Day 56 - Cee to Finisterre

Date: June 29, 2015

Location: From: Cee to Finisterre, final day and at the "end of the world"

Mileage: 16.4 km

GPS Location: 42.908144 N and -9.263069 W

Lodging and Cost: Hotel Mariquito - 25 €

Weather: A little foggy early but cleared off for beautiful blue skies and warm day with a light breeze.

Temperature: mid 60s° F at 6:30 a.m. and warmed to mid 70s° F later in the day

Highlights: Walking around the beach to get out of town then climbing up to the summit of hill out of town to have a full view of the ocean and the coast. I had this off and on the entire morning.

Summary of day:

I slept in until 6:30 this morning because I only had a 16 Km day and I remembered how beautiful this last day was from two years ago so I wanted to be able to see everything. I left the hotel at 7:00 a.m. and walked back down to the beach to pick up the trail. I was able to follow the beach for about 2 km before it turned and started to climb up a side street through the outskirts of Cee. At one point I reached a high point where I could look back and see the entire town of Cee as well as the beach, coast line and out to sea. It was one of the most beautiful sights of my entire trip.

For a long time this morning I was on a trail in the woods until I dropped back down to the road and the little town of Estorde, where I stopped and had a cup of cafe con leche on the terrace of a little Pension/restaurant right on the beach. It was a really nice break. I knew that I was getting closer to the end and I wanted to savor this last day. I took my time but finally had to move on. I walked up the road for about ten minutes before the trail turned back into the woods and started to climb again to go over the last big hill before dropping back down to the outskirts of Finisterre. When I reached the very top of the hill it leveled off and I walked through a really wooded section just before it opened up completely where you could see not only the ocean to the horizon, but all the coasts leading around to Finisterre. I could even see the lighthouse at the "End of the World." I stopped and took my pack off, took pictures and even ate an orange while just looking out at the views below. I was thinking that this could be and probably would be the last time that I see this and I wanted to take it all in one last time. Finally after about 45 minutes I packed up and headed on down to the road below leading into Finisterre.

After I got to the road, the trail crossed it. At that point you had a choice of which path to take, the road into town or the beach. Last time was the beach and so it was the beach again. I remembered picking up some shells along the way but didn't have anything to put them in so I was limited in how many I could get. Well this time I brought a gallon zip lock bag so I could get as many as I wanted. I slowly walked the beach picking up some of the nicer shells. I finally got to the end of the beach walk and was at the town. I got back on the city street and walked into town to my hotel and checked in. After getting into my room, all I did was to drop my pack and grab my water bottle, walking sticks and my rock from the summit of Mt. Katahdin and headed back out and up to the light house to finish the walk and leave my stone there. It's funny we think that 3.5 km or 2 miles is a long way, but in no time I was at the top and standing at the 0.0 Km Mile Marker and the cross was just beyond and below the lighthouse. I made my way to the cross and placed my stone on top and then just went and sat down for a while as more and more people came up from below. I thought about my trip and that last time I was here I thought that I'll probably never be back, but yet here I am again. I was lucky to have made this trip the first time let alone blessed enough to do it again. It was truly an experience for me both times. Last time I was here I spoke no Spanish and picked up some along the way and it created a desire in me to learn Spanish and come back. Well I went home then and I did learn it and I did come back. My Spanish isn't perfect and I'm still far from fluent, but I was able to speak to people constantly everyday and function completely. It is so much better and it has made my desire even stronger to continue learning the language. I believe that God gives us many purposes in life and I think I have been given another purpose so that I can use what I learn to help others in some small way. I don't know what it is, but when the time comes it will be shown to me.

