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Posts tagged ‘The Way’

Camino – A Rúa (Day 31)

Date: Fri 7th June
Distance: 20 km
Temperature: Cool/Warm
Mood: High
Left: Arzúa 9:00am
Arrived: A Rúa 2:00pm
Santiago de Composela: 20 km
Highlight: Spanish Donuts

We were in no hurry this morning as we left Arzua as we only had a leisurely 20km to cover for the day. We decided to have breakfast a little further into the town rather than at our accommodation which was just short of the town. of Arzua, Whilst we couldn’t complain about the quality of food, we weren’t given the friendly hospitality that we have become so accustomed to here in Spain, so no Sello (stamp) from her cafe!! (She was definitely not a morning person!)

The Galician trails did not disappoint with every twist and turn offering up a perfect photographic opportunity, who knows what tomorrow’s trail might bring, so better take that scene to add to all the others of a similar nature! The trail soon turned to those more familiar in Australia with forests of gumtrees. We could have been taking a stroll in the Dandenongs rather than here in Spain. We were looking out for the picnic table and BBQ – a sausage in bread would gave topped off the scene together with a kookaburra! A surreal experience, but homely and pleasant.

We started the day off in long pants, but the day warmed up enough for us to lose the zip-offs during our morning coffee and donut break (no chocolate croissants available!). We won’t tell you that this break came only an hour after our breakfast stop!

On passing the 20km mark to Santiago de Compostela, it’s hard to imagine that such a significant city is literally around the corner!

Whilst as always we enjoyed the day’s walk and the Galician countryside our attention is now shifting to focus on our last day on the Camino. As they say, it is not about the destination but the journey and we have, without hesitation or doubt enjoyed every part of our journey together that began 12 months ago!

So tomorrow is a new day, the finalé as we enter Santiago de Compostela. We try not to have any expectations other than we know we will be sharing this day with many other Pilgrims all on their own special journey.

Will we be able to make an early start to the day so we can attend the Pilgrims mass at midday?

Here’s to Mañana!

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Bounced back from my night out, even with the extra sausage (note, must read comments!)

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Camino – Arzúa (Day 30)

Date: Thu 6th June
Distance: 28 km
Temperature: Cool
Mood: Loving it!
Left: Palas de Rei 8:00am
Arrived: Arzúa 3:45pm
Santiago de Composela: 40 km
Highlight: Ever changing Camino scenery

Today we had a pleasant change back to cooler conditions. Whilst we love to see the sun out, it does come at a cost and the cooler conditions are ideal for walking in (not so much for photographing!)

We are simply amazed at the ever changing landscape and the Camino trail makes every effort to avoid the ugly side of the larger towns so is not uncommon for us to emerge from a magical green moss covered forrest into a town and then disappear out the other side down a rural lane way with the town quickly forgotten!

We had a big walk today with plenty of undulating trails that would drop down and over a creek and then have steep climbs up to a summit. Whilst nowhere as big a climbs as we’ve encountered before on the Camino, they do take it out of you. We stopped for a number of breaks during the day with a very bad habit of stopping for coffees and chocolate croissants whenever the opportunity arose. (Whilst never as nice as the ones in Paris, anything is good!) This might account for us getting in so late in the afternoon!

Whilst there is now more foot traffic, we still had plenty of trail to ourselves to enjoy (very hard not too!) and our fellow pilgrims can be quite entertaining at times!

Our last 2 nights accommodation were booked yesterday and we weren’t disappointed with the accommodation for the evening, especially for the cost. It also had the added bonus of being directly on the trail just before the township saving us a few extra steps! Not to mention a nice big hot bath to soak the weary muscles!

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Camino – Palas de Rei (Day 29)

Date: Wed 5th June
Distance: 25 km
Temperature: Warm/Hot
Mood: Uplifted
Left: Portomarín 8:00am
Arrived: Palas de Rei 3:00pm
Santiago de Composela: 68 km
Highlight: The Beauty of Galacia

An earlish start for us as we headed off in a thick fog that enveloped the countryside. We imaged witches and goblins lurking in the forests as we passed through them. Within a couple of hours the fog magically evaporated and we were immersed in full sunshine and treated as always to a Camino full of little surprises and pleasant walking trails.

The path took us through many small rural hamlets with farmers going about their business, dogs and chooks aplenty and with the usual Spanish grandma shuffling about, but always with a friendly greeting as you passed them by.

Plenty more Cafes are open to service the growing number of pilgrims and always draw you in with the temptation of food and coffee, but also the buzz from what can be large gatherings of fellow pilgrims in lovely outdoor settings.

Whilst the day was a decent walk (in terms of distance) and the sun has the tendency to zap energy from you, we both dealt with it surprisingly well. As always, the last 5 km is the most challenging physically and mentally, but before we knew it we had arrived and our accommodation was in plain view from entering the town, saving us from digging into our reserves to hunt down our room for the night!

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Camino – Portomarín (Day 28)

Date: Tue 4th June
Distance: 22 km
Temperature: Warm/Hot
Mood: Cheerful
Left: Sarria 8:45am
Arrived: Portomarín 2:45pm
Santiago de Composela: 93 km
Highlight: Jenny in shorts!

As previously warned, the Camino trail does get busier from Sarria, this becomes more apparent when nature calls!

Again, the scenery doesn’t disappoint and we were again blessed with a sunny warm day in a region known for its high rain fall. The trail is typically lined with moss covered stacked stone walls and plenty of greenery. The birds were particularly chatty and provided a good sound track whilst we walked.

We passed through plenty of little hamlets most with appealing Cafes tempting us for a break. We finally succumbed for a nice cold icy Coke.

It wasn’t long before we could see the township of Portomarín, a lovely town which overlooks a large reservoir. The town itself was quite lively with many pilgrims enjoying the sun, eating and drinking.

Only 4 more days of walking, we have now passed the 100 km marker… perhaps we are getting a little sad as our journey draws to a close.

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Camino – Sarria (Day 27)

Date: Mon 3rd June
Distance: 0 km (Rest Day)
Temperature: Warm
Mood: Relaxed
Santiago de Composela: 115 km
Highlight: Jenny’s Birthday

The weather hasn’t disappointed for a relaxing rest day to celebrate Jenny’s birthday! What better way than to start the day with a buffet hotel breakfast. No need to eat for the rest of the day!

As always with rest days, it’s a good opportunity to catch up on some domestics, but we also needed to get new pilgrim passports (Credentials), as we had completely filled our original credentials with Sello’s (pilgrim stamps). So we headed for the 13th century Monastery for a new set. The Monastery is still in operation and part of the building has recently been refurbished and also accommodates pilgrims as an Albergue.

We also enjoyed a pleasant stroll around town which we finished off with gelato’s in the afternoon sun (we needed to try the Spanish Gelato’s so we can make an informed comparison when we get to Italy! – Anne, you better not disappoint!)

We are hoping to stow our wet weather gear at the bottom of our backpacks (probably wishful thinking in this region of Spain) as we head off on the final leg of our Camino.

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