Planned rest day today, and I was only going to do 3 hours, JP the french walking machine joined me, and over lunch (despite my commitment to not fall to this), he convinced me to keep going as much as possible and take a day off at Sarria before the last 100km to the end. As an FYI, I committed to not falling into a trap of walking with folk I like, because you can potentially push yourself harder than your body should, and feel it later.
So a nice (although fairly hilly stage) 6 hours, we ended up completing 18kms, through Villafranca del Bierzo and Vega de Valcarce, gorgeous little towns, driving past you would miss the most beautiful aspects of these places, wonderful cobblestones, cathedrals and such history in every place.
It makes me think back to when I first started exploring the UK, where every village and town had such a story to tell, and was proud to share it, where people are passionate about what their little place has meant and means.
It is also amazing now to see, the number of new pilgrims starting to join the route as we near the 100km final stage, people who want a couple of days adjusting to climate and doing a few slow walks in the lead up. It makes me chuckle and reminds me of times when you are in the UK, and the first to arrive in the Greek Islands, and then a week in you see the other first time British arriving, with gear designed to make them look good but not practical, or like when you go to Bail from Australia and again you can spot the first time to Bali Australia arrivals.
I am by no means an experienced walker, but it is funny what you learn to keep and ditch, and how after almost 200km you become the expert to those just starting out, and how they seek you out, it is also amazing how with only the basic of spanish when I started, I have now become quite the translator, especially for friends across the pond.
Tomorrow will be about 13 hours, as I walk through both lazy and tough terrain, towns of O Cebreiro and Triacastela.
Then 24 hours of rest, before I start the last 100km, from Sarria on the 25th ....
Can't believe I have covered almost 200km ....
anything is possible ... be your absolute possible..
Buen Camino, Buen Camino
CBT - x