Day 30 : Ribadiso de Baixo to Pedrouzo

Steve : A reasonable night’s sleep, in spite of the snoring. We get up and ready ourselves for departure. Everything we own got a good soaking yesterday. All our gear has more or less dried out, apart from, sadly, our shoes. We stuffed them with newspaper last night, which does a good job of sucking out the moisture, but my left shoe still squelches when I walk. It’ll be fine in a few kms.

Roughly 30km to do today, so we look for a cafe for breakfast #1 and find a nice one in Arzua…

The cafe is attached to an upmarket albergue. Well dressed and sleek middle aged peregrinos in starched and pressed hiking gear are getting ready.

We consume toast, orange juice and coffee and we’re off…

I haven’t taken too many photos over the last few days, mainly due to the lashing rain, but above is a panorama of Galicia.

We walk through forested paths and stumble upon another cafe near A Calle, perfect for breakfast #2. Here we see the huge increase in peregrinos since Sarria.  They are on Day 4 of their short 100km walk and they are, probably, wet and miserable.

We try and book ourselves an albergue for the night but everywhere in Pedrouzo seems to be full. Hamish gets on booking.com and we find ourselves a Pension, a small cheap hotel and book a triple room for 60 euros. A little expensive but better than tramping the streets looking for three empty beds.

The cafe is very busy…

Peregrinos everywhere…

Later, we determine that it’s round about now that we reach our one millionth step. But we don’t know that just yet…

We power on up the trail, passing through some ancient trees…

Tall trees #1
Tall trees #2

J and H are having a surreal conversation about how they would survive a zombie apocalypse, and H wonders if vampires would be able to survive on other planets with a different sun.

I follow along, as we race through the crowds, and I marvel at my legs ability to carry me at this pace, and I have a major CALS* moment.

We arrive in Pedrouzo and find our pension. Our host is a star – super enthusiastic and helpful. He tells us that this small town has a population of some 400, almost all of whom are involved in the peregrino business. He reckons there are 2000 beds in Pedrouzo and they are all full tonight. Looking at the hordes on the trail, I can believe it.

We go to our room, unpack, and arrange for some laundry to be done. The room is splendid…

TOWELS!!! SHEETS!!! DUVETS!!!

Jen falls asleep whilst H and I do techie things. We emerge around 3pm to try and find some lunch and we find a terrific cafe called ‘Taste The Way’…

‘Taste The Way’

…that does a Peregrino Menu with veggie options. We eat ravenously.

We are in seafood country here, specifically octopus. You see them in big tanks in the windows of restaurants awaiting execution. Yuck.

Back to the hotel. Our TV has a USB port so we plug in my stick and watch ‘The Lady In The Van’. Ideal pilgrim entertainment. Then a trip to the vending machine for some junk food and we set up ‘Margin Call’ as movie #2. The antithesis of a peregrino movie!

We were going to attend the pilgrim mass at the local church but the movie is too interesting. Oh well.  Like I said, we walk through the country and experience almost none of it….

Dinner time arrives and we go out to try ‘Taste the Way’ again to discover that it’s closed for a private event. We find a horrible cafe, eat horrible salads and go to bed early.

Sleep is hard to come by, in spite of the comfy beds and duvets. Tomorrow we will be there.  We will have reached the end of our trail.

I check my watch and it reads 03:16.  I wonder if it’s a message…

 

*CALS, Camino adjusted lachrymosity syndrome