When the Camino delivers…new friends (to my left Jo & husband Bryan in the black sweater from Melbourne, Australia; Ditte from Holland; Verena & Giuliano from Switzerland; and Neil from Kent, England to my right) are an unexpected treasure. A shared dinner with passionate talk on many tender subjects such as politics, healthcare, religion…but we walked away friends. Buen Camino!
After our chance meeting, lively discussion and entirely too much local red wine to wash down my excellent calamari, I went to bed much later than usual but awoke early and ready to walk. I love the early morning…it’s always been my favorite time of day, so I was the first pilgrim down for the opening of the breakfast cafe at 7 am. After a cafe con leche and croissant, I started out for Caldas de Reis.
After leaving the fond memories of Old Town in my rear view mirror, I crossed a beautiful bridge and river leaving town. The sun was just cresting the trees and the air was fresh and brisk. This was going to be an enjoyable 17 mile walk…I could just feel it in my bones.
After leaving town I made my way up a gradual grade to 150 meters above sea level. The walk was a perfect balance of challenge and calm. I saw very few pilgrims my first 2-3 hours, and my paths varied from shaded and wooded through small vineyards to hard surfaces alongside minor roadways.
It’s always the final 1/3 of each days walk that is the most difficult. Your feet start to hurt from the varied surfaces, and in today’s case, from walking too fast the first 2/3 of the way. So it’s always a treat and motivation to encounter a special tile marker or Galician cross.
So my ultimate entry into Caldas de Reis was uneventful. There was a beautiful clear river with footbridge and adjoining cafes upon entry to the city center, but little else of historical note. I haven’t seen my friends from last night but still may as dinner here in Spain doesn’t start until 8:30 pm. I’m feeling a bit of the lack of sleep from yesterday and may call it an early night so I can repeat my early morning joy en route to Padron. Until that post, I’m wishing you all a good day back home. Know that my morning rosary includes you in my prayers. Buen Camino family and friends.