I sat up by the light house for about two hours just thinking about my walk for the past two months. I thought about all that I have seen and done and all the wonderful people that I have met, not to mention the new life long friends that I have made along the way. I also watched the people come up to celebrate their completion, and then it hit me, my walk was over and suddenly, I was ready to go home. I had finished what I had come here to do. I still have a few more days in Spain, so tomorrow I will catch the bus back to Santiago and stay there for a couple of days because my train doesn't leave for Madrid until Friday morning where I will spend the weekend there, before flying out on Tuesday morning for Atlanta. While I'm in Madrid I plan to visit some of the museums and art galleries and just sight see in general. It will be a fun weekend just playing the "accidental tourist" for a few days. I call it "accidental" because my hiking skills are better than my planning skills for number of days to be gone, so I figured about 7 days too many before returning. Though it will be fun to see more of Madrid, this is the part of any trip that is better shared with someone. I will take a lot of pictures and share them when I get home. I hope that everyone has enjoyed walking with me these past two months on the different Camino's and I thank you for sharing this experience with me. It has been a real pleasure for me to write this and to give you a day to day account of my walk. As I close out my blog I want to wish everyone, no matter what trail or path you take a...Buen Camino!

Just a few stats on my walk: I have walked 1,271 total forward kilometers I estimated that I walked at least 300 km in walking around the towns sight seeing, and walking to and from the restaurants to eat. All total that is 1,571 km from St Jean Pied de Port, France to the Atlantic Ocean across Spain, and up the length of Portugal from Porto back to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I walked for 56 days and took 6 days total off where I didn't walk a forward kilometer. That is averaging 25.42 per day forward walking kilometers. I had no days of rain and only one morning of a light mist which required my pack cover for an hour but no other rain gear.

Day 55 - Olveiroa to Cee

Date: June 28, 2015

Location: From: Olveiroa  To: Cee

Mileage: 18.3 Km

Weather: Heavy fog at 6:00 a.m. with a light mist, but later in the morning, 9:00 a.m. all burned off and clear blue skies.

Temperature: Upper 50s° F at 6:00 a.m. but in the 70s° F in the afternoon

Lodging and Cost: Hotel Larry - 30€

GPS Location: ’42.953728” N and ’ -9.188373” W

Highlights: Views from the mountains near Logoso, the valleys and the river below. The view of the sea from the summit of Alto do Cruceiro.

Summary of the Day: 

I was up at 5:15 a.m. and out the door by 5:50, and just as I stepped out I noticed that it was misting and the pavement was getting wet. This is really the first time it seemed like I was going to need a pack cover and I wasn't taking any chances. I took my pack off under the terrace cover and put it on. At the same time the door opened and the owner, Pablo, came out an told me to wait just a minute before I left. He went inside and came back out with two bananas and an apple for me to take with me and also asked if I would like for him to make me a cup of coffee, but I told him no, but thank you. Nobody wants you to leave without something to eat or at least to take with you.

Well with my pack cover on and the mist seemingly getting harder, I took off. I knew that it wasn't rain but just a thick fog. As I climbed the mountain the fog got thicker and the mist got heavier. Soon the fog just disappeared and I could see all of the valley and the river below. It wasn't long and I came to the Albergue Logoso and the Bar/Café was open; it looked like a good time to stop and eat and get a cup of coffee. After breakfast the trail went into the woods and was on a path for the rest of the time until I reached Cee and then it went onto the road going into town. The wooded path was great. It was just like the trails that I hike at home and it climbed up and over the summit of Alto do Cruceiro, where there was a large cross along side the trail. Again people stop and put rocks on it and all around it.

At that point the ocean came into view and you could see not only to the horizon but it was clear enough to see all the coast line with all the little houses scattered around. I had been hiking all morning alone and hadn't seen a single person, but the minute the coast was in sight and I was going to take pictures, it seems like everybody came running up. I finally pushed on as I was really looking forward to getting to Cee and the Hotel Larry.

When I was here two years ago I stayed there and it was a really nice room and it looked out onto the ocean, which I was less than five minutes walking distance away. The owner, Pepe, was a engineer turned chef. He always wanted to be a chef but his dad wanted him to be an engineer so he honored his father by becoming an engineer, but when his father died he changed professions and started cooking and then he bought the hotel. He has his daughters working there and he cooks. The meals that he makes are the best, at least they were two years ago, and I don't have any reason to thing they have changed.

