Day 29: Palas del Rei to Arzua
The day started with zipping noises, crumpling of bags and talking in loud voices. Much like the day ended yesterday. My dorm room was filled with a Spanish group who were clearly only walking for a couple of days and were more involved in their own enjoyment than concerning themselves with others. I miss the pre-Sarria Camino where the sense of camraderie and looking out for others is a big feature. I remember being surprised in the early weeks that there was rarely litter on the Camino, you could walk for hours before seeing any rubbish. Now I can barely walk a 500 metres without seeing a plastic bag or bottle left on the route.
Nonetheless this doesn’t detract too much from the beauty of the post Sarria Camino. Today I walked with friends for awhile before going off at my own pace. I enjoy walking by myself for long stretches, it gives me time to take in the scenery and to let my thoughts float around like a leaf fluttering in the wind never staying still but sometimes returning to it’s starting point.
I walked through some beautiful forests today and then through more of the same type of countryside from yesterday. The landscape reminds me of England with it’s rolling green hills. This area of Galicia looks a bit wealthier than that of the last few days with slightly bigger villages and more modern buildings.
What you do see a lot of are Orio’s which, according to my Barcelonan friend with the Galician father, are used for grain storage. The Orio’s look like small, raised, wooden shelters that remind me of children’s playhouses. In some cases the Orio’s are no longer used for grain storage but as a form of decoration. It was interesting to look at the stylistically similar Orio’s made out of different materials.
The morning also saw me go through the town of Melide. This region of Galicia is famous for empanada (a pie’ish type dish) and pulpo (octopus). Melide is particularly well known for it’s octopus. I stopped briefly to eat, drink and chat.
From there the day got hard. Wearing sandals because of my heel blister has caused blisters to open up on the soles of both my feet. The burning sensation, especially after stopping, takes an effort to put aside. About half an hour from my destination, Arzua, I had to stop. Fortuitously as it turned out as I ran into an Italian guy I’d had dinner with a few times but hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks. He also gave me some information about an Italian girl I had been travelling with and some other updates. This is the Camino newspaper and is how information is passed on. If people mention me it’s as the Aussie teacher who works in Vietnam and I often travel with people who have travelled with other people I have travelled with. It’s a small world that has a great community feel to it.
The last half hour into Arzua was painful. Each step burned. The first two Albergues were full so I eventually just took a room in a Pension. My feet appreciated the bath and must now be getting used to being doused in betadine every evening. This evening I fashioned some padding in my socks (looks downright weird) to try to relieve the pain but I’m not looking forward to the start tomorrow. Luckily it’s only 20km tomorrow. I should be able to handle that. I look forward to the walk as I’m finding these last few days to be the time of reflection. I spent much of today thinking about my Camino and what it means for me. I expect tomorrow I will be doing more of this. It’s quite a beautiful mental winding down.
Ps. All along the trail I keep seeing posters for Camino Brazil 🙂 only 500km.
— Posted from my phone