Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lobreiro to Arzua (Oct 8)

When we were leaving Lestedo, I asked the Galician manager which were the wet months in Galicia. He said in Galicia it rained every month of the year and every day each month. Since we already had a few days of fine weather our luck would soon run out. So it was not surprising that it was drizzling when we left Lebreiro morning and it continued intermittently throughout the morning. When the rain stopped it became uncomfortably warm and humid.

We passed through much the same terrain but the tracks were more even. We wanted to call in at the local tourism office at the major town of Melide to find out more about the services we could expect to have in Santiago on Sunday Oct 12 (our free day in Santiago after our arrival there) for we had just discovered that it was the important St Columbus Day, a public holiday all over Spain. Before we knew it, the Camino had taken us out of the town without passing any tourist office and we were unwilling to walk back into town. We also missed tbe main church where we had hoped to get a stamp on our credentials. But we did not miss seeing the series of restaurants serving pulpo that the town was famous for.

Another 5 km on at the village of Boente, the local priest was on duty as the guidebook said he normally would, meeting pilgrims, giving blessings and stamping their credentials. In fact he was the first Catholic priest we have met after over nearly 40 days of walking. On reflection, over the past few days in Galicia, we have noticed that Galicia was rather deficient in fine restored churches that we had come to expect in each village and town in Castilla and Navarra provinces, and where even small villages had some very important religious links to the past. It wss a bit of history that we had not totally understood.  Still, the province impressed with it lushness and natural beauty (when the rain and forests were not hindering the view).

Just before Arzua, we saw a moving sight. Four young men vigorously pushing a sick youth on a mobile bed along the Camino route. The sick youth must wished to go on the Camino.

We wanted a more comfortable day after yesterday's surprisingly tough 14km but the location of towns and quality of accommodation were such that we ended up having to do more than 20km or so. The stop we chose was in fact beyond Arzua, which at the end of the day was always a struggle.

The hotel we stayed in was a disappointment. It was one of those that we could sense the moment we walked in that our washings would not dry! In fact the heating equipment was leaking water into the room that surely made the matter worse. The restaurant had a good menu but my steak was not defrosted properly before the chef cooked it and I had to have it sent back. Not a good ending to the day except that we had good news from our friends Sue and Dave that they had arrived at Santiago, mission accomplished!  They started at Sarria a couple of days before we got there.

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