I got there and his daughter was working the bar and the front desk. I told her that I had a reservation and she said yes and gave me a key and told me what room I was in. When I got up to the room it was the same one as last time. The view was wonderful. I could see the ocean and all of the beach right from my window. After I cleaned up it was time to head to the beach. What I didn't know was there was some kind of flea market/bazar going on in the plaza and it was very hard to get through it all. I have never seen so many booths selling shoes, wallets, pocketbooks, and sheets and blankets in my life, not to mention the fruit stands, salted meats, and fresh fish. I didn't at anytime see any fresh foods on ice, but just lying there on a table for sale and people were buying.

It's always interesting to see what people buy. I just walked along and watched the people. That's one thing that I have enjoyed about this trip are the people and how they live. As it got later, I thought that I would go up and see about dinner and if the restaurant was going to be open because it was a Sunday. I remember in Porto, Portugal on Sunday they didn't open any restaurants on Sunday so everybody went hungry. I asked Pepe’s daughter if he was cooking and she said that he was. I went down to the restaurant and was greeted by Pepe. I had a nice conversation with him. I told about my previous time there, and I knew that he didn't remember me, but he listened and acknowledged everything I said and was very pleasant. I ordered a Bistec (grilled steak) and it was cooked to perfection and the Galician soup was perfect as well. When I get home I'm going to get a recipe for it. I think my Galician cabbage should be up and ready to pick some.

Pepe came out and sat with me for a little bit while I finished eating and we talked some more. He told me that the Spanish that is spoken back toward the middle of Spain is now more difficult for him to speak and that for the past 15 years he has pretty much spoken Galician, but a lot of his brothers and sisters still speak pure Spanish and that they live in New York so they talk mostly on the phone.

After I finished dinner I packed up and got ready for the next day's hike. Tomorrow’s not a long day or a big mileage day but I need to be rested. With that I am going turn in, so for now I will say….Buen Camino.

Day 54 - Negreira to Olveiroa

Date: June 27, 2015

Location: From: Negreira  To: Olveiroa

Mileage: 33.1 Km

Weather: Overcast and fog early turning to mist later in the morning and then blue skies by mid day. No Rain.

Temperature: 66° F at 6:00 a.m. and later in the day at 4:00 it was 82° F

Lodging and Cost: Casa Rural-As Pias - 35€

GPS Location: ’42.963342” N and ’ -9.040329” W

Highlights: Today was one of those days that really had nothing exactly spectacular other than the fact that you're out there and that is spectacular enough. It was a lot of road walking which is a way of getting where you need or want to go. The views of the windmills on distance mountains.

Summary of the Day: 

I got up at 5:15 a.m. this morning and packed up but had no intentions of leaving until 6:00 because I wanted to see some sign of daylight this time. I walked out the door at five minutes to six and it was still pretty dark but light  enough to see without a headlamp so I went on. You leave this town by walking to the bottom of the hill and exiting through the archway through the wall of the city and then you start walking up the road and I do mean up! There were two major "ups" today that had to be summited and crossed, and one was 100 percent on the road and it was a little later in the morning when it was warmer, and the other was a combination of road and path. The path trails that go up I don't mind so much because they are at least enjoyable and there are things to look at and see, but the road walks are just pounding the asphalt and in the hot sun.

There were a lot of people on the trail today, both very early and later, and of course none spoke English. After about three hours I came to a Bar/Café and decided to have breakfast. Ever since I was hiking on the the Camino Frances with Ross and Athenia and we would stop for breakfast and they would get eggs and bacon with bread I have craved that when I stop to get something in the mornings. They have ruined me on café con leche and just a roll. I do have to admit that it really carries me until midday and I don't get hungry and have plenty of energy. Anyway, when I went in the bar, there were nothing but French folks and everybody that came in was French. If I hadn't known better I would have thought that I was in France. I haven't seen anybody from America since I was down on the Camino Portugue, and even now very few that speak English. We all ate and packed out.

