Day 35 – Portomarín to Palas de Reí
29.0 km ~ 40,907 steps
Song of the Day: Little Boy – Vance Joy
I’m trying very hard to be positive and happy and whatnot, but today was hard. The weather matched my mood. It misted all day. I lost one of my favorite pairs of socks this morning (toe socks). Did I have a feeling they’d fall off if I clipped them to my backpack to continue drying from washing them yesterday? Yes. Did I do it anyways? Yes. So I have no one to blame but myself.
It’s hard now. At the start of this journey, I was lonely because Maverick and I never seemed to walk with people or stay in the same places as other pilgrims. But over the past 34 days, I’ve grown to be comfortable in our solitude. I’ve come to embrace it and embrace our time alone with God in this beautiful world He’s created and is showing us. But now, there is no solitude. I thought people were exaggerating when they said after Sarria the trail gets mobbed. They weren’t. As much as I try to not let this be a negative thing, I found myself being upset. I attempted to breathe in, and then breathe out my negative thoughts and energy. For a bit, it would work. I tried to look at these new pilgrims on the trail and make up mini lives in my head for them, reasons that brought them here, trying to put myself in their shoes. Though, I ended up giving up that game because many of them are teenagers on some sort of organized tour so I suppose they must have just signed up for that. Those of us who have been walking for long seem to gravitate towards each other unknowingly and I ended up walking with a man from London who had also started in St Jean. We discussed how the trail simply has a different energy now and it’s a bit disheartening.
This afternoon was also a struggle for Maverick and I because I had called ahead at an albergue yesterday to make sure they allowed dogs and made a reservation, but when we got here the man told me Maverick would have to stay in a locked room in the basement where they kept the bicycles. I told him I wouldn’t let that happen and after me listening to his long discussion, I asked if it would be okay if I just slept in the basement on the floor with Maverick then. Not a big deal, I have my sleeping pad. He told me no way. What if other pilgrims saw me. What if they took pictures. It would ruin their image and hurt the tourism. I couldn’t help it, I actually laughed then. This is an albergue mind you, where pilgrims many times can find a spot on the floor or have a mattress on the floor. But now, on this part of the trail, tourism reigns.
Despite all these negative thoughts, incidents, and energy, there is still light. We detoured a short distance to see the ruins of a settlement from the 4th century BC until the Roman occupation, and I was truly in awe. You could actually walk through history, reach out and touch it. People lived their lives here. Kids were born and played here. These rock walls of houses still are intact. It’s breathtaking. And then tonight, the lovely waiter I had for dinner gave Maverick so much love and at the end came out with a giant t-bone for him. Life has its ups and downs. The Camino has its ups and downs. Tomorrow, we move forward again.