Camino Diary Entry # 38

668#38 Palais de Rei to Arzua (29 kms)
We were pleased to have some cooler temps and cloud cover as we set out today – just 29 kms!
The searing heat and stagnant air that rendered even the wind turbines motionless for the past few days, appears to have moved on at least temporarily.
Passing the very sharp looking Eroski supermarket we were amused to see that the rear end of it housed a tractor, bales of hay and a number of those very happy hens pecking about.
The various villages we passed through today have now transformed from the ramshackle stone and slate tile roofs,638 back to white wall, pale bricks and orange tiles. The doors open directly onto the road and from the exterior they look tired and unexciting, dark and miserable. It is always a surprise when one opens as we pass and out steps an immaculately presented lady, silk dress, perfect hair and beautifully made up!
The sky did clear by 2 pm and again the sun bore down on us – still not quite with the same vengeance of recent days.
It goes with out saying that the heat was accompanied by the opportunity to climb a few hills! I think I have now nearly completed some of the ‘stress reduction techniques for hill climbs in the heat ‘. My best yet has been holding elbows to hips, poles relaxed and a gentle flick of 2 fingers to create an external rotation of the pointy end which can then be plunged back into the road to haul yourself another step without using any other arm muscles! Great huh? (go on, get your ski poles out and give it a go!)
What lies underfoot also has huge bearing on the toll taken on our bodies. We fair catapaulted along today being blessed not only with the cloud cover but also tracks of compounded clay and gravel. The asphalt is desperate to walk on for too long and the unevenness of cobbles or crazy paving requires a different ‘roll of the toes within the shoes’ every step needing to adjust the pressure points. This is all such fun!!
639Today our quiet roads were transformed into state highway 1 around rush hour. At any given time there would be 20 pilgrims ahead and 20 behind. It was busy and noisy. The pressure to get there is on.
We are still yet to meet anyone who is skipping along with euphoria or sad that the end is in sight! The question on the Camino grape vine is (to use Camino speak)
“when do you make Santiago?”
For those who can still walk ably (and the number of those diminishes by the hour) the target is Saturday. Many will stop 5 kms short of Santiago and have chosen to stay in the Albergue of 500 beds!(Why?) Can you just imagine shower time?
For now, we are sitting up on our beds at Pension Teodora in Arzua. The window is wide open and the sun going down on a picturesque rural scene.674 We have dined on pizza freshly made before our eyes, burned our fingers on the seriously hot mozzarella in our hurry to get back to the laundromat before closing, sunk our noses into the sweet smell of clean clothes and are hoping for a good nights sleep – if that ‘honking bull’ would just shut up!
We have tallied our wounds for the day – Gwyneth is on the tiger balm run I think and I now have too many bright red welts appearing about my arms, legs, hands and face to count 680anymore! (no I have no idea what has eaten me!) We have compared our feet, Gwyns have gone all skinny and boney and mine appear to have changed shape completely.(We don’t understand why I’m not getting all your emails asking us where you can book for the Camino!)
Just a light day tomorrow – only 18 kms, and to a small town called A Rua. We are not holding our breathe on the wifi there, so will try to send this tomorrow morning because they’re a bit disinterested in their guests here and I can only go on line in reception!
Actually, Gwyn says I can go down stairs now and send it! So there you are ! It’s your lucky day!

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