I think the reason that everybody is starting early and making the dash to the coast is that they are also a little eager to get finished. Most of them have been on the trail for at least 30 day plus. I myself have been walking, as of today 54 days and only 4 of them have been zero days with no forward movement. This trail, while it isn't like a lot of the trails that I've hiked in the past, does start to take a toll on your body and mind. I like long distance hiking, but I am starting to look forward to going home. It's just getting to be that time.

I now only have three more days of walking and I will be at the coast, or as it is known as “The End of the World.” It is called that because that is as farthest West that you can go without going into the ocean. When you get to the cliff above the Atlantic there is a cross there and you're supposed to have brought a stone with you from home and place it at the cross. The stone represents all your problems and you're leaving them at the cross for Christ to take care of. They also say that you're supposed to burn your clothes as a symbol of shedding your old life and starting a new. I'll go with the stone, but my clothes and shedding my old life, well I like my life. It has been full and rich and I have been blessed beyond anything I can imagine. (Even though I complain... a lot…probably too much). All in all I do look forward to getting there and then going home. Even though my walk will be over I'll still be in Spain for a few days after. I'm going to Madrid for three days and checking out the sites and museums and galleries there while waiting on my flight.

With this it's time to get some sleep as the walk isn't over yet, I have another big day tomorrow for my first glance of the sea. It's in a little village called Cee, and I plan on walking the beach into the town. It is a great little town. So at this time look for further reports from the Camino and I will say… Buen Camino!

Day 53 - Santiago de Compostela to Negreira

Date: June 26, 2015

Location: From: Santiago de Compostela  To: Negreira

Mileage: 22.4 km

Weather: Cool and very overcast and sometime a little misty, no rain

Temperature: Mid 60s° F at 6:00 a.m. and in the upper 70s° F at 6:00 p.m.

Lodging and Cost: Hospedaje (Hostal) La Mezquito - 25€

GPS Location: ’42.909525” N and ’ -8.736148” W

Highlights: Looking back on Santiago de Compostela and the seeing the city and the Cathedral from high up on a hill. Crossing an old Roman bridge with the waterfall in the background. It was a great sight. Walking the nice paths that are like the trails back home and not having to deal with roads and cars. 

Summary of the Day: 

I woke up this morning at 5:00 a.m. but moved slowly as I was not going to leave until around 7:00. I actually did leave a little earlier than that, about 6:30, because it was really light enough to see and I wasn't sure if it was going to rain. It was a nice walk out of town. I went down by the cathedral and toward the park. It was all downhill out of town and then the climbing started, but not a bad climb. For a change I wasn't the only one leaving town early in the morning, there were about five others.

As I walked along I came across a couple from Bulgaria and we spoke for a few minutes as they knew very little English. Next was an Italian couple who spoke even less English, but asked me if I spoke Spanish, and I said some, but slowly. Again we only spoke for a few minutes. After that I was alone until I stopped to get some breakfast at this little café in the village of Ventosa. I was sitting there eating and this man comes up and puts his pack at the same table as mine and in the chair right next to me and goes on inside the restaurant, but never comes out to sit at the table. When I finished and packed up he comes out and packs up also. As I walk away he is right on my heels. I thought something was odd about this, but just walked on and so did he. He was right on my heels for about four km, so I just stopped to look at my book and force him to pass me. He does and I think that it is settled but about a km up the trail there he stands like he is waiting on me. I just pass by him and he starts walking again. Now he's back on my heels so I figure if he wants to follow then let him keep up. The man has never said a word to me so I'm going to leave him, which I do.

