Total Distance: 23.4 km
Total Time: 6h
Total Euro: 51/person
Route: Arzua to Amenal
Mistakes were made. We intended to stay in Arco O Pedrouzo tonight, but idiocy conspired against us and we ended up in Amenal. But let me back up. A and L caught up with us fairly early in the day and we walked with them until around St. Irene where they were staying. Highlights of our conversations today included L’s explanation of what these strange mini-house-like things in everyone’s yards are (NOT chicken, children or beetle storage as E and I thought, but a place to keep grain safe from rats) and E and I bragging about how much sleep we got (L and A were kept up by some party last night). After we dropped them off at their hotel, we continued on to Arco O Pedrouza. We knew it should be less than 2 km away and that it would be a fairly decent sized town. We also knew, according to the map in the guide book, that the Camino should run right through town and the name of several hostels. Within a few minutes of leaving A and L, we found a town that should have been Arco, but it diverged from the Camino and the sign pointing toward the Camino was accompanied by many advertisements for hostels that we knew to be on Arco. So we followed the signs. After nearly 3 km we knew something was wrong and so I told E that if we didn’t find the town by noon, we were going to stop, eat the rest of our snacks, take some ibuprofen and then commit ourselves to the cause (the cause being the next town with an albergue – Monte do Gozo, 15.5 km from Arco and just 4.5 km from Santiago. In case you start to think I’m too awesome, this plan also consisted of staying in a hotel with massage service). 1 km later, we still hadn’t come across a town and I was busy rationalizing to myself that I hadn’t sweat that much, that we could camp if we needed to, that it would be only one night in the potential rain and bug-infested landscape, when we finally happened upon Amenal. The only place to stay in Amenal is some swank hotel connected to some swank restaurant, that E described as, “a nice hotel, but still obviously of Spanish construction,” which we gladly jumped on. This also puts us within 16 km of the cathedral in Santiago, so E called ahead and got us one more night in our hotel, so we’ll accidentally be arriving in Santiago one day early if all goes well. At any rate, we are in Amenal, spending an obscene amount of money and drinking our afternoon away. If A were here, he would laugh at us and tell us that this is what we get for being “book smart” (because clearly following maps and books got in the way of our normally quite good common sense). He would also undoubtedly feel rather vindicated for all the times that L and I have teased him for not being super attentive to the yellow arrows on the trail.
Other than that we had a great day (and let’s be real, E and I are the masters of turning tragedy into triumph). I’ve been keeping on top of the ibuprofen (BTW, Maki – I’m going to make you a present of the 600 mg stuff, although God knows what you’re able to get in Africa), so my shins don’t hurt today and E just got me more Galician wine and a brownie (real live brownie! All we need now is some f-ing peanut butter!). Other highlights of the day included coffee at the punk cafe (it was like Zeitgeist, but with color), the story of when L first went to A’s house and the kid with the Disneyland poncho.
It’s bath time now and maybe later we will indulge in an “Irelande,” or “Irish Coffee.” Love to all!