How to confuse a Pilgrim!

Hola everyone,

The answer to this blog post title question is very simple: change a village´s name (or add a new name to existing village) and tell all the locals to call it by its new name and disregard direction to old village name related questions by pilgrims!!! Instant confusion. We had a classic example of this today. For some reason we raced through today´s distance again by completing it (sort of) by 11am. We left as usual by 6am and as the terrain was lovely even woodland footpaths we covered the distance fairly quickly with only two brief coffee stops. I decided to change my socks at one stage while the others walked on and at the next town they stopped for coffee while I pushed on ahead through the last 4km on my own. This however resulted in us finding very interesting routes to our current location in Arca do Pino, better known by the locals as Pedrouzo. Fortunately I asked one of the locals along they way about Arca and she indicated to me that I am only 1km away. However, when I got to the town I thought would be Arca do Pino, I only saw signs to Pedrouzo. So I happily continued on across a main road into the forrest path again, following the Camino signs. About a km on this path I realised that something is amiss and turned back to check out the town only to find out that Pedrouzo was in fact Arca do Pino and there along the main road in all its (still closed up) glory was our alberge pre-booked the night before. I was happy to arrive at about 11am, but to my horror saw my Camino-amigos take the wrong turn half a km down the road, taking the same path back into the woods, and I had no way of letting them know about this as my phone time was up. Cost me finding a shop to quickly recharge and call them to advise of the village name confusion.

In the meantime Calvin who took the bus from Ribadiso to Arca (due to problem with his foot) was unceremoniously dropped somewhere outside Arca as the busdriver had shouted out Pedrouzo as the destination and not Arca when travelling through the town for the scheduled stop. So Calvin happily continued along until the busdriver realised he had a passenger still on his bus who was due to get off in Arca!! So he promptly stopped right there (we later find out – about 5km outside of town) leaving Calvin with his own backpack as well as Marieke´s next to the road. He had NO idea where he was or how far from what! Unfortunately neither did I. I got a sms to advise that I must find a taxi and come collect him from his mystery location along some road to somewhere. How do I explain that to a taxi driver only able to speak in Spanish!!!???? Anyhow, to make a very strange and long story short, we eventually managed to highjack a taxi in true SA style and got the bewildered female driver to take us out of Bedrouza / Arca do Pino to some unknown location in the directino of Santiago to find our lost amigo. How it all worked out I still don´t know, but I can say that it took me one serveza, one vino blanco and a tostada to settle the nerves.

Now three amigos are sleeping (Leonie, Sybil and Marieke) and Calvin is sitting outside somewhere undecided what he should do. He can´t sit and read as he falls asleep while reading and he can´t go to sleep because then he claims he will not be able to sleep tonight. ??!! Strange. I am not going to help him with that challenge. Not part of my pilgrim responsibilities. I seem to have become the general online communication person for the group and so I am doing by duties by posting a blog so that all you nice folk out in SA (and wherever) can know more or less what we´re up to. And it is a lot quicker for as I´m of course not a one-finger-typer. 🙂

Tomorrow we finally reach Santiago (after a 20km walk) and we will aim to get there by about 11am so that we can still register at the pilgrim office, get our credentials and then get into the cathedral in time for the pilgrim mass at noon. We will stay over in Santiago tomorrow night, explore the city a bit and then go on by bus to Finnesterre the next day. Of course, as per pilgrim tradition, we will be selecting something ´symbolic´to burn in Finnesterre and we´ve brought enough lighters and matches to burn several pairs of pilgrim boots, sandals and walking outfits if need be! An ex-pilgrim (name will not be mentioned!) told me that they reached Finnesterre only to discover they do not have something to burn their clothing items with!! 🙂 SO – we made sure that we had that one covered! Burning of items will happen. I´ve decided that my one T-shirt will have to go. It is an old one though. NO WAY am I burning by nice First Accent walking shirt or my Cape Storm walking shorts!

So I now have to decide if it is worth climbing up to the top bunk for a snooze as I don´t have enough light to read there or stay down here in the lounge watching Spanish TV with one eye and read with the other eye, hoping that missing out on the afternoon snooze will help me sleep better tonight. MAJOR decisions to make on a daily basis.

From Arca do Pino (or whatever!) it is farewell and we will see you or speak again online after our successful completion of this 32 day adventure!
Best wishes,

5 thoughts on “How to confuse a Pilgrim!

  1. Come home! All the towns are changing their names to new unpronounceable ones and nobody knows where we are or what we’re doing but there is plenty of light to read by! X

  2. Hi M. Hope you enjoyed the last stretch! Things are dismally quiet this end….so your timing was perfect. C

    1. Thanks Craig – last days are great in Madrid, although VERY hot! Enjoing the sights . We fly back tomorrow. Great to know that my timing was good with the leave period, but obviously not good from a business perspective. Hope things will turn around for the better soon.

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