The Way, Day 38


[Bridge in Portomarin]

Total  Distance: 24.4 km
Total Time: 6.5h
Total Euro: 32/person
Route: Portomarin to Palas de Rei

Palas de Rei feels very sad.  Maybe it’s the gloomy weather, maybe it’s that it’s a festival day and everything is closed.  Maybe it’s the tragic train wreck (we’re fine!  We’re not about to give up on walking so close to our goal!) that occurred outside of Santiago, killing close to 80 and injuring more.  Whatever it is, the mood here feels very subdued, a little depressed.  Maybe it’s the mood of the town, or maybe it’s the accumulated exhaustion of so many days on the trail, or maybe it’s as our friend L suggests – that at the end of our trip we are all entering a state of natural reflection – but E and I feel the heaviness, too.  Both of us are in a mood to just sit and read or quietly snuggle. 

This morning was a bit of a grind, but we walked most of the day with A and L and that made things go a lot better (we complained about the same rude pilgrims without realizing until later that we were complaining about the same people and discussed the etiquette of happening upon someone popping a squat in the middle of the road.  This is pretty lofty conversation, I know).  Once we got into town, many of the albergues were full, so we were obliged to stay at a place with no kitchen (but very weird “shower-toilet palace” as E calls it), which ended up being fine since all the grocery stores were closed for the feast day anyway.  The lentil soup at lunch was good, but my fish was, for the first time, inedible.  E was kind enough to share his lamb with me. 

Tomorrow marks our fifth week on the trail and our last (St. James willing) 20+ km day. 

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