The Way, Day 37


[100 kilometers to go]

Total Distance: 23.6 km
Total Time: 6h
Total Euro: 29/person
Route: Sarria to Portomarin

We woke this morning and discovered that we had been denied access to the refrigerator (and therefore our breakfast and most of our snacks for the day) by some unwitting pilgrims staying on the bottom floor of our hostel (they were essentially staying in the living room adjacent to the kitchen and had locked the door to the kitchen).  Rather than pound on the door to wake them and retrieve our stuff, we opted for an unsatisfying and hurried breakfast at a cafe on the way out of town.  I spent the next half hour highly annoyed (with the situation, myself?) and later E and I reflected that both of us tend to neglect ourselves in the name if courtesy and could probably stand to be a bit more assertive.   

We walked until we reached the town just after the 100 km-to-go marker, at which point we stopped for a long rest and a coffee.  Afterward, we walked the remaining 10 km to Portomarin.

We were expecting to be overwhelmed by crowds today.  Maybe it was our later than normal departure, or maybe we’re in a lull period (St. James’s feast day is tomorrow, so Santiago should be packed), but the roads weren’t uncomfortably choked by pilgrims today. 

Something we did encounter a lot of today (and, honestly, almost every day) is farm animal shit.  E thinks it’s gotten worse since we’ve been in Galicia and all I can think about is a story told by Bryce Courtenay about this guy he knew that worked on a chicken farm and how he spent so much time inhaling chicken shit fumes that he could never fully rid himself off the smell.  He said this was due to the fact that small particles of chicken shit end up in the air and that you breathe them in and they get stuck in your nostrils… seemingly forever.  This is how I’m starting to feel about farm animal shit.  I’m convinced that every inhalation coats my nose and mouth with shit particles and that I will never be able to rid myself if the smell.  E thinks I’m being melodramatic, but I pointed out to him that, at the very least, the shit gets in the dirt and the dirt is covering our clothes (or in his case, his legs) and bags. 

Another phenomenon that we’ve been encountering with increasing frequency is dogs of a certain size out for walks on their own.  It seems that all small dog owners in Spain feel that their dogs are capable of walking themselves. 

E fixed is up a feast for both lunch and dinner and we spent the rest of our afternoon playing games on the phone and getting sucked in to the romantic intrigues of Elinor and Marianne. 

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2 Responses to The Way, Day 37

  1. Bronwyn says:

    Thinking about you after hearing about the train crash! Sad day, good to know you haven’t reached that point yet!

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