Friday, November 13, 2009

From Ribadiso do Baixo to Rúa/Arca

Another rainy morning, so I just rolled out of bed, unshowered and same clothes as yesterday - it was too wet and cold for a shower! I brushed my teeth and donned the rain-gear to go next door for coffee and croissant as well as orange juice, to stay healthy for the last few days, in spite of the weather! Then out I went, and walked along in the rain, being mightily cheered up by the close encounters with my personal little cheerleader - the little red-breasted European Robin, which had ben keeping me company and singing so lovely for most of the Camino. I forgot about fake pilgrims and just thought about my Camino, and how blessed I was to be walking and having all these great experiences! I stopped a couple of times along the way for refreshments, and walked on through rain and shine, watching how the markers went from 39.5 km to 19 km, before I found a little private house with a sign saying "rooms".
Before it I had checked out the albergue in St. Irene, but there was no restaurant near, and I certainly didn't want to have to walk far to get dinner. Then I tried at the next hotel, but they were fully booked. I was very happy to have found this little place and have my own room, and the very kind and sweet landlady Maria did my laundry for me - without charging extra!
Even though we couldn't talk much, because she spoke only Spanish, her kindness spoke for itself. My room was very nice and clean, but pretty chilly, so I went under the covers for a while, before getting up, dealing with a blister I got today. I had walked pretty far the last few days, and my boots were wet because of all the rain, so they didn't have a chance to dry out overnight.
I got up, and went back to the hotel to have dinner at their restaurant, but they didn't start dinner service until 8 PM, so I had to resign myself to a glass of wine, while I wrote in my journal, and listened to the conversation between two guides at the bar. It was an Irish and a Japanese guide, and I had actually run into the Japanese group on the Camino today, and took a group photo for them. We were all waiting for dinner. Finally it was time, and I had a nice dinner, and afterwards I chatted a bit with the Irish tour guide, who has walked the camino himself, and have been guiding tours of the Camino for a couple of years, so he had some good insights. In the dark, rainy night I walked back to my room, and soon I was asleep knowing I was nearing the end, and having mixed feelings about it.

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