Saturday, October 29, 2011

Camino De Santiago: Day 28--Portomarin to Palas de Rei

During the night I was woken up by a young guy, who we reasoned must have been on his first night of the Camino, who told me Someone is snoring. I just put my earplugs back in and went back to sleep. Of course someone is snoring! I think the kid went around waking up everyone till he found the snorer. Who started snoring again 5 minutes later. : )

Getting out of town was for some reason a bit tricky for me, and, much to my chagrin, included a high skinny bridge. I had a (perhaps irrational?) fear that I would drop my walking stick off of the bridge.

Finally outside of town we hiked past a couple of factories. Oh man they smelled bad!

There were plenty of more pleasant sights as well, though. 

I had made really good time during the morning, so when I came to this cross and spotted a nice bench under a shady tree nearby, I stopped. I took of my boots, slathered on the icyhot and rested while pilgrims passed--some going on quickly, but others stopping and making the sign of the cross, laying their hands on the crucifix or praying. I couldn't really figure out the significance of the cross until a girl from Seville came and sat next to me after touching the cross and praying. She told me a bit about it and we talked for a while, sharing piquilabi

She eventually went on (although happily we kept running into each other, and she later ran into my retired friends also from Seville--all parties quickly realized they were people I'd told each of them about), but I sat under my tree in a pensive mood and wrote in my journal for a while. 

Turns out that this cross is one of the oldest of its kind 

More cows! So smelly! 

Look closely at the first sign: This was the first road sign I saw with Santiago on it. Getting close!!

Yep, the Camino was still showing us every single cemetery it could. 

Then, mostly because I showed bad pilgrim form and hoped that the newbie pilgrims would get a bit of the hardship we'd endured, it started raining. We all threw on our rain gear and went on our way. 

It rains pretty much every afternoon in Galicia, so it wasn't too big of a deal. 

Until it started hailing. 

We saw this shed...

And hung out inside for a while. (This picture makes me laugh!)

We finally made it to town and checked into one of the very worst hostels of the Camino. It was pretty bare bones. Yet again we had no shower curtains or doors...but this time the dorms had communal bathrooms for men AND women. Our jaws were hanging when they told us. (It seems especially odd for such religious pilgrimage, no?) Anyway, we made it though, with most of our modesty intact (thanks in part to the paper sheets they gave us for the beds, or in my case, by arriving at the hostel after just about everyone had already had their shower) but honestly, you kind of stop caring about most things after 28 days on the trail!

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