Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 38 Camino de Santiago Aug. 12 O Pedrouzo

Wow, I can't believe that tomorrow around noon, I'll be sauntering into Santiago.  Don't know how to feel or what to think.  I was looking at the blog last night and can't believe so many people and things have entered my world in so short a time.  Much like 2012 as a whole.
     I'll stay in Santiago long enough to look around, attend Mass, possibly get the Compostela and then head off to Finistera.  I don't have a map, but I know it's west of here so I'll find a road, strait walking West till I hit ocean.  West... that's where the sun goes to sleep, right?
     Today started off fairly ominous, but not worrisome.  At least not for me.  The storm clouds were gathering and people acted like it was acid rain.  Weren't you the same people who 1/2 hour ago were standing in a torrential downpour...called the shower?  Never figured out why people are so afraid to get wet.  You'll dry.
     I remember when I was going to bike through Europe and was in the bike shop in Tempe, asking a lady how to handle the rain.  Her words rang true during the bike ride and today as well: "The rainy days will be some of your favorite days!"  And today was one of my favorite!

    It started with a mist and then a stronger a mist.  I stopped and wrapped my bag with my rain jacket. But the trail went through such a thick canopy of trees that I got very little rain.  At one point there was a clearing and I got wet.  Could have put my poncho on, but it would be a choice between getting wet from rain or from sweating in the poncho.  I opted for the clean water.

     The best part of the day was seeing a fruit/coffee stand next to an old farmhouse.  There was a price list, very reasonable!!, and a can for the money.  Behind it was a canopy with a huge picnic table beneath it and several candles.  I bought a few items and coffee and sat down at the table watching the rain come down.  It was magic!  Not beating the elements, but coping with them.  Absolute magic!

    Some time later, the Kilometer marker 25 appeared.  I was feeling fresh and gave thought to busting it out to Santiago, but decided to wait and get my head straight before walking into town.

  Never had lightening or thunder, but it did start raining harder and I broke out the University of Memphis poncho.  I was right.  It got hot, but it didn't rain long enough to worry about it.  The rain tamped down the trail and I was able to roll almost the entire way.  Very relaxing walk.

What is a rainstorm without a picture of a spiderweb??  THE classic photo.  Beaded water on a spider's web!  Wow! How original.
Pretty though, eh!?

   This is the first area where I walked through a stand of eucalyptus trees.  Wasn't sure at first because the leaves are extremely wide.  Only way to tell is to look for koala bears... or... I guess I could crush a leaf and smell it.  Sure enough they are eucalyptus trees.

    Maybe it's the sentimental act of actually arriving in a destination after so long a time, or maybe it's the sheer number of markers identifying people who died along the way, but this one was particularly notable if for no other reason than it was in English.  Glad she made it to Santiago.

From The Mummy - "Death is only the Beginning!"  In this case, not death, but end.. of the Camino.  I would like to return with a few things:
1. The act of stretching everyday.
2. The giving nature of the Camino
3. The need for daily exercise
4. Tinto verano - red white and Sprite