Another walk along a busy road in the dark of morning then down a narrow lane and we are in an amazing, rich and completely rural reality. We see our first or at least notice the horreos/corn cribs and corn drying in a barn.
Passing through forest and pasture. A pleasant time with hardly a soul seen. Up and down, through town and countryside to Samos and the big Monastery there. The age of some of these settlements is awe inspiring.
Onward ever forward. Along a stream in a park Elke spots a solitary Shaggy Mane mushroom, close by some unidentified white caps pushing up through the lawn and duff. After a short conversation I get funked up and stride off alone with my machinations. When I slow down and Elke catches up we sit on the grass, have bread and cheese and share our thoughts.
Up endless stairs to an albergue in Sarria. Turns out to be crowded and disgustingly dirty. We forfeit our money and move onto another which inadvertently gives us a "private" room! Excellent food and we meet more interesting peregrinos.
Walk along the tracks in the morning before the train goes by, stop with others to take a picture of a Chestnut tree.
Elke gives me a roadside back adjustment, we switch packs again. See horseback riders, folks without packs. Lots of horreos and an amazing dust devil winding across a ploughed field. By the time I thought of taking a picture…
A long narrow bridge, walking up stairs into Porto Marin. The town was moved up hill when they dammed the river, which when we walked by was almost non-existent. In the church the numbers on the stones still visible for reassembly.
Quince jelly with cheese,and calamari, the place is famous for it's Pulpe or Octopus restaurants. We are, how far from the ocean?
Full moon in the morning, forest fire smoking off to the right, grapes wild at the side of the road and then Palas de Rei where we splurged on a hotel. Dinner with a gang of familiar folks. In the morning send our packs ahead.
Over a Roman bridge and into Melide. We stop for refreshment. My city sense gone I'm overwhelmed and glad to find the Camino takes us up narrow lanes with no traffic. Away from the town down alleyways of big Eucalyptus, we get into a rhythm holding hands over a walking stick pulling us up the hills. Stopping to cool off I stuck my head under the water spewing from a fountain.
Castaneda, cannot find it in google maps! Most would hardly glance, a small albergue with a bar off to one side, 4 beds in one room 2 in the other. Our bags are here. A walk through town, not the Camino route, nets a beautiful shot of sunset over the cemetery, I pick apples, figs and kiwis. After dinner (with a glass of a digestive, local herbal liqueur as a bonus) we meet a Swiss fellow who walked 45km that day, making up for time lost due to a major blister…
Pedrouzo. We reconnect with many of our Camino family.Stay at a big albergue, like the pool below the falls where the salmon congregate before making the big jump. In the morning we follow Alberto with his flashlight through more Eucalyptus forest till dawn arrives. Stop beside a busy road and make a short video of the walls and ceiling of a small bar covered with comments and names.
A large statue/monument marks … something and there away in the distance is Santiago. Past the airport, planes roaring up and away as we walk under pergolas, grape arbors at the side of the road, under freeways around factories, gunshots in succession nearby.
Into the city over a freeway across busy streets. There are cyclists filming each other riding hands free past the Santiago sign. We stop to eat and watch as peregrinos stream past. I cheer them on.
Revitalized we walk on to the cafe where our bags are waiting. A music festival where bands roam from cafe to cafe is in full swing. Traditional Gallician, loud and boisterous, people are dancing in the streets. We work our way down then up and over the hump, towards the Cathedral.
The square is busy with arriving peregrinos talking pictures of themselves, congratulating each other and flaked out against the building walls.
We made it!