Walking through parts of Galicia is like walking through some fantasy land. This morning the clouds are below us and mountain tops looks like islands among the clouds. It’s beautiful! We set off at a fairly brisk pace and we have a long distance to cover. We left after a good breakfast at the only cafe at Castromaior, but when we reach the next village, 4km down the road, as has become customary now, we stop for coffee. A charming Frenchman gives me a little bunch of flowers, saying ours were the first smiles he was seeing since he set out walking that morning!
The walk is through breathtakingly beautiful wooded areas and little villages. One architectural features you’ll find in every yard of every home is the horrero. It is a safe space for corn and other crops before they are threshed, built on raised pillars to keep rodents out. It was first built over two thousand years ago in these Galician villages and though probably no longer used, it continues to be a feature in every home- in memory of a good idea!
We stop for lunch at Palas de Reis, a biggish town and popular stop for the night on the last stage of the Camino. We would have liked to stay here and kept our walk to ~20km, but we weren’t able to find any rooms. We’d been warned to book rooms for every night of the last 100km from Sarria to Santiago, but with my knee troubling me, we didn’t want to commit to distances for each day.
After a quick lunch of vegetable sandwiches we continue to OCoto, passing about 3-4 pretty villages on the way. It’s a 7km walk and I find it difficult to focus on the beauty that surrounds me as my ankle hurts really bad. It maybe the Achilles’ tendon and by the time we reach our hotel in OCoto, it’s throbbing. A hot bath and dinner and I feel a little better, but don’t want to risk hurting it further, so decide to take a taxi to Arzua tomorrow, while John walks.
One difficult lesson the last 40 days has taught me is acceptance. My legs, much to my surprise, had worked really fine for 600km. I may have been stretching them to the limit with overly long walks on consecutive days. It was time to accept the outcome or consequences and the only way to do that was to focus on resting the body and letting it repair itself. The disappointment was enormous as I really wanted to walk these last 100km with John. I’d described the paths in great detail to him after coming back from my last Camino in 2017, when I walked them with my friends! I wanted to show him things we’d seen the last time. But that was not to be! John would have his own experiences to remember over the next couple of days, while I rested!