Thursday October 21, 2010
Day 35 on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
Arzua to Arca (No - to Santisos)
Dear Blog Readers,
Well, what a day on the Camino today - it is supposed to be a short 17 kms. to Arca. I don´t know exactly what happens but we miscalculate and we walk about 22 plus kms - for a time we are a little lost on the Camino. After I get home I realized I take very few photos today so will ask others to contribute if they have referring to today’s trek.
Set out at about 8:15 a.m. in the dark after a quick (the usual) breakfast - joined by my friend Roberta. She takes a photo of us heading out with headlights. We wave and away we disappeared into the darkened forest. If I thought yesterday the Camino had a lot of pilgrims, today was almost shoulder to shoulder on some climbs and descents. Not having a lot of quite time as we near Santiago. Up and down mountains and valleys again, through a lot more eucalyptus forests. The scent is quite strong - especially when the pine and eucalyptus are opposite each other as you trek through the forests. Lots of ins and outs of hamlets - chat with some sheep and goats (one little pesky goat thought a chicken got too close and head butted her). There is a class of young school boys with their teacher, singing an English song at the top of their voices - yikes, no more quite time on the Camino.
Up a climb in the hamlet of Armenal, we have a lovely surprise. We run into young Eugene, the America we met on our very first day. We find out the other young people are all on the Camino behind us and it seems we will all walk in tomorrow to Santiago. This is another nice surprise as we thought they had already completed the Camino. We make a date to try to have lunch with them in Santiago before everyone heads home.
On the Camino again it is soon clear we are not having a short day’s trek. We find out Arca is behind us so where is the hotel? We had automatically thought it was in Arca. I phone the hotel only to find out we are still several kms. away. Just continue walking they say. Two hours later we are still walking, this time we are going in the opposite direction to Santiago. When we booked we had not asked in what town was the hotel. The first place we phoned in Arca was filled, so we automatically thought the second hotel was close by. Ha, this is a typical a little Camino trick, and it is all at our expense. I have to have help getting through the barbed wire fence to cross a busy highway at a large roundabout. Stop to have a bite to eat at 3 p.m. The hotel owner finally comes to rescue us as we are quite lost. She is lovely and the hotel is one of the cleanest on the Camino. The owner even does our laundry. Even though we are off the Camino and will have to travel back, we are not complaining. Trek - maybe 20 - 25 kms today too tired to count. Just 13 kms to Santiago the sign says but we will see - I’m not believing anything until I’m in Santiago!
Blessings from the Camino,
My personal thoughts for today - Today I experience on of those rare Camino moments. Meeting Eugene is such a good feeling. To see someone from the early days on the Camino makes me realize how much of a community those of us on the pilgrimage have become. Eugene and I both shared the moment of family closeness as we hug and hug in front of the café where he had stopped for a beer.