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Walking Camino de Santiago – Day 9, Almost in Santiago de Compostella

A quality tarmac going through the forest - Spain

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Kaspars’s diary of the adventure completed in spring 2013. Translated by Una.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is April 28. We wake up a little bit after 7 o’clock. We must leave albergue before 8. Looks like the weather today will be complete rubbish. We don’t even need to look out of the window to understand that. Everyone in the albergue puts their rain jackets on and rain covers on their backpacks.

When we are waking up, half of the albergue’s guests are already leaving.

When I go downstairs to the kitchen, I meet a British guy with whom I spoke yesterday. He asks if we are going to walk all the 52 km today. I say that most probably it will be only 25. He tells me that it is possible to walk this much – 52 km. He did it once, but this is not in his today’s plan.

We go to the kitchen, but he starts walking.

Today, as all the previous days, we don’t have a specific plan. We will see while on the road. We know only that today most probably we will stay in a private albergue. As municipal ones are only after 15 km and 50 km. 15 km for today is not enough, whilst 50 – too much.

Rural Spain, Walking Camino de Santiago

As we decided yesterday, today I and Viesturs leave our tents on the bunk bed. If someone will need them, he or she can take them. We don’t use them any way.

We are surprised when we see that one guy is carrying Viesturs’s tent! We aren’t even outside of the alergue! Viesturs have seen this guy, he was sleeping in the bed next to Viesturs’s bed. We are happy that this tent will be useful for someone at last.

We don’t see my tent, though, haha. The tent wasn’t a heavy one but still I feel the difference in weight of my bag. And it is so nice to carry only the stuff I need. And also it is nice to see that the weather is not so bad outside! It is cool, but the sky is clear and there is no signs of rain!

Today we stop for a break in one of the very first cafes we see. As we have understood, the tactics of most pilgrims is like this – they wake up, start to walk and only then eat their breakfast in the fist cafe they see. Usually the first cafe is in “just” one hour of walking after the albergue.

Edgars leaves his mat in the cafe. He took his mat with him, as he planned to sleep on the ground outside, under the stars. The mat is not the first item “going away” from Edgars’s bag. One day ago, his old camera accidentally slips away out of his hands into the well. Oh, well…

Walking past old houses, Camino de Santiago, Spain

Waitress is speaking to one of the pilgrims. She is telling that the last night was really cold and there was even frost. She shows a clump of snow (frost) which she collected from the tables. Yes, now we see that the last night indeed was very cold. We hear on the news that in some places in Spain it was snowing heavily! Crazy!

Please, let it be without snow here, please! We don’t need it!

We eat our standard breakfast and afterwards we drink one cafe con leche (coffee with milk). Now we have some energy and we reach town Arzua (which is 15 km away) pretty easily. There we find a shop, which is open on Sundays, and buy some food for lunch. We eat in in the nearby park.

Eating lunch in the park, walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

There are no bigger mountains any more, but still time after time we continue to cross hills. If crossing those hills would be quite difficult in the first days of our journey, now we are used to hills and we cross them more quickly than before. But, of course, still we get tired of them.

Without any rush we continue to walk and we end up in the middle of nowhere. But we continue to walk – we turn into another road. According to the road sign, here should be an albergue.

Yes, this is true, there is one. We go inside and, wow! We are surprised – the owner is a woman from Siberia and she speaks fluent Russian! She works here, in this albergue, with her husband (Spanish), her daughter and few other people, most probably relatives. The daughter also speaks Russian.

We are happy that we found this albergue in the middle of nowhere! This place is pretty, the albergue looks cozy and the price – 10 Euros. The dormitory here is small, and there is no place for everyone of us. So I and Una get a private room for the same price – 10 Euros per person. When we go to albergue’s restaurant to eat dinner, the owner calls out to us and shows a table, which was reserved for us. Nice!

Albergue in the middle of nowhere, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

After leaving the dinner table, I hear, that two pilgrim couples, we saw before – Japanese and, I think, Americans – are speaking about going to Finisterre. I tell them, that we plan to go there as well. We decide, that it is 3 day walk from Santiago de Compostella – 90 km in total.

One of the Americans (man) ask me where are we from. As it turns out, they were betting on which country we are from. And the man was right saying that we are Latvians. And as it turns out, they are Irish, not American!

We laugh about it – he was completely right about us, whilst we were completely wrong about them! We leave the restaurant and go to our rooms, and then we see that the man, who won the bet, is jumping out of you! “Yeah, yeah, yeah! I was right!” Hehe.

Palms and clouds, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

Read all our articles from Camino de Santiag0 2013!

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