To begin with, this was a looong day. 33 kilometres to Olveiroa. I do not think I had been as exhausted as I was that day when I was crawling towards the albergue.
The night was peaceful and the day started very quietly, something you can enjoy only in albergue rooms as slightly inhabited as ours. With only 8-9 people available and fresh air coming through the window all night, it was quite a refreshing experience. We had coffee con leches with some sort of croissants. I am not usually particularly hungry at that time of the day, but these sections of the Camino (from Santiago to Finisterre) are not only less crowded in terms of pilgrims, but the distances between villages can be substantial, especially if you are used to the French way, offering so many possibilities. So fewer villages, and, what’s more, many of them did not provide eating possibilities, supermercados, or anything like that. So, it’s a very very good idea that there is something nutritious in your backpack when walking the Camino Finisterre.
Continued from Part 1
There was some walking along the road (not my piece of cake for sure) but this time there was a sidewalk (on both sides!), so I didn’t mind. I was looking forward to the rapid climb I noticed on the map. It was so good not knowing what to expect the previous days. The pleasure of ignorance. Now, however, I was perfectly aware that it was 2 km at least and the thought was not really comforting.
We saw the guy on the horse again. He is taking it slowly, isn’t he? I would expect him to be twice as quick as we were, but instead he was moving roughly at our pace. The horse was not thrilled with the climb, either, I am almost sure of that.
Day 9 was one of those days which have not left a very memorable trace in my mind. But there should be days like that, just getting in the routine of walking, which isn’t bad at all. It was a flat, long walk (over 30 km…again) with grumpy weather but considering we had to reach Santiago de Compostela the next day (already?!), we preferred to walk more that day and treat ourselves with a pleasurable short walk for the last day.
Here comes another thirty-something stage. To be precise, 32 km. A little disturbing thought, as I’ve noticed that around the 30th km my walking enthusiasm starts to rapidly evaporate in the hot Spanish sun.
We left early (what a surprise) the tiny tiny village of Gonzar and we were on the road again. The good thing about not starting from the major stage ending points (like Portomarin the other day) is that you can actually walk and enjoy the process without the contest feeling I sometimes got on busier parts of the Camino. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy competition spirit every now and then, I even normally get motivated by it, but for me it is not compatible with the Camino. Challenging myself – definitely YES but that’s another story.
I’m afraid I’d have to say it again. I totally felt for Casa Barbadelo and the leisurely atmosphere that surrounded the place. I was so relaxed that it was not before past 7 o’clock that I started to realize I have to get up and walk, walk, walk. The simplicity of life The funny thing is everyone in the room got up so “late” which had not happened the previous days. It was rather foggy outside but so pleasant and refreshing temperature. Fog in the city is one thing, fog in such places is a different story – it sprinkles everything with magical droplets and gives this fairy-land feeling.
(Continued from Day 6 – part 1)
Unlike most pilgrims, we did not stay in Sarria. The distance was very small (only 18 km) and also we preferred to relax in small villages and appreciate the rural atmosphere. It is worth mentioning that many people with limited time start exactly at Sarria as it ensures the minimum of 100 km. you need in order to receive your Compostela (the certificate you earn after completing the way) at Santiago. We desperately wanted to miss all the hustle and bustle in the morning.
This day of walking the Camino was not only long (more than 30 km), but it also started extremely early! Snoring in the room was unbearable during the night and when I felt the vibrations of the alarm I felt so relieved! I was ready in no time (something I usually do not do in normal life) and we were out (of course after breakfast). We started following the road in front of the albergue in the opposite direction of the village and after a while I seriously got worried that we had taken the wrong direction. It was completely dark, we saw no yellow arrows and there were no pilgrims walking the Camino after us. So we walked in silence, hoping.
Luckily, finally it turned out we are on the right track.
Before we realized it, we were in Ponferrada.
After our first day on Camino Frances, we started the second as proper pilgrims – early! Had a quick breakfast of toast and jam in the warm and cozy kitchen of the albergue and we set off. After walking for about 10 metres, I was convinced I should have put more clothes on, so we had to stop and, of course, it turned out my rain/wind jacket was at the very bottom of my backpack, so all the contents were taken out and then put back in again. Practice makes perfect, however, to limit the numbers of roaming through my things during the day, from now on I started to put items I would probably need during the day on the top!
After we went out of Rabanal (about 3-4 minutes after we started walking), even though it was completely dark, I quickly came to understand we were going to have some mountainous experience that day.The wind was a little discouraging but after a while we looked back to see one of the most beautiful sunrises on the Camino Frances so far. The sun definitely made things better.
The Camino de Santiago packing list…I have read so many advice and Camino packing lists before I started packing, that I was feeling a little confused what I should bring at all costs and what I can live without. The truth is that it is indeed a very good idea to have a look of other people’s packing lists, however, you should also take into consideration that packing lists vary depending on season of travelling, individual needs, physical condition, weight and personality! Make your own choices, and remember – the lighter, the better!
Here is what I took with me, my luggage was rather light at the end, perfect for the long hours of walking. Keep in mind my weight is only 45 kg. so I had to be even more choosy with the stuff I carried on my back.
The things listed covered all my needs for a September Camino. We were lucky that the weather was warm and sunny during the whole period, with the exception of a 10-minute-rainfall and 2 misty mornings.
Take your time and create your own list and also keep in mind that every day you are passing through villages and there are also some towns along the way, so you can buy any item you have forgotten or discover you need on Your Camino.