ARZUA – O PEDROUZO
Only another 40km!
That was all I was thinking about this morning when I’ve woken up. I did not sleep well – almost coughing throughout the night – and really felt miserable when it was time to start walking.
We’ve met 3 Italians yesterday that overnight in the same albergue and one of the ladies heard me coughing during the night. She came to me this morning and gave me a small packet of peppermint sweets to help for my cough. I’ve apologized that I’ve kept them awake, but she said they are now so excited to get to Santiago (they’ve walked from Sarria), that it did not bothered them, but she felt sorry for me. She also told me to drink enough water (to stay hydrated) and orange juice (for extra Vitamin C) and not to walk too fast.
Lesson learned: It was amazing to see on the Camino how people care about others and their wellbeing. A lesson I could, for sure, take with me after I’ve completed the Camino
Besides me coughing, I still had to deal with my blistered feet. New blisters formed over the old blisters (that were busy healing) … must be the new hiking sandals and the “emergency” walking with my flip flops …
Before we’ve started to walk, Berto made me sat down and he “plastered” my feet. If it wasn’t for the Leukotape P plaster that we’ve brought from South Africa, it would have been almost impossible for me to complete the Camino. At least one item, we will never travel without again!
Fortunately, we’ve done the steep climb yesterday to Arzua and the rest of today’s walk is fairly level. It was difficult to get into my usual rhythm at first, but after a while it all went ok. Berto was not walking too fast and I’ve actually started to enjoy the walk.
We were still walking through woodlands and the fields were beautifully green. It was not as hot as yesterday, which also made the walk more comfortable.
Still walking through woodlands
We’ve stopped at A Calzada where there was a nice café next to the road. I’ve opted for the orange juice (as per instruction from my fellow Italian pilgrim). The lemon cake smelled divine and I got a big piece on my plate, while Berto had more of the Galician empanada.
We’ve now seen a lot of pilgrims – either joining us at the café or walking past – and you can now sense that everyone’s got their eyes firmly on arriving in Santiago!
I’m still standing … well, sort of leaning against the wall
As I was walking, I’ve realized that by tomorrow all these beautiful pathways we’ve seen the past 4 weeks, will come to an end. Although my body is probably more than happy about this thought, I’m sad that this walk will end … I did not know what to expect of this journey at the beginning, but this experience was exceeding my expectations by far and I’ve learned so much more about myself.
This day turned out to be one where I’ve reflected a lot back on our Camino.
There were so many stunning roads on the Camino and today turned out to be another beautiful one
A small pond next to our pathway – just adding to the pure serenity we were experiencing on our 2nd last day on the Camino
When we’ve walked through Salceda, we’ve seen our old friends, Carl and John sitting at one of the cafés. They’ve invited us to sit down and have something to eat, but as we’ve just had our morning breakfast, we’ve said we’ll slowly walk on and then they can catch up after they’ve eaten.
With about 4km to go to O Pedrouzo, Carl and John joined us and we’ve walked together. We’ve seen John on our first day and Carl on our second day on the Camino. Every now and then we would see each other somewhere on the road and it was now very special to walk with them towards the end of our Camino.
At Cruce O Emplame, we’ve stopped for another coffee – it was still early and O Pedrouzo was just around the corner. While we were sitting there, our “Three wise men” from Korea/USA walked in … after 4 weeks, our group were together again!
I’ve read the previous day about a hostel in a modern building in O Pedrouzo and we’ve decided to stay at Porta de Santiago. Carl and John also joined us. There were just a couple of pilgrims here, but it slowly filled up towards the late afternoon.
The entrance to our dorm of Hostel Porta de Santiago. One more night on the bunk beds
We’ve washed our clothes for the last time on the Camino and sat in the back garden while it was drying on the washing lines. Everybody was reflecting back over the last couple of weeks and we’ve shared many stories.
Later that evening we went to the café opposite the hostel for dinner and a few drinks. As the men were still enjoying their last drinks, I went back to the hostel, to take care of my feet and have a few tablets for my cold.
A new blood blister formed underneath my one foot … I could just shake my head in disbelief! I’ve used a sterilized needle to make a small hole on the edge of the blister and gently squeezed the fluid out. After I’ve put some Bactroban on, I’ve put another plaster on.
I did not post any photo’s of my blistered feet on this blog (to see other people’s bruised feet is anyway gory), but just so you can see I’m not making these stories up about the condition of my feet … it’s for real!
Everyone went to bed early … tomorrow will be the final day of walking and we want to be ready for this joyous occasion!