first tourists crowd in. Then just to sit there and do NOTHING.

    For me it was deffo one of the hightlights not to be missed. Completely different atmosphere from all the noise and show biz stuff.

    Just being quiet for a few minutes, quite ALONE. Makes the hairs stand on the back of my neck just telling you about this!

    love and hugs and kisses

    sweet

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