There is more shade to be found on this section

22.8 km

Ribadiso – Arzua – Salceda – Alto de Santa Irene – Rua – Pedrouzo

Total distance walked (part 2) = 264.7 km

There is an urgency in the footsteps of the peregrinos today, as Santiago approaches in the next 40 km.

Those pilgrims come in all shapes and sizes.  I am sure there are coach parties who come out to look at the human pilgrims

The forecast was for temperatures to rise to 35 degrees centigrade by lunchtime today and my partner is not keen on the heat.  So we left promptly at 6 am and headed uphill to the town of Arzua.  Walking on tarmac, it was easy in the dark but I hadn’t slept well and I was grateful for an early stop here.

The old and crumbling is as charming a part of the Camino – although it suggests the poverty that hides along the route

Away from the town, we climbed steadily into the rural areas bathed in the morning mists which kept the air fresh and cool.

Crossing the bridge over cooling streams was very welcome


But our footsteps kept moving, keen to arrive at our destination by 11 am, avoiding the blistering midday sun.  The route winds in and out of the wooded areas and there is much shade to be found here, thankfully.

Walking at over 5 km an hour, we soon arrived at our final road crossing at Pedrouzo and despite there being alternative routes, we chose the wooded path, worried only for a moment that we had made a mistake and would miss the town we aimed for.  Nothing more depressing for a tired walker than having to back track.

But we needn’t have worried; we soon came to a road and although we had to walk back into town for a few 100 mtrs, we were booked into an Albergue just after 11 am.

Our albergue was hospitable but it took some negotiating to work out when we could order lunch and dinner in the town.  There is something odd about this town; it is Santiago’s outpost, I suppose, with pilgrims bypassing this place for the prize which was now only about 20 km away.

I suddenly got frightened by this thought; I had come on this trip with my partner for a reason.   To fall in love again – no, to remember how we loved each other again, to find the joy in our relationship that we had forgotten.  Although we were going on beyond Santiago, that was the destination we had always aimed for from the beginning and it was the ‘end’ of one journey and maybe two?  I was braced for my goodbye , it’s really over hug in Galicia’s capital.

And I barely ate all day.  And I barely slept.