Monday, 19 September 2011

So close and yet 30

With a lot of kilometres to cover today we started off early. We left Gonzar in pitch black and struggled to find the arrows. We walked through forests that were still sleeping, not a single bird chirping. I felt energised by the surprise visit from my family last night and excited that we were 3 days away.
While walking in the darkness we came across Julia the Italian girl who started only a few days ago and was completely shell shocked when we met her. Julia was struggling with blisters. She had used the old needle, iodine and thread technique but had gone over board with the iodine and had tied knots in the thread. It looked very uncomfortable. I'd given her all the advise I could about blisters but she was doing it her way, and fair enough. We had passed her a few times when she was really suffering but then Miraculously she had managed to get ahead of us in Portomarin, had met some fellow Italians and visited the chemist so we figured she was out of the shock and doing well. Why she would leave so early in the morning, by herself and without a torch made me wonder. She was trying to tell us something about light in Italian. I figured she wanted a torch or something. It turned out she had lost her walking stick in the darkness. Losing your way in the darkness I can understand... But your walking stick? How is that possible? Eventually she found it and we went on our way. Later that day Reniere told us he didnt think she would finish the camino. 'Don't be ridiculous' I said.'of course she will finish the camino'. Reniere replied, well yesterday she tried to hitch a lift and 2 minutes after she got in the car, it broke down. That is unlucky, when you can't even get a lift successfully.
When the sun rose we found ourselves in a different kind of forest than previous days. Eucalyptus and pine have taken the place of oak and chestnut. Autumn is beginning and leaves are falling. Today's long hike felt like it would never end. Our initial excitement of only having 3 days left turned into a realisation that just over 75km in three days was still a lot to do and that we were by no means over. Perhaps because of no rest days, we are really exhausted now and old aches and pains have reemerged. In this state
Of near exhaustion I'm noticing how serious I've become in the last few days.. So serious, quiet, personalityless. Not the best of company for sure.
And today I'm struggling to engage my brain also. I wonder how Liz puts up with my space cadet company. We ended the day in a well known pulperia in Melide with George and Michael. I listened to their many stories; including some recent pilgrim deaths and george's own near death experience. We tutted over the 'tour-igrinos' who have now started arriving by the coach load, on a mission to get their stamps for the compostela but not really walking that far, or at all. They are missing it all I feel. We returned to our stinky albergue to a chorus of snoring and tried to keep our spirits up now we are so near and yet so far.

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Location:Gonzar to Melide

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