Later I come to a really pretty bridge with a waterfall in the back ground so I take a picture of it, but I want one with me in it, so I see him coming and decide to wait and ask him to take a picture. I know he doesn't speak English so I ask him in Spanish to take a picture of me and he responds to me in Spanish, "No, get someone else" and walks on. I did and then started walking again. It wasn't long before I  saw him stopped along the trail and as I approach him he asked me which way is the trail. I seriously debated about telling I didn't know and let him figure it out for himself, but I wasn't going to be like that so I told him and kept on walking and now he was back on my heels, but not for long as he couldn't keep up.

I was almost at my town that I was staying in anyway so it didn't matter. I got to the Hostal and went in, but the room wasn't ready yet so I had a café con leche and waited. It wasn't too long and my room was ready. After cleaning up, I toured the little town. This is a great little town, it's not too big or small but has everything that you could want or need. The woman at the Hostal is very nice and she has seen fit to correct some of my Spanish without me having to ask her. I guess she is one of those that feels if you're going to speak then do it correctly. Some people might get offended but I told her to correct me anytime I'm wrong. Later in the day I went and asked her some questions on Spanish grammar and word usage and she spent about 15 or 20 minutes going over the proper words to use. She also told me that if I just spent some time in Spain that I could become fluent in no time.

Later in the evening she started the Pilgrim’s menu for dinner in the dining room, so rather than go out and try to find a place to eat I just ate in there, and I'm glad I did the meal was really good. She had a dish called chicken steak. It was like our chicken breast but it was cut thinner like a regular steak and then grilled with a lot of herbs  and seasonings that I don't know, but it was so tender that you could cut it with a fork and it was the best tasting chicken that I've had here. The salad was gigantic with everything on it. After dinner it was time to start packing for tomorrow as I planning on doing a larger mileage day and I've been looking at the profile and it appears that I have two mountains to climb over and it looks like they are on a road, which is never any fun, because of  the traffic, but more importantly the heat from the asphalt road just burns your feet so badly. I will try to get out early and get the bulk of the walk done while it is cool.

The walk today from Santiago de Compostela was an enjoyable walk and I remember it from two years ago. A lot of neighborhoods and a lot of wooded paths which are always nice, because it is easy on your feet and it is cooler. So with that I will close for tonight… Buen Camino.

Day 52 - Santiago

Date: June 25, 2015

Location: Santiago de Compostela

Mileage: 0.0 Km

Weather: Beautiful blue sky and not too cool and not too hot

Temperature: Low 60s° F all day

Lodging and Cost: Hotel Rua Villar - 75  €

GPS Location: ’42.879562” N and ’ -8.544513” W

Highlights: Santiago de Compostela 

Summary of the Day: 

I had turned my alarm off the night before so I didn't wake up until 6:30 and didn't even try to get up. I just laid there in bed. This is the first time since I've been here that I didn't just jump up and start getting ready to walk, and it felt nice to be lazy. Finally around 7:15, I decided that I would do something and not just lay there so I got up and completed about three Spanish lessons that I've been working on and then I went to breakfast. For some reason in the past month I've been craving eggs, bacon, toast and orange juice along with café con leche so that’s what I had this morning and it was good.

After breakfast I came back to the room and looked over my schedule for the walk out to Finisterre and Muxia. I decided that I could complete that walk in six days and be back by next Thursday morning to catch a train on Friday to Madrid. I can spend a few days and probably a lot of Euros there before catching my flight back to Atlanta. The next thing I did was go to the train booking office across the street and talk to the man there and buy my ticket. I have a Spanish senior citizen's card which gives me a 40 percent discount on train tickets, except on Friday and Saturday travel, you only get 25 percent discount, but that's something. My ticket, first class, is 54.75€ compared to 75€ if I didn't have my card. Anyway that is now taken care of. All I have now is the booking for a place to stay in Madrid and that's where my  daughter comes in as she is going to help me locate a place in Madrid. It's got to be obvious from my past performance of finding a nice room in Porto that I need help in that area. So now it's off to get in touch with her.

