El Camino: Day 27

Day #27 El Camino

Monday 9th October

Barbadelo > Hospital da Cruz

Distance walked: 30km

You know those horror films where it’s real foggy and eerily in the woods? Yeah, well I woke up to that. As the pilgrims in my room started to leave I just lay there, couldn’t bring myself to go yet. Like a school kid who didn’t want to get out of bed on a winters day for class, I had no desire to leave the comfort of bed. We were provided with thick blankets at this place, for obvious reason, it gets cold I guess. So cosy in fact that I wanted to walk with it and toss it away after a couple of miles. I’ve only showered in the afternoons on the Camino, but today I treated myself to a morning shower. Everyone was awake so why not? I was just delaying leaving the door really. The fog wasn’t clearing. I went to the restaurant café and ordered the usual. Americano and croissant.

The fog still wasn’t moving so I thought I’d better instead.

I crushed it for the first 3 hours. My energy was ridiculously good and I was just waiting for the crash. The fields were lovely, the farmland full of cows and I’ve started stopping to take photos of old tractors and farm machinery. For no real reason, but maybe to show dad. I think he’d like to see what tractors look like in other countries. After all, we did go to the World Ploughing Championships in Ireland once. I think it was the highlight of his entire trip!

I wrote yesterday about a downhill walk with the Canadians, I apologise. That was today. I got my diary entries mixed up. But looking back, yesterday was a tiny entry so let’s just leave it there to fill some gaps. When I edit this whole thing at a latter date and publish it and sell it and YOU BUY IT, I’ll move it to the right place in time. But for now, it can stay.

The biggest town on route to stop in at was Portomarin, famous for some kind of grappa, like Ouzo but local, so that was on the list of things to do. Get drunk. Great idea for long walks in the sunshine. Arriving into town, there is a huge bridge over a river and below are the ruins of the old town, which was washed away in floods caused by a burst damn in the 1960’s. The cathedral was rebuilt where the new part of town is brick by brick. Or at least, that’s what I got from the history lesson being translated in Spanish.

I took a photo and will google it one day to cross check. (No I won’t). After unsuccessfully withdrawing money from 2 ATM’s I sat down at a café and ordered more things than I could afford. Well, I had the money, but I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to get more money out so I should have been rationing what cash I had on me. Ah fuck it. A shot of your local grappa por favour!

It complimented the café & croissant perfectly. By that, I mean it burnt the hairs right off my everything. That was potent. I whipped out the laptop and transferred money to the correct account, I have cleverly kept little bits of money in my account so if someone steals my card or clones it they can’t take much. However, when I forget to load up the card with my own money I get denied of course. Idiot.

This meant I was having to wait until whoever was working in the bank to move the money across, assuming its only done during Australian office hours. (I really don’t know how the banking world works). Only one thing for it, I had to keep walking. If there was no money, I could not check-in anywhere, so Run Forrest Run! The sun shone brightly, I was tipsy from one shot of liquor and I sung and talked to myself for the next couple of hours. It was a delightful afternoon. All except the for the little concern that my food rations were all gone and my water was empty. It was hot and uphill. The fatigue was hitting and the booze wearing off. All I had on my person was a packet of 2 minute noodles buried deep down in my big bag, some chewing gum and iBuprofen. I’d been chewing on both these simultaneously for days.

A helicopter flew above, I wondered if I should wave for a rescue. A little drastic I figured.

What if there was no ATM in the next town? Would I be begging for food? Would I be the only person in the history of Spain to beg for bread. It is thrown at you everywhere you go, yet I was running out of cash and almost all the towns I was coming up to barely had a store, let alone a bank.

There was a bed for me at the 6 euro albergue but only a restaurant. I literally didn’t have enough money to eat out tonight. In my bank I had plenty, but physically on me, nope.

I decided to drink lots of water, alternate with vitamin tablets to flavour the water, tricking my brain into thinking that was food and after a long nap to kill time, I cooked the 2 minute noodles. I was starting to feel like a true pilgrim.

I’ve heard of pilgrims who have walked this journey relying on donations for food and water and shelter. I didn’t anticipate I might end up the same, even for one day.

For dessert, I snacked on my strawberry flavoured lip balm and the smell of tiger balm. I was being resourceful and cleaning my teeth resulted in me eating half the toothpaste. Hello ladies! Who’s a catch then!?

¡Buen Camino!

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