Well, we are here in a refugio in Boente, which you may have a hard time finding on a map! It's a smallish town near Melide, which in turn is nearly at the centre of Galicia. It's an eclectic group here at the refugio; one German, two Danes, one Dutch, two Norwegians, two from Northern Ireland and us Canadians. We are, perhaps, two days out of Santiago.
Even the peregrino statues seem to be brightening up!
The weather is sunny but not too hot -- the sun being somewhat unexpected for Galicia, which can tend towards dampness. We ave heard some cuckoos in the woods as we've walked, and often seen these unusual granaries -- we think they are for storing seed grain -- one per farmyard here in this area.
We are often walking on forest paths now, amid flowers and trees just coming into leaf. With the rain earlier, and now warm sun, spring is springing all around us.
We are a bit tired! It appears that we are past the blister stage now, but our feet, ankles, and achilles tendons never quite lose their soreness. We have decided that we are not ready for this experience to end -- but as for walking with a pack, well, we are pretty much ready to be done with that.
The Camino is busy these days! We are walking with at least two groups -- one of young adults and one of high school students. You must walk at least 100 km in order to get your official "Compostela" for completing the pilgrimage. That means starting in Sarria, which is what a lot of tour groups do. Many will carry your luggage to a predetermined destination each day (and the school group even arranges snacks along the way, which they graciously shared with us one day!). It's a good way to get a taste of pilgrimage, but it means that the atmosphere on the Camino is much different now. At times we might be walking in easy sight of 40 other pilgrims! The high school students -- let's just say we wish we had their energy and leave it at that.
We are still enjoying ourselves greatly. We are still having some significant conversations with other pilgrims, now as we draw near to the end. We are still hoping to reconnect with some of our original "gang," to find out how they are doing. And we are continuing to enjoy Spanish food! Below is a "warm salad" and "pimientos de Padron" -- delicious green peppers, which my guide tells me are quite hot one in ten peppers (we have yet to get a fiery one).
So it is with mixed feelings that we draw near to the end of the pilgrimage. Hard to believe it has been so many kilometres and so many days...
Tomorrow perhaps Santa Irene? and then Santiago...