Day 27 I think
Monday July 30
Ferreiros to Palais de Rei
Miles left to Santiago at end of day:42
I imagine on the Camino pain scale that snapping your ankle or knee ligaments within sight of Santiago must rate pretty highly
But its probably closely followed by sitting bolt upright in the bottom bunk bed while having an alcohol -befuddled dream and smacking your head on the (hard) wooden slats above.
Which is what I did
The dorm was rent with the kind of language that should not be heard on the sacred way of St James
And I now have an amusing Harry Potter/esque cut in my bald head. To add to the bed bug spots. What an attractive sight I make
Look, I know we should be mature about this.
I know the Camino is all about tolerance, acceptance , and understanding
But since we hit Sarria yesterday it’s all been a bit too much.
You see, Sarria is just 100 km from Santiago, the minimum distance required to get a Compestela, a religious certificate that proves you have walked the sacred way of St James.
And if you are a Spanish student it also looks good on your CV
So after the mishap of trainee priest Barry missing the Albergue last night(get a map Baz) and spending a night as the ONLY pilgrim in an isolated hostel , we were reunited today
but it’s now a bit like a pilgrim highway. As someone who has walked close to 500 miles it annoys me that these “plastic pilgrims” can get a Compostela after only 100 poxy km
You can tell that things have changed
by the number of taxis plying their trade along the Camino , either picking up exhausted day trip pilgrims or taking their backpacks to the next stop
And they block the track. It takes a real effort of will to say:” look mate, get outta my way. Ive been doing this since St Jean Pied de Port
“Johnny come latelies ,” as Dan has called them
Or Juan come lately as Alan points out
Having said that …..at least they are here. It’s really rather good to see whole families walking together and old couples holding hands
They smell better than us as well. And it means that at long last I am going faster than others. Five year olds mostly.
Passed a few “returnees” today
These are the psychos who have already walked to Santiago …and are heading BACK the other way
I met a guy the other day who had walked from Switzerland and was heading back
You can normally identify these guys by the hollow , haunted look in their eyes. And the fact they are going in the opposite direction
God knows what problems they are enduring in their lives. But most of them don’t even acknowledge a Buen Camino
Their eyes are on the prize. Whatever that is