Camino de Santiago – Arzua to Pedrouzo

Started off a bit teary this morning and really struggled. I just wanted it to be over. A few days ago I was sad that it was finishing and now I want it done. My legs hurt, my feet hurt, my back is sore and I’m sick of going up fucking hills. And John fucking Brierley has so much to answer for because he never mentions half of the hills in the guide. While I want it to be over, I’ve only got 40kms to go and will finish tomorrow and I had to talk myself into savouring these last days.

Walking through the woodlands, I needed to stop for a sneaky pee but there weren’t any great hiding spots but managed to find something that would suffice. Just as I was setting down my pack, a bunch of Japanese (about 40 of them) come by and decided that where I’m standing must be really interesting and they all stop and wait for the stragglers to catch up. I gave up in disgust and kept walking until I came to the cafe in Calzada. The one toilet there was taken so I was being a little discreet and waiting away from the door when I realised I’d better actually make a queue. No sooner had I stood by the door, than the Japanese ascended and it’s no queuing for them – just stand around and block the way for everyone. I finally got into the toilet with 15 of them crowded outside the door and while initially I was tempted to hurry, I decided that they’d ruined my shit in the woods so they could damn well wait. My little bit of pilgrim-rage. Then the place was too overrun to bother stopping for a cuppa.

I really struggling and realised I’d been walking for 3 hours without a break – no wonder I was flagging. And I considered walking on and not bothering with lunch and a proper break but happened to see a place open and decided to stop. It looked a bit odd but I wasn’t sure I’d make another 6 – 7 kms without food. I had read about this place somewhere and couldn’t believe I’d fallen across it (and nearly hadn’t stopped) but they have thousands of tshirts hanging from the ceiling and plastered over the walls and everyone is free to write on the walls. A truly amazing place with great music and the food wasn’t bad. Was surprised when I walked out at how many people were sitting around outside.

The rest of the afternoon wasn’t bad and only had about 7kms to go. Nearly got myself lost a couple of times but remembered to look ahead for markers.

Very muddy and boggy underfoot today after all the rain and all the pilgrims that have trudged through ahead of me. There were parts that were a bit swampy almost.

I walked past an old farmhouse with a ton of washing hanging on the line. All the males clothes were strung up under a shelter. All the female clothes, including the old style thick stockings and the sheets were out in the open on a ripe tied up between two flimsy bits of wood that swaying in the breeze and looked like they were waiting to fall over.

It will be good and sad to finish tomorrow. My feet hurt and I want to be able to stand up without everything hurting. I wonder if I’ll be able to walk without my walking poles, they’ve walked every step of the way with me. I really don’t think I would have made it otherwise. Today I had to remember to slow down and enjoy the last couple of days. Just walk and enjoy.

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