There are pros and cons to staying in private and municipal albergues. The municipals are strict with their quiet times, while the private are not. The municipals generally (not always) will have many people in one large room, while the Privates have smaller rooms with fewer people.
Last night we stayed in a private.
We were in a room with 14 beds. 6 of them were occupied by men in their 20’s-30’s who were travelling together. When they all arrived, they had all had a nap, and were ready to stay up all night. They all seemed to trickle in around 1:00am. A group of 4 bicyclers had gone to bed early and were up at 5:00am. Needless to say, we did not get much sleep last night!
Running on fumes this morning, we left the albergue at 8:00. Our plan was to try to make it to Salceda which was about half way between Melide and Santiago. It was cool and overcast.
About 5 km after we started waking, we stopped in a small village for breakfast. This is when the rain started. It never really rained HARD, but it did rain most of the day. The trails were muddy and slippery and it seemed to take a lot out of us today. Mom’s feet and my feet hurt. They always hurt really, but it took more of a toll than most days today. Even now, hours later and laying in bed, they are still pounding.
A couple of days ago we heard someone talking about how their rain poncho is like a portable potty. All they have to do is pull down their pants, squat, and pee. No one can see them because of the tent around them. While walking up a rainy, muddy trail today, Karis decided to try this theory out. We turned our backs to her, watching the trail in case anyone came upon us, and she peed right there in the middle of the trail. When she informed us that she was done, we turned around ready to continue and saw a man approaching from the OTHER direction. A local. Just going for a walk. When she realized that he was there, we all burst out laughing. He muttered a “buenos Dias” as he passed. I’m sure he was thinking, “filthy pilgrims!”
Being Canada day today, Karis has been handing out Canada pins to other pilgrims. Although one American absolutely refused to not just wear one, but even take one from her, everyone else thanked her and pinned them on their packs or shirts. She is very confident in approaching and speaking to people of all nationalities and getting her point across with what she is trying to say. Great to see!!
One of the horror stories on showers that we have heard of on the camino, is the wide open showers with no dividers. We have been fortunate to have not come across them…. Until today. When the three of us went to shower after arriving at our albergue this afternoon, this is what we found! Karis was HORRIFIED! “I’m
NOT showering in there!” She insisted. We finally talked her into it by standing outside of the door and barricading her in alone. It was the fastest shower she has ever taken!
Tonight, we went for dinner at a nice restaurant just up the street. We. Actually had cod and steamed potatoes. A nice change from the usual potatoe and egg pie or a bocadillo. (The waiter proudly wore Karis’ gift of a Canada flag pin!)
Tomorrow will be our last big day walking. My feet are very excited. We will either go all the way to Santiago, or will stay at the albergue above the city and walk in the following morning. We are excited to collect our Compestella, and have heard that we are also eligible for a second, rare Compestella from saint James church because it is a holy year. This only happens once every 100 years and 2014 happens to be it!
So hard to believe we are almost done. It has passed so quickly!