Susan's Camino De Santiago Pages

Susan Blogs About Our Camino To Arzua


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Friday 6th June 2008 - 7:38pm
Arzua in map square [B1]
by Susan
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Hola!

So still no sign of Brad Pitt...! :(
(see the previous blogīs comments!)

Iīve been holding back a bit lately as I had a provisional arrangement to meet Zoe before Santiago but today I decided just to go for it so Iīm hoping to reach Compostella by Sunday!!! (How exciting is that!!!??!!!)
(p.s. if anyone is out there reading this can you let Zoe know as she hasnīt called for while... got a text yesterday to say she was having a lovely time camping by the lake in Portomarin :) )

So the place in Portomarin that I stayed was really beautiful, no disco noise at all! Yesterday wasnīt all that thrilling walking-wise but was quite pretty. Anyway so I stopped in Palas Du Rei and I did my usual thing of just walking in the first albergue(hostel) I came across... which just happened to be the municipal one. Actually I really wanted to stay in this one called "Buen Camino!" just cos it was called "Buen Camino" really but I couldnīt see it (as is turned out it was only about 10m down the road!!) Anyway so I figured whatever Iīll go in the municipal one itīll only be 3 euros eh?

So.... it was all going well til I realised there were no doors on the showers.....

So I was pretty smelly today!

I tried to stay downwind of anyone I talked to.... Iīve pretty much got to grips with the whole communal showering with other women thing, Iīve done that a couple of times but yesterday not only were the showers on show to anyone (male or female) who wanted to use the toilets or sinks or anything in the bathroom (they had to walk past you showering to get to them!) but even worse a massive window was open next to the showers right onto the street! It was a street coming down right past window level only metres away from the showers - and not just any street - it was actually the route of the Camino de Santiago!!! So not only could anyone from the dorms see you showering but also anyone out in the street and everyone walking past on the camino (which is about 3 people every other second) !!!!!!!!

So Iīm sorry but I just couldnīt do it, I mean everyone has limits and showering in front of the entire camino?
I donīt think so - I am ENGLISH after all...... :(

Anyway on an up note Iīve had a super lovely day today! The sunshine came out FINALLY and I guess because Iīve been putting in some really long days lately I caught up with a load of people Iīve havenīt seen for ages as theyīd gone on ahead. This morning coming through Casanova (great name eh? Martina said she was definately going to stay there just to see what kind of blokes she might meet! ;D ) I met Tommy the donkey again! :)

Then I met "Really Cheerful French Guy" (name unknown!) who I havenīt seen for AGES! It was great cos I was wondering what happened to him and heīs just so cheerful itīs like a breath of fresh air, heīs like "The people are great, the countryside is great, the hills are great,
the walk is great!" Itīs great he really cheers you up when you bump into him!

And then just up the road I met folks I hadnīt seen for ages, including a german girl who I saw in the place just past Sahagun (on her first night) and youīll never guess we didnīt swap names before and weīre both called Susan!! Also I met Sascha and Neil, an english couple who live in New Zealand who I havenīt seen since before Zoe found another occupation! Sascha has this stick with a feather on (or two now I think?) and she said whenever she looks down on it it always reminds her to be "light" when sheīs trudging along feeling weighed down by her backpack or whatever. I always think about that, and the Koren lady who told me to "Go forward with joy in you heart" whenever Iīm feeling a bit rubbish going up a hill....

Man Iīm so sick of hills... last night in the albergue everyone was talking about the first thing they were going to do when they got home. But you know I donīt really feel like that. I still have much to do, I wanna go out to finnisterre, I wanna get my compostella, I wanna see what the next 40km is like not wish it away like that! Mind it would be REALLY nice if there were no more hills.... :)

Really though itīs been a lovely day, the hospitalera lady in this place Iīm in tonight is like super lovely. She hung out all my washing in the sun for me and then just as I was sitting down to my rather pathetic dinner of half a cheese and tomato sandwich (and seriously even I am unbeliveably beggining to get a bit sick of cheese and tomato sandwiches...) she got out a load of eggs and said in spanish (something along the lines of) "eggs are good for pilgrims" and made me a load of fried eggs to have with my sandwich!! How nice is that!!

