Tue 20 Oct - Day 36: Ponte Campaña to Arzua 24km
746 walked. 39km left to walk.
Navigational malfunction. Also known as getting lost. That's how this day started. A price you may have to pay by leaving and trying to find your way in the dark.
I estimate that we lost perhaps 3km / 45mins by not paying attention to markers and yellow arrows. And that after some 10-15 minutes of walking, first thing in the morning. After backtracking and then realizing that the Camino at one point diverted from the main country road, only highlighted with a grey post partly hidden behind a garbage bin, all shrouded in gloom.
Yep, we were over there on the other side. Where it is gently sloping down... And gently going up again... once you realize that the "Camino" is really a maintenance road leading to a radio transmitting station up on a hill.
As a result, breakfast was not possible until around 9am. And then only hot drinks and tostada. Here.
After the morning gloom, and occasional very strong winds, today turned out to be a lovely day. Weatherwise as well as the scenery which was varied, green and lush. The small towns and hamlets the Camino passed through were lovely.
Different viewers can likely see different things in it, which of course is how great art should be.
Is it a pilgrim? A collection of bastones/hiking poles? A cross?
You dear reader may see more things in there.
Here we are exactly 50km away from Santiago de Compostela according to the markers. The countdown has well and truly started.
The bloke was walking with his 2 donkeys. Not horse or horses but close enough. Of course he was also asking for money.
I did give him a few coins as after all, he provided some amusement and I took a few photos of him and his donkeys as well.
The bloke's second donkey. Waiting for his paint job perhaps?
Lunch was another greasy meal of bacon, eggs and chips at this establishment. Which was clearly on the Turigrino route as probably more than half of the customers appeared to be just that.
The woman below came up to me at cafe and tried to be funny by pointing out that the Camino may be one of the few places were one can take off shoes and socks in a cafe.
The noticeable thing about her was that she was wearing lipstick. Note the socks.
It is interesting to notice that after yesterday's total absence of Turigrinos (except for presumably inside one of the many taxis on the road yesterday), there were back on the Camino today.
The bloke below is not one of the Turigrinos. That is actually Ben. I took the photo here because it looked so good with all the shades of green.
We arrived at 2.15pm at today's destination, albergue Ultreia in the town of Arzua.
8 of us pilgrims in the end occupying the whole area in front of a giant window.
Possibly one of the nicest albergues of the whole Camino. They had a very modern and well equipped kitchen. With washing machine and dryer.
After settling in at the albergue, Cosmin and I wandered off to one of two supermercados almost next door to each other. Why do they do that and not spread them out a bit? One was closed for siesta while Eroski was open so no contest this time.
Yes, as Cosmin and I were at Eroski, another bunch of Tourigrinos arrived. Stocking up on hair products perhaps?
While we onto... Ehhh... Tourigrinos... Something else...? A business...?
I was not in the bar of the albergue when this happened but Ben took a few photos to mark the occasion. A bloke came in with a bunch of credentials booklets, 100s ?, and asked for them to all be stamped.
Why??? Do we want to know?
A quiet evening followed for me. Alcohol free.
My dinner consisted of Eroski items (ceasar salad, 6 seeds bread - not more pan, and ruby grapefruit juice). Which in a way was a shame as this particular albergue had a reputation for "best food on the Camino". If you believe that kind of thing.
I also did a bit of planning for what to do beyond the Camino and came up with this tentative plan.
Ulf above is of course my old class mate whom I intend to visit as part of the R&R.
That's all folks. Less than 48 hours before entering Santiago de Compostela.