My pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago XVI

What a wonderful night! It was so quiet and so dark in the bedroom that we both completely overslept.

We quickly pack up and set off. Every day we are getting closer and only a day or two before we reach Santiago.

We arrive in Ribadiso and when you get to the bridge you look onto these old monastery buildings. The mist is still hanging low over the grasslands and everything feels fresh and crisp.

Ribadiso de Baixo

Ribadiso de Baixo

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We are starving and stop for a brunch consisting of bacon and eggs at Casa Calzada. It is so nice to have an option besides toast and jam again. Here, they have the cutest little Fiat that they use as their delivery vehicle. It is not often you still see these old cars in such good shape.

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Today is blisteringly hot again and I’m grateful for every bit of shade we get along the way.

A little bit further we come across this prayer wall which provides some food for thought. I don’t know exactly how many there are, but the wall stretches for a good 6-7 m long with prayers and sayings all the way down.

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I am experiencing a bit of discomfort today, I have a muscle in my back that I damaged years ago and from time to time it goes into a slight spasm. Today, it seems is one of those days – the beast has woken from its deep sleep. It is a slow dull ache that with every kilometre is getting more pronounced. I am finally forced to stop for a rest and find my “medicine bag” hoping that an anti-inflammatory will help.

Pilgrim monument

One of the many pilgrim monuments along the way

At 14:30 the pain is just unbearable and the anti-inflammatory hasn’t really made a dent in it. My backpack has to come off, the sooner the better. We happen to be near Andaina and as soon as I see the big representation of a pilgrim, I rush in and ask whether they still have place available. They do and after booking in I can finally take my backpack off.

As luck would have it we are once again blessed with a wonderful room that contains only three beds and a great big bathroom right next door. The second luck is that we have the room completely to ourselves.

I am relieved to be rid of the backpack and Trudy helps me by rubbing my back in with some anti-inflammatory gel. I just hope that it is better by tomorrow. We’ve been so lucky so far on this trip not to have any problems and I’m praying it hasn’t run out now.

Today is some special holiday in Spain and when I hear the first shots ring out, my South African instinct kicked in and I wanted to duck or run, but was laughingly told that it is a celebration of sorts. It is their national freedom day or suchlike and for some reason they find it a good to shoot off canons and guns persistently throughout the day and quite late into the night.

Tonight, we are joined by a German guy who has done the coastal route and it evidently joins up with the St James Way at this point.  The way he describes his journey along the coastal route makes me feel a touch of envy.  The coastal route is not so commercialized and seems to have been more of a real pilgrimage than the way we have gone.  Maybe somewhere in the future …if I have another opportunity….?

We discuss that maybe it will be good to make one more stop before Santiago, but we will see what tomorrow holds.

Only 25km to go!

Casa Cajella – Andaina – 19km

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