Last night I ate with John and Silvia, they live in Canada now but are originally from Scotland, they still have their Scottish accents. They had split the day that I had just done and so had walked 16km today. Last year they walked part of the Portuguese route from above Porto (about a 100km of walking) into Santiago with their teenage kids. They had stayed in the albergue’s and had got bed bugs. Their kids have not forgiven them!! This time they started in Santiago and are walking to Finesterre.
We ate in the hotel, the Pilgrim menu was lovely, I really enjoyed it. I started with Galician soup (potato and cabbage with some chorizo for flavour), and then had grilled fish with salad, followed by creme caramel. It was really beautifully cooked and in a cozy dining room.
When I arrived at breakfast the next morning John and Silvia were there, shocked by the weather, it is pouring again. I had known that this day was forecast and I am just grateful that it is only forecast to be one day and it was not yesterday which was a long day. Mentally therefore I was expecting it and quite relaxed, Silvia looks like she fancies a bus!
Anyway, I am in no rush as I don’t want to leave before 9am when it is light and today is 19km, although a wet 19km!!
Another couple who are staying here have taken one look at the weather this morning and negotiated a second night at the place we are staying!! I guess that is the flexibility of just booking day by day but I am not sure what they are going to do all day, it is a village in the middle of nowhere with an albergue and two small hotels for pilgrims.
I set off shortly after 9am, I layered up from the start in the hope of something remaining dry, so the poncho was out! Today’s walk is supposed to be the most rural of all camino stages, there is a coffee stop after 4km but then nothing until Cee. It is supposed to be lovely and I will see the sea for the first time today from the hills before descending.
The scenery was lots of moorland today, with lots of ferns, the recent rains however have left everywhere water logged so it was like picking a route through a river and lakes in certain sections.
I hate the feeling of water gradually seeping into my shoes until my feet are soggy. That was not an issue at all today, within the first 15 minutes what looked like a grass verge around a lake turned out to be a bog so my feet were instantly swimming pools of cold water! Probably the best way, just like jumping fast into a cold pool, get it over with, now I just have to get on and ignore the squelching for the next 4 hours.
I passed John and Silvia after about 25 minutes, they did not look like they were going to enjoy the day. Then I passed the only cafe and decided that it was too soon for another coffee and I could not face undressing all the layers so I pushed on. Shortly After I plugged my headphones in and decided that today would be a music day. The mist was in so there were no views anyway and trying to peak out from under hoods becomes tedious. So today was an introverted day of my hood full of music, not a bad way to spend 4 hours!
I only stopped a couple of times for pictures as the phone was just too buried and it was too wet.
The route I think would have been stunning if I could see the views, it was very isolated and hilly and with views of the ocean and the autumn colours would have been great. I have imagined it.
I caught up with two German lads, they were trying to navigate another very large lake. One asked me, I think in hope, if my feet were dry. He got a fairly incredulous look from me, and I explained that my feet have been soaked for the last couple of hours. His had too, but I think misery likes company, his mate looked to have in wellingtons so I suspect that his feet might have been dry!! It gave me a chuckle.
That was enough to help me keep my sense of humour through the whole process of trying to take a pee in the pouring rain with a number of very soggy clinging layers of plastic. It was a very messy wet process and I am not keen to repeat so my water intake was cut off from that point forward!!
I arrived in Cee just before 1pm, but it was one of these towns/villages that seems to stretch forever, so in seeing a bakery I decided now was the time for coffee. I ordered my coffee and then deliberated on my choice of cake, so much choice. I made my selection and I think the woman behind the counter took pity in me as I tried to extract myself from all my wet plastic layers, my cake was at least enough for 2 people! I didn’t waste it though.
The hotel tonight looks great, small and friendly but great facilities, I have a double bed, a bath and a hairdryer, I don’t know what to do with myself!!! The only thing not offered is laundry but there is a radiator so my shoes are first on. Everything else can wait, but I really don’t want wet feet first thing tomorrow!!
Now for a nap, in the bath.