Kaspars’s diary of the adventure completed in spring 2013. Translated by Una.
It is April 27. If the municipal albergue you need to leave not later than at 8 o’clock, then here, it’s almost on the contrary – it’s strictly prohibited to make noises till 7 o’clock. So we get up after 7. The others tell me that the teenagers left albergue early – at 6 o’clock. I didn’t hear them leaving. Without rush we have breakfast. There are almost no people in the kitchen.
I look out of the window, and it seems that today will be cloudy and cool. I check AccuWeather and I see that it was -1 in the night! Oh! And now, at this moment, temperature is only few degrees above zero. Weather forecast says that during the day it might be raining. Oh well, not a nice weather for walking, but what can we do.
Slowly, again without any rush, we start to walk. Today we plan to walk 32 – 35 km.
It is cool outside, but slowly the sun comes out. And after some 10 kilometers Edgars decides that he will walk alone for some time, so he goes faster.
As these are the last 100 kilometers till Santiago de Compostella, we see a lot more people now. Also we see more cyclists, sometimes even groups of up to 10 cyclists.
Sun is shining and looks like that there will be no rain. As soon as we are ready to take off our jackets, sun disappears, strong wind starts to blow and almost instantly sky turns gray. Rain starts to drizzle. But soon it ends. And again sun starts to shine. But it’s not so warm as it was before. I put on my hood and make it really tight, and now I look like Kenny, haha.
As it doesn’t get warmer, I walk like this till the end of the day.
We see completely dark sky few times a day. There is rain and even hail few times a day as well. It starts suddenly and finishes after 5 minutes. The rain and hail comes with a strong wind, so our wet clothes dry very quickly. But that’s good.
We reach today’s first town – Palas de Rei – and buy supplies for today. Again – sweets, cola, fruits and juice. I want to pay with a credit card, and a saleswoman asks me to show my passport. Strange, it’s only a few euros. OK, I show her my passport and everything is fine. Some days later we understand that it’s normal, in some places they ask to show the passport even when you pay a small amount of money with your card.
People here are used to pilgrims and they like to help them a lot. When we reached Palas de Rei, first we went to the supermarket, which was off Camino de Santiago. Some ladies saw us and started to shout that Camino de Santiago isn’t this way. Yes, yes, we know! We just want to buy food!
One more thing, which indicates that we are really in the last 100 km, is that the drinking water fountains are gone and instead there are cafes, bars and restaurants. These bars, cafes and restaurants, which now we see every 2 – 3 kilometers, have special offers for the pilgrims. That’s how they call their lunch and dinner offers.
The first 20 km are hard, but then it becomes easier. And after 30 km we see that we have a good pace, actually one of the best we have had during walking Camino de Santiago. That’s because we run down the hill, not walk, ha. Because it’s easier than to walk.
We reach Melide – quite big town. Edgars calls me, and as it turns out, he is only a few kilometers ahead of us, in the town center. He still is searching for an albergue. So, we were right when we were talking that most probably we will need to walk a couple of kilometers more, to the center, where there we could find some place where to stay.
We ask Spanish man for directions to a municipal albergue (municipal albergues are cheaper than the private ones). He doesn’t speak English, but somehow we understand where to go. After a couple of kilometers of walking we see that we understood correctly, because we are in the right place. There is a celebration in the town. Celtic music is playing, and streets are full of people. But we need to go to sleep soon, as the day was very long and we need to be full of energy tomorrow morning.
This evening for the first time we use a drier, to dry the clothes we have washed now and the clothes which are still damp from the previous days. We take our clothes from the drier and we see that they are as damp as they were after washing. It’s 10 PM, and the quiet hours start. So we can’t use the drier any more today. Ok.
Today we with Viesturs decide – we will leave our few euro worth tents in the albergue. We don’t use them anyway, so let’s not carry few extra kilos.
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Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.