Well after about an hour on FaceTime with her she found something right in the center of Madrid in the main plaza. It appears to be very nice. I saw pictures of the room and see that it is very near all the museums and galleries so I should have plenty of things to do and spend my last Euros on. I will have three full days in Madrid. I didn't really want that long there but I worried that, because it was over a weekend, I might need to be closer to the airport than half way across the country. I can grab a cab and be at the airport in 20–30  minutes whereas in Santiago it is a 5-hour train trip in a high speed train traveling at 220 KPH.

I think it will be fun in Madrid. I enjoyed it last time, but it was only for 2-1/2 days. Also the temperatures are scheduled to be around 103° F for two of the three days. Thankfully Kelley found me a place with air conditioning. You may not know this, but most of the hotels, hostels, and pensions in Spain do not have air conditioning in the rooms so it can leave you a little miserable. I guess I'm pretty well set. The rest of the day is just going to be taking it easy and seeing if there is anything that I didn't see or do.

Tomorrow I will leave out around 6:30 in the morning as I only have a 22 Km day and I am fully rested so I should be fine to do the distance, and it is predicted to be cool and very cloudy, but not raining. I look forward to walking out to the coast. It's always fun to go to the ocean and watch the waves come crashing in and watch the people.  And with that thought I will finishing preparing for a new adventure to start tomorrow and say… Buen Camino.

Day 51 - Picarana to Santiago

Date: June 24, 2015

Location: From: Picarana To: Santiago

Mileage: 16.4 Km

Weather: Nice and cool with overcast skies

Temperature: 59° F at 6:00 a.m. and in the upper 60s° F at 6:00 p.m.

Lodging and Cost: Hotel Rua Villar - 70€

GPS Location: ’42.879562” N and -8.544513” W

Highlights: Seeing Santiago in the distance from the Camino de Portugues

Summary of the Day: 

I got up at 5:00 a.m. and was ready to head to Santiago, but then I thought about the fact that the first 2 km were on a high speed, high volume road so maybe I should wait just a little later. I left the room at 6 a.m. and hurried as quickly as I could up the road. A lot of tractor trailer trucks came whizzing by and I was really happy to get to the little side road through the village of Teo. After passing through Teo, the trail turned off the road and went to a nice dirt path which I followed for a while and then the path turned to an old paved road that I don't think is used anymore. It stayed on that kind of surface until I was at the very far outskirts of Santiago and then it went to regular streets with a few cars passing by. This was a high vantage point and I could see the city of Santiago clearly, but could not see the Cathedral at any point along the route.

Suddenly the little street turned into a major city street with a lot of traffic. I was passing the major hospital and the University of Santiago de Compostela. It was at this point that I lost all Way marks leading to the Cathedral. I backtracked to try to find them but to no avail. Finally I saw a street sign that said Camino de Santiago so I figured that I was on the right track. I did pass a couple of arrows, but then they were gone again. This time I figured that I must be on a parallel street so I just pushed on so that I wouldn't get too turned around. I finally did stop and ask some if this was the Camino and they said they didn't know but if I just keep going and bear left at the intersection that I would see a sign to the Cathedral. This is what I did and in about two minutes I recognized the park on my left as I had been there several times and now I knew exactly where I was. It was the same street that my hotel was on. I turned and walked right past my hotel to the Cathedral and had my finishing picture taken and then came back to the hotel and dropped my gear before going across from it and getting my Compostela at the office. There were only three people in front of me and I was in an out in a matter of minutes.

I went back to the hotel and the room wasn't ready yet which I expected would be the case so I went and ate breakfast. The waitress remembered me from a couple of weeks ago because we had talked about me doing the Portuguese route and she asked how it was. After I got in my room and cleaned up, I crashed for a little while to get some rest. Today I was tired. Later in the day I went out and ate, but mostly just laid around in my room or out on the plaza. It was a great day to just be lazy for a change. I decided that I was going to take a day off tomorrow and rest up for the last six days. I started looking into my exit strategy on getting home.

