Camino Day 36: Ponte Campaña to Arzua 24km

Navigational malfunction during today’s walk to Arzua. Also known as getting lost.

That’s how this day started. A price you may have to pay by leaving and trying to find your way in the dark. Once you realize that the “Camino” you follow is just a maintenance road. Leading to a radio transmitting station on a hill.

I estimate a loss of perhaps 3km / 45mins by not paying attention to markers and yellow arrows. And that within the first 10-15 minutes of walking, first thing in the morning.

So, backtracking to find where the Camino diverted from the main country road. That place was a grey stone post partly hidden behind a garbage bin, all shrouded in gloom.

Yep, we were over there on the other side. Where it is sloping down… Which meant walking up again.

Well, the art of getting lost is arguably a necessary Camino experience for all pilgrims. In other words, you haven’t done “The Way” unless you got lost at some point. That is what I would like to argue. Agree?

As a result, breakfast was not possible until around 9am. And then only hot drinks and tostada. Here.

After the morning gloom, and occasional strong winds, today turned out to be a lovely day. Weatherwise as well as the scenery varied, green and lush. The small towns and hamlets the Camino passed through were so pretty.

The town of Melide had this interesting pilgrim monument at its eastern industrial end. Hence the dull background.

Different viewers can likely see different things in it, which of course is how great art should be. Is it a pilgrim? A collection of bastones/hiking poles? A cross? You dear reader may see more things…

Closer to the centre of Melide, it was Hammer time. Can’t touch that.

Fish shop in Melide. Many (most?) shops seem to end up called something that ends with -eria. I like cervezeria. And cerveza of course.

Here we are exactly 50km away from Santiago de Compostela according to the marker. The final countdown has begun.

Since we are well inside the 100km turigrino zone, these kind of shops multiplied…

Here we are a further 1km closer to the goalpost.

Shortly after I realized that I haven’t seen any peregrino on a horse, this guy appeared in the woods. He was painting a donkey. As you do. The bloke had 2 donkeys. Not a pilgrim on a horse or with horses but close enough.

The explanation was here and unsurprising. Walking for donations.

I gave him a few coins as after all, he provided some amusement and photo opportunities.

The bloke’s second donkey. Waiting for his paint job perhaps?

And here is the “whole family” together.

Lunch was another greasy meal of bacon, eggs and chips at this establishment. Where more than half of the customers appeared to be turigrinos.

The woman below came up to me at the cafe and tried to be funny. By pointing out that the Camino may be one of the few places where one can take off shoes and socks in a cafe. Great insight.

The noticeable thing about her was that she was wearing lipstick. Note her socks below.

There was noticeable many turigrinos on the Camino today after yesterday’s total absence. Except for presumably inside the many taxis on the roads yesterday.

The bloke below is not one of the turigrinos. That is actually Ben. I took the photo here because the scenery looked good with all the shades of green.

Close to today’s destination of Arzua is the town of Ribadiso. The creek that ran through town made it look British or Irish.

We arrived at 2.15pm at today’s destination, Albergue Ultreia in the town of Arzua.

8 of us fellow pilgrims were occupying this whole area in front of a giant window.

Albergue Ultreia may be one of the nicest albergues of the whole Camino. They had a modern and well equipped kitchen which included washing machine and dryer. All for use by pilgrims at will.

Cosmin and I then wandered off to one of two supermercados almost next door to each other. Why do they do that and not spread them out a bit? One was close for siesta while Eroski was open so no contest this time.

Yes, as Cosmin and I were at Eroski, another bunch of turigrinos arrived. Stocking up on hair products perhaps? Yes, I know… I shouldn’t do it…

While we onto… Ehhh… Turigrinos… Something else…? A business…?

I was not in the bar of the albergue when this happened but Ben took a few photos to mark the occasion. The bloke below arrived with a bunch of credentials booklets, 100s ? He then requested pilgrim stamps inside all of them. Inside every single Credential de Peregrino that he was carrying.

Why??? Do we even want to know?

My dinner was a delectable mix of items that I had purchased from Eroski. Caesar salad, 6 seeds bread (not pan), and ruby grapefruit juice. Which in a way was a shame as Albergue Ultreia had a reputation for “best food on the Camino”. Somebody told me that beforehand but I had forgot.

Well, if you believe that kind of thing.

746km walked. 39km left to walk after Day 36

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