The tradition is the day after you finish you attend mass at the catherderal for the blessing of the pilgrims. They call out the nationalities of the pilgrims who finished the day before and if you are real fortunate they do the swinging of the incense burner.
i thinks it’s one of the few Catherdrals in the world where it it is filled every day of the year and you can’t find a seat for the 12:00 mass after 11;30.
I tried to upload the video but the gods are not aligned so stills will have to do today
The one constant on the trail is the hand painted yellow arrow. It’s the mark that keeps you on the trail through villages, big cities, wide plains and forests. There are the official markers that change as you change provinces but you learn to see the yellow ones and know you going in the right direction. One of the unsung comforts that guides don’t necessarily list as essential.
Today was the last full day on the trail so it’s a nice close to see the last marker for the day in Amenal at the end of a tree covered avenue with walls that seem ageless.
joy because I smelt a bit of home today walking through a eucalyptus Forrest and it could have been the blue mountains or the dandenongs. Otherwise just a long 38km today aiming to get to Santiago early on the 25th and play tourist for a couple of days. a very easy two days left
sad because another pilgrim died on the trail this week on his first day. This is not a walk just for the very fit as you see all shapes and sizes and people barely able to walk but most finish.
no photo today
the mainstay of the pilgrims are the bocadillas you can get from just about any bar along the way. It is hard to describe how much pleasure you can get from a fresh crusty roll with ham, cheese and tomato after the first mornings walking stage. Most pilgrims take a first and second breakfast one of which will be a bocadilla of some sort. As you move between the different provinces the cheese and gamon (ham) change with the territory and for that matter so does the bread. Today’s at Portomarín was just the best so far and made the morning worthwhile.
Just a fairly straight forward focus on K’s today (33) so I can look forward to a good easy run into Santiage which is 73 km away. Good walking weather again.
not many photos today and stopping tonight in the small village of Ligonde.
Was aiming to finish at the100km to mark today but found a remote private albergue 3km from the marker. It has just 12 beds in an old water mill site converted into an artists home where she provides rooms. It is such a peaceful spot far from a village that I needed an afternoon in the sun.
Great walking today coming further down the mountains through country lanes between oak and pine forests mixed with the dairy farms and the occasional walking in muck. I thought it would be cold this morning so layered up but by 6:45 labouring up another hill in the mist was sweating buckets.
didnt spend any time is Sarria just passed through but this is where a lot of spainish pilgrims start their walk so it will getting busier from this point onwards.
Not sure where I will end tomorrow maybe in another remote spot.
The road up into the mountains starts slow and easy through some very pretty countryside completely different from any thing from the earlier days (such distant memories). Mostly small. Picturesque Villages and plenty of trees but walking 20 or so on rural roads. Then the last part of 10km heads up into the steep part of the day. You get a great cardio workout.
I am more comfortable going up than down with my walking. This time I did take a picture of the rough road going up.
You worked up a sweat but if the wind came down the valley you froze.
The excitement of the day was trying to get out of the way of 8 or so horse galloping down the road on their way home on the steep part.
Decided to stay in a small village just short of the top of the mountain Laguna de Castilla for the night. It’s too bloody cold when the wind is up so the morning will be challenging with the final 2km to get to the top.
to be fair the photo isn’t representative of all albergues, and yes it is mixed.
still feeling the pain from yesterday with all that downhill rubble so today was longer at 32 km and just manageable. This is my upper limit, after this I start falling apart. The other photo shows we are in the mountains for one of the last big climbing days of the walk tomorrow.
now less than 200km to Santiago.