I have my airline ticket from Madrid, so all I needed was to figure out was when to leave Santiago next week on the train back to Madrid, buy the ticket, and then where to stay in Madrid when I get there. I will start dealing with that tomorrow when I'm a little more rested. Right now it's just eat, rest and relax and get ready for the last 115 km. For dinner I decided that I didn’t want a Pilgrim's meal but a good ole American meal. I remembered a pizza restaurant that I ate at two weeks ago, so I went there and had a big veggie pizza with pepperoni on it (not a lot of pepperoni... six to be exact). It was all good and it was just what I wanted. I'm now in my room and it time to get a little rest for a nice slow off day tomorrow and start getting things ready to head home and checking out some more sights in Santiago before heading back out to the coast one more time, so with that I'll say good night and…Buen Camino.

Day 50 - Caldas de Reis to Picarana

Date: June 23, 2015

Location: From: Caldas de Reis  To: Picarana

Mileage: 26.6 Km

Weather: Overcast with heavy clouds an fog and some mist. The temperatures are very cool.

Temperature: In the 60s° F at 6:00 a.m. and 67° F at 4:00 p.m.

Lodging and Cost: Hotel Milagrosa  Alfonso - 25 €

GPS Location: ’42.802041” N and ’ -8.638032” W

Summary of the Day: 

I got up at 5:15 a.m. to leave by 6:00 and was ready and walking out of my room by 6:40. When I went out  of the room I noticed that the restaurant lights were on. The restaurant was at the end of the hall on the same floor as my room. I wasn’t sure what to do with my key, if I should leave it in the room, in the door, or on the reception desk. I saw a lady in the restaurant working so I thought that I would just ask her. When I approached her she ask me if I was ready for breakfast. I told her that I thought that it was at 8:00, to which she replied that it is but that I had told the owner that I would be gone by then and that I was leaving around 5:30 so they fixed mine early as it was included with the room. How could I say no to that. This is the way the people of Spain are. I've had them say that they would fix me a picnic or a traveling breakfast and leave it at the front desk to pick up in the morning.

After I finished, I headed on out as it was going to be another pretty long walk. Doing a long distance about every third day is okay and it gives you time to recover, but the three consecutive days of high 20 to 30 km days starts to wear on the body. This will be the last long day until I get back to Santiago and complete the Portuguese Way.

Today's walk was mostly back in the woods and on trails that reminded me of the trails at home. The only stretch that was on roads was about four km before I came into Padron and then it went on the main road into town and back out the other side. Going out of Padron I got caught behind a high school field trip to walk the Camino. There must have been about 50 kids taking up the entire trail and not giving an inch so anybody could pass. It took me at least 45 minutes to pass them all. It seems like here everybody gets involved with the Camino in one way or the other. This is really good to see because it lets you know that the people have a vested interest in the trail and that actually gives the peregrinos a sense of security because we know that good people are always watching the trail and that makes you safer out here, whether it's at 5:00 in the morning and all alone or the middle of the day with several people around you.

Anyway after getting around the kids I pushed on to my place for the night. Almost all day was completely back in farm lands with lots of corn and grapes. I am starting to see more hay or feed grass being grown again. The farmers are starting to cut, rake and bale. I guess that they get two growing seasons here. At one time I thought that I had passed the hotel some ways back and figured I'd have to walk a lot further but when I saw a farmer working his field, I asked him where the hotel was and he said it was about 2 km further, so now we're back to the old, “it's only a couple km further” statement. I had to continue and as it turned out it was about two km further. This was a nice place and I was home for the night.

As it turned out only one other Peregrino stayed there and it so happened to be Avis, the fellow from Australia, so it worked out pretty well. We again had dinner together and then sat around for a while and talked. I told him I was leaving early for Santiago and he said that he was also.  

I had another good day on the trail and am looking forward to getting back into Santiago. I want to get there as early as possible to avoid any long lines at the Oficina de Peregrino for my Compostela for the Portuguese route, so I will head to bed and say…Buen Camino.

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