Arzua to Salceda

The bad news: today’s weather was “steady downpour followed by steady downpour.” The good news: my feet, calves, and knees were grateful that the length of hike was cut short. More bad news: I bet there was some pretty countryside, but I saw little of it during the four hours I hiked, what with the hood of my raincoats (yes, plural raincoats) hanging down and my glasses fogged and rain-streaked. More good news: this hotel has the radiators turned on during the day, so my rain gear, boots, and backpack are now dry.

I signed up for this trip because I wanted to explore Spain and because I love walking when I travel. I’d looked for other Spanish walking routes and tours, but settled on this tour mainly because the company had a good rep for supporting vegans; it just so happens that they are Camino addicts. As are pretty much everyone I am walking alongside. I met one woman who started her pilgrimage on September 1 (today is October 24); she has walked the entire way. She sleeps in the dorm-like pilgrim hostels, smelling everyone’s wet socks and listening the snores and farts; I stay in nice hotels, with private bathrooms. She enters every church along the way; I mostly take photos of the exteriors. She walks out of her hostels in the morning and into to the next open hostel she finds; I am shuttled to select starting places; met after a few hours with refreshments; treated to lunches and dinners; and then driven back to said hotels. She carries all her stuff on her back; mine rides in a shiny new chauffeured van. She walks in the rain; I jump in that van to get out of the rain. Her stuff stays wet; mine sure doesn’t. She has walked the entire route; I sure have not.

Tomorrow I arrive at the culmination of all the Camino paths: Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. There is a place an hour out from it called Monte del Gozo, the Hill of Joy, because it’s where one first spots the cathedral, and pilgrims are said to cry out in rapture at the sight.

I am an imposter walking among them.

Just a couple photos today; didn’t want to drench my camera.

P.S. I’m caught up with my posts for now.

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