23.5 km ~ 33,235 steps
Song of the Day: Lost – Coldplay
Today we faced another crowded day, but made some great friends from it. Arzúa is the town where pilgrims who had been walking the Del Norte route join in. Just outside the town, Maverick befriended a group of young pilgrims by patiently waiting for them to throw a stick for him. We got to talking, and I found they had just hooked in from Del Norte and were also struggling with the shock of the crowds. Three of them were from Germany, and one was from Ireland and we had a great time laughing over Maverick’s ridiculous antics and our cultural differences. We parted ways when they stopped for coffee and Maverick and I continued on.
As we were weaving in and out of people, really feeling in a good Camino groove for the first time in a few days, two girls from Ireland matched my pace. “Excuse me, can I ask you how long you’ve been walking?” One of the girls asked when they had been walking by me for a bit. I turned to smile at her and said, “this is day 38 for us.” “Oh, wow” she said, “we were trying to guess how long you’d been out here” I laughed at that and asked, “so what’d you come up with?” And she told me, “my friend thought you seemed like you’d been walking for a long time, but I thought there was no way you could have been with a dog and all. Wow. Hats off to you guys” I ended up walking with the two of them for a bit longer, they had just started in Sarria and loved it so much they wanted to come back and do the whole thing. I told them they definitely should and eventually, we went our separate ways after I stopped for breakfast. It’s fun here, meeting people, talking for a few minutes, and then not seeing them again until days later.
Perhaps the best part of the day, though, was when we walked into town to grab some food and ran into none other than Davida, perhaps the nicest pilgrim I’ve met. We met day 1, at the train station in Bayonne before boarding the same bus to St. Jean, sharing dinner together that night, and walking a bit together the next day. He was probably Maverick’s biggest fan we had encountered this whole trip, and we hadn’t seen him since just after Pamplona. Yet low and behold, there he was sitting in a café in O Pedrouzo and jumping up to give us a hug and kisses on the cheek. There’s truly no better feeling than running into your Camino family unexpectedly.