It’s quite magical to climb yourself above the clouds and into the Galicia region. We are now in Celtic Country and this is the region I was really looking forward to. The region that spans itself across the mountains and ends at Finisterre on the coast. In Roman times this rocky point on the Iberian Peninsula was considered to be the end of the earth. It dates back to pre Christian times and was a place where the celts would engage in sun worship and other rituals. Of course we’re continuing on and walking there after we reach Santiago.
Days on the Camino – 24
Kms – Today 32 kms.
Starting point today – Ruitelán, Spain.
End of the day – Trìacastela, Spain.
Number of girls in Africa educated – 23
Total funds raised so far – $7,035.00. Goal is $10 per km so $7,690.00 just $655 to go!
If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.
Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.
Today was dedicated to – Paula the pilgrim. Recently on the camino herself for the third time! I’m always in awe of the way she views life as a camino and the way she articulates what the camino meant for her. I hope I can do it the same justice and encourage others to take their own camino just as she has done for me. Thank you for being one of the whispers that brought me here.
Accommodation – Casa Simon. A twin room with ensuite (€20 each). Beautiful host, gorgeous home. Delightful town.
Food highlight – Our first hike was straight up the mountain this morning. We stopped at Fab Bar in La Faba for breakfast. Hands down my favourite breakfast stop the whole camino. The orange juice was freshly squeezed and ginger and mint (freshly picked) were added. The toast was rye sour dough with shredded tomato and basil. We also ordered a free range egg each. No photo I was hungry!
More mountain climbing to lunch and a plate of pasta followed by a slice of Santiago Almond Cake. If there’s one thing I want to make at home from this trip it is that cake. Devine.
All that food and 34 kms of walking no wonder we needed a siesta front 5 – 7 pm. We’re now officially on Spanish time!
Dinner in this Galician town was another pilgrims meal (€10 for three courses including wine and water). The food was delish and the desert was local cheese and quince. I may have squealed with delight.
In a word(s) – In the midst of mountain air.
With over three weeks of walking in our legs we are nearing our destination. Tomorrow we will end our day less than 100kms from Santiago. It sounds like a long time to walk but it feels like it has flown in many ways. So engrossed in each day’s walk followed by our treasured afternoons of chilling it’s hard to remember where we’ve been! I’m glad to have these pages to look back on.
We bought our third pot of Tiger balm tonight. It has been an imperative part of our afternoon ‘foot care ritual’. A ritual that starts as soon as we stop. First the shower followed by moisturizing then massaging tiger balm into our feet. We keep our feet up (elevated) pretty much until we sleep!Yes, we even put them up on chairs under tables in restaurants.
By day socks and shoe choices are imperative! Cushioned wool hiking socks and shoes that are a size bigger. I am usually terrible with blisters and lost toe nails but I think I may only end up with one toe nail down. At night changing into hiking sandals is bliss. You can even walk in hiking sandals to change things up I’d needed. We haven’t yet. We also haven’t used poles nor felt the need. If you don’t have sore knees and hike without them I wouldn’t get them just for this.
My sister also rolls her feet each day on one of those spiked balls. I’ve done that intermittently if they are in pain. Another cheap trick is ice! Available in all bars and should be done at the end of the day as soon as a niggle is showing or swelling. We also drink litres of water a day. Important for a host of reasons but foot wise for tendons and shin splints.
Injuries happen of course but prevention along the way is giving yourself your best chance. So here’s keeping our fingers crossed that we remain injury free for the remainder of our trek.
Oh but back to the Galicia!!! It is where I feel most at home with the return of the arctic winds and no surprises where I’ll leave a little of my heart. This is where I’d come back to with my family. There was a lot of walking through and smelling of cow and horse dung as well as sharing the path with cows. The mountain views were spectacular and the tree lined paths were some of the most beautiful so far. The villages are working farms. Barns are still under the houses and the farmers are ploughing their fields and harvesting crops.
I also finally stepped into a church for the first time this trip. Probably surprising given that every village has a church and this is traditionally a Christian pilgrimage. It didn’t feel unfamiliar given that I was raised a Catholic. For some reason it felt right to step into this particular church and now I read it dates back the 9th century, the oldest on the camino.
It is also the resting place of Don Elias Valiña Sampedro (It’s a great story if you have time to click the link). The local parish priest spent his lifetime restoring and preserving the camino. It was his idea to mark the trial with the yellow markers and he literally started painting the markers himself in the Pyrenees. I’m grateful to have been guided to this church and this resting place of the man who is responsible for opening up the camino again for those of us who choose to walk it. We’re lucky for his vision.
If all goes to plan we will arrive in Santiago with a week up our sleeve. If I’m honest the pull for me has always been to make it to the sea and Finisterre rather than to Santiago. It seems more significant to cross an entire country rather than stopping 87 kms short! Plus I’m more of a pay respect to Mother Nature kinda hiker.
Sometimes it’s better to ask the question why wouldn’t I do it? Not why would I?