Day 18: Total distance 22 kms. Total ascent: TBC
Weather: Raining, windy and cold. Temperature: 12
An adventure may be worn as a muddy spot or it may be worn as a proud insignia. It is the woman wearing it who makes it the one thing or the other. –Norma Shearer
Quite possibly today will go down as the most memorable for us in Spain…and days do not become memorable by being easy. It was a day of adventure and many muddy spots, but we will wear it as a proud insignia and in years to come will refer back to it…..do you remember the day we walked in the rain? Do you remember how we started in the almost-dark trying to avoid puddles on the track? (if only we’d known what was ahead we might not have bothered!)
Do you remember that as the day progressed and the rain drove down we watched trickling rivulets turn into fast-flowing streams? Do you remember how Grandpa missed the turning and I had to pick my way through mud to call him back and then trudge through a river of mud to see if the others were also ahead? Do you remember how freezing cold we were, how our fingers would not work when we stopped for lunch? But wasn’t that shelter a welcome sight?
Remember how we got so cold because we stopped, and when we set off again our feet ached, but no-one said anything, because we knew if we didn’t go on to the next village we would only have a bag of snacks for dinner. Remember how we laughed full of “that’s how I felt” when we all realised later we had all been the same.
As miserable-ish as the walking was, it was great to experience the famed Galician rain that sets in steady and doesn’t stop. It was fascinating to see the ruts in the track, ruts which we had earlier remarked must really run with water when it rains – and they do. As do the stone gutters down the middle of hamlet streets.
I suspect we walked through some pretty places today. Judging by the eucalyptus leaves, spiky chestnuts and pine needles underfoot, there were tall trees towering above us….but we didn’t look up much. Head down, eyes on the path picking out the least treacherous option for foot placement, we shivered on, only vaguely aware of the greater surroundings. Fortunately Jboy16 stopped occasionally to snap a picture so we could, at the end of the day, see where we had been.
From the vantage point of our first “pension” (our preferred albergue was closed for two days and the remainder were completo before we made it to the head of the queue), having had warm showers and facing the delightful prospect of sleeping without snorers, the memory of sodden stick-to-your-legs-shorts and wet undies is starting to fade, the memory of 30*C days just a week ago is warming up the 20 degree temperature drop and we are wearing our adventure as a proud insignia.
PS We were all surprised at the GPS reading today…..although wet, it was not a difficult day and we *easily* walked the distance and could have gone on further (even Grandpa reckoned he could have)….if only we were just beginning instead of nearly finishing – imagine how far we could go!
Tags: 2012, postcard: Spain