Only 40kms to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can hardly believe it!

Apparently my book says that tommorow I am walking past a monument to a pilgrim who died just one day way from Santiago. Now Iīve walked past a lot of these monuments and they are all sad in their own way. Mind me and Zoe walked past one to a german cyclist as we came off down the mountians and we were saying if you had to pick a place to go we couldnīt think of a more stunning location. Truly it was the most beautiful spot.
Still I canīt imagine dying just a day before you get there (how crap is that!) and why would god (if there is a god?) let you walk all that way and then kill you! Crikey Iīd be mad if that was me!!!!

That said apparently the medieval pilgrims were pretty much guarenteed to die on the way. Not helped by the fact that most of them only set out on the pilgrimage cos there were pretty ill already. Since Leon weīve been walking past churches with a "Door of Perdon" (door of pardon maybe? - my spanish is crap) which you could walk through if you were sick and couldnīt make it to Santiago and you got the same redemption (is that the right word?) as walking into compostella. (maybe zoe could try it with her sore foot?)

Iīm not entirely sure what happened to you if you were french and you walked all the way from Le Puy or something but were too sick to get to Leon. Seems a bit unfair but there you go.... Still apparently getting sick wasnīt the only way to go, there were several dangerous river crossings and apparently you were always at risk from bandits (no cash machines you had to carry ALL your money with you so you were rich pickings!!!)

Still apparently for safety they used to walk along in big groups singing and stuff, which sounds quite fun really and very friendly...

So the final meet up I had today was that I met up with nice the friendly Danish lady that I first met in the bar in Sarria tonight. Sheīs been walking with a really lovely spanish mother and son for a couple of days. Sheīs planning to walk on straight on through Santiago and out towards finnisterre as she doesnīt have much time. I guess like me she just really wants to see the sea!!

Better go - catch up with you all soon! (unless I die in the next 40kms mind you.... then Iīll be REALLY grumpy!!!!!!!! :) )

A->Santiago my friends!

(p.p.s. - And someone tell Zoe to call me!)

Comment Added: Friday 6th June 2008 - 7:49pm
"ooo also I forgot I discovered this morning you can order orange juice WITHOUT having to say "orange"!
You just have to say "Zummo Naturale"!!!

That said I still didnīt get any orange juice..... I have no clue what was said but Iīm guessing it was the spanish for "sorry the orange juice machine is broken...."

Cafes Con Leches all the way then eh....!"
by susan

Comment Added: Friday 6th June 2008 - 7:49pm
"I am incredibly impressed by your progress . . . so impressed I am too speechless to comment . . . daresay I will recover though . . ."
by Mum

Comment Added: Friday 6th June 2008 - 8:48pm
"Ah, now recovered enough to worry about your over-intake of cheese sandwiches and to add that there appear to be two Vegetarian Restaurants in Santiago. One is called "O Triángulo das Verduras" - it is in the Plazuela das Pena which is back towards the way you walk in but more to the East. The second, which is probably a bit pricier is not too far away in Aller Ulloa and is called O Cabalino Do Demo (apparently means Dragonfly). Anyway they are both on several of the 'Walking Trails' if you want to first search for them and then find out where using this map:

http://mapa.santiagoturismo.com/vermapa.asp?idioma=i

The same map will show you where the Officina de Peregrinos is.

Don't forget to order a racion (ro two) of 'pimientos de Padron' either! Hope it is not too early in the year for them."
by Mum

Comment Added: Friday 6th June 2008 - 8:54pm
"Ah found a super explanation about one of the Vegetarian Restaurants here:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9900EEDA1F3FF933A1575BC0A961958260

There's even receipes!"
by Mum

Comment Added: Friday 6th June 2008 - 9:09pm
"Hey, mook!

Almost there. You've done amazingly well! Keep on, but remember it's not a race!

PS. Yes, eggs are very good."
by Keith

Comment Added: Friday 6th June 2008 - 9:11pm
"susan
the next 40k is your time,no mum, no zoe just you,stop faffing about, get the orange juice move on .move up excuse me but kick some ass and let the end of the world be the beginning for you.
love ian and rosie.
go girl"
by ian n rosie


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