DAY 39: FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2017
A couple we had met, Ian and Valerie, told us how much they liked leaving at 4-5 am. They said, by 9:00 am you have half your day done and you can quit walking at noon. They said how wonderful it was to see the Milky Way. So, on our last Friday on the trail, we decided to start at 5am. Typically, we don’t get up before 7:30 and were the last to leave the Albergue. We had never walked in early morning darkness and thought it would be good to try at least once.
We packed up everything possible the night before and slept with our clothes on. The anticipation of the early morning escape made it challenging to sleep so it was no problem getting up at 5am. We tiptoed out of our Albergue room with our backpacks, trying not to wake up the other 14 people. A rainy day was forecast and we could see a little bit of lightening off in the distance.
There were four other pilgrims with backpacks out on the street heading for the camino. It was really dark. Terry used her cell phone to light the way. Because she had to hold the cell phone with one hand, she had to fold up one of her hiking sticks and I put it under her backpack rain fly.
The dark walk was very scary. It was raining. There was no Milky Way or stars to be seen. There were high walls with lots of vines. We couldn’t see how steep the hills were that we were going up and down on. We walked for over an hour in the dark and then daylight came. Terry put away her cell phone and at that moment we realized that the hiking stick we had stowed had fallen out of her backpack somewhere. Before I could even feel bad about it, three pilgrims walked up and wanted to know if we lost a hiking stick. They had picked it up and carried it for a half hour. What a stroke of luck.
This is the wall of Wisdom. Someone had posted a series of thoughts along the wall in both Spanish and English.
We stopped for breakfast at about 7 am. It was pouring rain and the little restaurant was packed with wet pilgrims. Backpacks and rain ponchos everywhere. We walked for another hour or so and took another break around 9:30 am.
When you start your day at 5am, it’s ok to eat ice cream at 9:00.
Back in the rain. We walked for about 8-9 hours in the rain. I don’t have a lot of photos because my fingers we’re so wet and prune-like that my I-pad didn’t recognize my fingerprint.
There was a corner in the restaurant that had a large log burning and plenty of coals. I noticed they had a very large cave-like oven for baking. Not sure what they baked in it but they were busy making coals.
Beautiful flowers that look like Fuschia.
A field full of purple and yellow wild flowers.
It’s now after around 1:30 pm and we still have a ways to go and its still raining. Giddiness has set in. Not sure the 5am departure was such a good idea.
We made it to O Pedrouza around 3pm. It was suppose to be a 12 mile walk today but it turned out to be over 16 miles. Someone who has walked the Camino three times told us the trail has changed a lot since she walked it three years ago. She thought the trail changes may have been made to accommodate the increased number of pilgrims walking it every year. We’ve heard a lot of people in a lot of different languages complaining about the guidebook mileage.
After checking into our Albergue, we strolled down to the “Pulperia” and had Octopus and prawns in garlic. This is the fourth time we have had Octopus. We like it so much, we’re talking about how we’re going to make it when we get home.