We find ourselves in Ribadiso de Baixo today after another 26km walk. Day started out well with all evidence of a great, sunny day ahead. However, mist came in and for most of the day we were walking in mist or cloudy weather. It was a good day´s walk although we may have started too fast again. You´d think we would have learnt by now! However, the reinforcements (names will not be mentioned for fear of repercussion post-Camino!) are still presenting daily with fresh legs and lots of energy and therefore the pace is faster than the pace we found ourselves (individually) getting used to after weeks on the road. I may have to make some slowing down adjustments for the next two days if I want to reach Santiago in one piece (and in peace)!
I also find that with the end almost literally in sight (just over 40km / two days´walk away) I´ve somehow changed gears and am in a kind of a slow-motion shut down mode. It is really quite strange – feeling that all the weeks of walking is almost finished and we´re now very close to reaching our final destination. You find yourself thinking about the last day and arriving in Santiago and how you think you would feel after all the weeks´walking. Also thinking about all the pelegrinos we´ve met along the way, those we left behind and those who passed us and went on ahead. Again – parallel drawn to life. We hope to see many of our pilgrim friends in Santiago or Finnesterre.
We just had a serveza and light snack to see us through to dinner and three of our party of 5 have already gone to bed. I´m typing away on one of the two open internet points (amazing – the Dutch one-finger-typer lady is not here!) and Calvin is watching TV in the lounge, trying hard to fake understanding the Spanish! Calvin and Leonie are also still trying to order menu items in English and they´ve not accepted that the Spanish ´vacant stare´means you should seriously familiarise yourself with some basic menu item words and not try to re-phrase questions in English!!! However slow you try to explain your order there is a distinct possibility that it will still not be understood and it will only cause unnecessary aggrivation. When in Rome…
We can actually already confidently order a pelegrino meal, beer, wine, coffee, etc in Spanish and read a menu in such a way that what is ordered closely resembles what you thought you were ordering! 🙂 Only a few cryptic clues, hand signals or ordering-by-pointing-to-photo-on-menu are necessary for the whole experience to be relatively painless and fairly effective and by doing so you of course prevent the ´vacant stare´. We are in fact now apparently in an area well-known for its ´pulpo´ / octopus and this may be one of our main course options this evening. As I´m unfortunately an unadventurous and more cautious eater, I may just go for the pollo again!
An amazing thing happened today (just remembering now). We had a coffee stop along they way in another small village with name still a mystery and the ´servicio´/ public toilet facilities actually had a BATH inside!!! I´ve nearly forgotten how it looks like! That is one thing I really miss – being able to bath – and it will be the first thing I do when back home. I will also use conditioner which at this stage is a luxury item (like Leonie´s hairdryer and Badedas) and I will also run out to Spar to buy a wholegrain bread or seedloaf as the Spanish people only seems to live on hardcrusted white bread (which they make their bocadillas with). It will also be nice to use perfume again. I think I´m beginning to miss home comforts more now because we´re nearing the end.
This is also a time to be particularly careful to make sure that no new injuries occur. It is important now to stay focussed. I actually think the day´s walk becomes more difficult as we come closer to Santiago as we want to relax, but can´t do so yet. Not that we´ve not been relaxing and relaxed for weeks now, but I refer to the walking effort in particular! Interesting the games your mind plays with you along the way. We are close and must hang in there now.
As per the daily routine, all that is left to do now is a mid-afternoon nap, some book reading and going out for dinner tonight. Washing has been done already and must just be taken down later. Still overcast at the moment so I hope our clothes will dry. There are only so many items of clothing you can hang up on the outside of your bag!
From Ribadiso and a lazy siesta time it is over & out for now!