By Meghan Finley
Meghan to Molinaseca
I am extremely proud to announce that after 5 long and painful days, I finally pooped! It has been quite a journey, but I couldn’t have done it without my fans.
Anyways, today was a loooong 25 km. Today was probably the hardest day so far, and the day that I realized that I have knee problems. It’s pretty sad when you see 70-year-olds passing you on the trail while you limp along with walking sticks, holding in tears of pain..
After today, I decided that I can do anything, and that I need to stop complaining about 4 hour dance practices. Those are a BREEZE now.
While today was a hard one, the views made it worthwhile. I am especially thankful for my sense of smell today because in the mountains of Spain, it was a breath of fresh air that I can’t quite explain, but it was so refreshing. At one point, I was actually somewhat alone for the first time, because I realized I needed to be alone to motivate myself to keep pushing past the last three hours, and I actually felt better.
When we finally reached Molinaseca, Annie let me get a Coca-Cola and I have to say, Coke in Spain is waaay better than Coke in the U.S.
As my final words on today, I advise whoever goes on this trip in the future to bring moisturizer. I went to the farmacia today and spoke with the pharmacist (in Spanish, ofc) and she tried to sell me a 20 euro moisturizer that was basically the size of my pinky. While you may have sold me on the 24 euro spray sunscreen, you didn’t quite get me here, Spain..
By Alexander Rae
Today we set off from a small town in the autonomous community of Castilla y León called Villar de Mazarife from a family owned albergue called el refugio de Jesús. What struck me about that town, and what I’m beginning to notice in general is how friendly the people are along the Camino. These albergue owners in particular went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and welcome without knowing us at all (except for Annie who we’ve begun saying is Camino famous). Furthermore, I’ve found myself greeting other peregrinos along the way with a typical “buen camino,” but that’s turned into “buen camino, oh hello again!” As we’ve begun seeing familiar faces along the way. Another highlight of the day has been the scenery. The valley we walked through was surrounded by mountains, with some showing patches of snow. Then when coming into Hospital de Órbigo we got to walk across an awesome Romanesque bridge and be stopped halfway through by a friendly local telling us that even though we’ve missed the town’s jousting competition there’s a nice park and tennis courts if we feel like playing sports. Later, we got lost on our way to the supermercado, and a very kind older señora halfway ran to give us directions. Walking out of the supermarket back to the albergue, another older señor Made sure we know there are two routes along the Camino to the next town and letting us know which one is better. Looking forward to what the next week’s bring!
Today was an early start and a lovely short walk of about 20 km into Santiago in time for noon mass.
An early start:
A selfie at Monte de Gozo and the final descent:
Entering the city:
Getting to the old city:
Here at last:
After the mass, we met our host families. We entered mass as pilgrims and ended as students.
Today we had a relatively short 20km hike to the town of O Pedrouzo, also known as Arca. Okay, it was short compared with yesterday.
The weather was nice, the vibes were chill.
Here we are leaving in the morning:
Eucalyptus forests, a beer albergue (?), and some bikers (fairly friendly).
Lunch first, then some shopping for dinner. (Not pictured, washing clothes so that our host families have a nice first impression of us…).
O Pedrouzo/Arca was having a fair! We showed up a bit too early–apparently the festivities only really got started around midnight. We could hear said festivities until around 3:30 a.m. Unfortunately we had to go to bed early to get up for an early start tomorrow.
Leaving for the carnival:
A bit empty:
But Annie takes the opportunity to beat Rouselle at air hockey. She takes her air hockey seriously.
The thing about today is that there was a city called Melide in the middle of it, about 15 km in. This is about the length of a short day on the Camino. So it kind of sort of felt like we should be done when we got to Melide. But we weren’t–we were just halfway there.
That’s okay, we took it easy, had a few breaks, and made it to Arzua without any tears.
Leaving early after breakfast:
Our eyes are bright, our tails are bushy.
Happy peregrinos on the trail:
Taking a break:
Finding the right route after a wrong turn out of Melide:
Hello Mr. Horse!
Here is a horrero: it’s a Galician grain storage silo. It holds the grain up in the air where it’s less damp and where there’s more air circulation. There are also stone disks at the top of the legs to stop the rats from climbing to the grain.
Finally here! Time to shop for and make dinner.
Today was a bit longer: 26 km to Palas de Rei.
The day started with a little bit down followed by a long steady up for about 3 km to second breakfast.
One of the good dogs of the Camino:
And one of the good cows:
Today a few of us realized: we’re nearing the end. There’s only three walking days left.
After a nice lunch and a nap (for some) it was time for dinner already: