35 Kilometers to Santiago de Compostela!!!

Thursday, August 12

Another late start at 8:30. I was ready to go at 6:30 so had a pleasant and quiet morning in the lovely albergue’s living room connecting with some friends and family by text and getting caught up with email and some blogs I follow. And I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise out the front door.

About 7:30 un Guapo Hombre came to man the desk, offered and served me café con leche and told me that his mother and grandmother had owned our space as their home. Here is a bit about their legacy.

Today we walked from Boimil through Boimorto (stopping for some breakfast), Franzomil, Santa María de Sendelle, Vilar and Castro – concluding in Arzúa.

In Santa María de Sendelle I came upon a 12th Century church and went inside mucho momentos for quiet reflection, to get a cello de perigrino (stamp for my passport) and to make a small donativo. I walked the rest of the way myself into our end town (a city or “ciudad”, actually), enjoying the melodious song birds and the intoxicating fragrance of eucalyptus trees in the shade! The sun was hot when advancing in exposed sections and I was appreciative that the majority of my trek, at least initially, was in the woods. It was nice to be done by noon though! There were a few medium sized hills, but all in all, it was quite an easy day.

Our albergue was not ready for us when we arrived, so we hung out at the adjacent bar for a couple of hours enjoying some adult beverages and snacks. I finally was able to have my Galician Caldo, which I’ve been looking forward to our entire trip! It was billed in English as a white bean soup, and usually when I’ve had it in the past it is on the green side in terms of vegetables, but it really was just boiled down cabbage and a scarce number of white beans. White on white mostly. It was delicious though! I believe that “Caldo” in this region is just a localized soup that they throw together, so it can certainly vary. They had a huge pot of paella cooking, and many people around us partook of it. I was a little skittish after the rice not being completely cooked the other night, but had a free sample and it was excellent!

We had the good fortune of checking into our room for 13 pilgrims first, so had the best choice of beds. It’s the usual dormitory type situation of bunkbeds though…. And then we waited for the other group to join us, behind by about two hours, merging here from another route. This is a conversion point of three Caminos and so, so busy with many, many pilgrims!

Even when they joined us, they all took their subsequent showers and splintered into small groups. So it still felt a little disjointed, and for myself, I went to the grocery store and had a few items on my own before tucking into bed.

“Arzúa is a mostly modern market down, offering all facilities and specializing in cheese. The Inglesia de Santiago contains a 19th-century medallion depicting Santiago‘s intervention in Clavijo”. (from the guidebook, “The Northern Caminos“.

Oh, and shoot – I forgot to mention I got a blister yesterday!! I’ve been walking so many days and in past Caminos gone blister free, but I got one on my heel yesterday when I wore a little bit thicker sock. I have mostly used Smart Wool socks, but threw in a pair of Bombas and though I wore them one of the first days without incidence, they did not work out really well on yesterday’s hot, albeit short day. I drained it and wore a bandaid during the walk, and it seemed just fine…

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