For most of the group we are walking with, Santiago is the end….and Santiago is in sight. Well, not literally. Actually, speaking of “not literally”…..yesterday Ella-Rose was disappointed that we had a gentle uphill walk the whole day – after the last big climb the other day she had heard someone say, “It’s all downhill from here to Santiago!”
So Santiago draws near and everyone is winding down. It would be so easy to stop and celebrate with them…and not start up again! But Santiago will be just one more night like the others for us. The next morning we will get up again, put on our walking clothes and keep going. Our goal is the 1,000km mark for the girls, then we’ll walk back to Santiago to celebrate!
We had been planning a little cross-country jaunt to join our friends on the Norte route today at the monastery in Sobrado. BUT I sensed that we needed (psychologically, at least) to move towards our ultimate goal, and not detour away from it. So we stayed on the Primitivo route….not only did we stay on it, but we got to the very end of it.
After a cool misty start largely on wooded paths, the sun came out and heated things up. Excited energy emerged, too. In spite of the rays beating down, we bounced into Melide.
Unlike the rest of the Primitivo walkers, who had been muttering for a few days about getting back to the busy, crowded, noisy Frances route, we were happy to be here. As well as marking the end of one stage, it is the beginning of the next, which seems to give a lift in spirits – so does walking with memories of having been here before. We spent the day reminiscing.
I remember seeing these grain stores last time.
I remember the empanadas and biscuits daddy bought at the bakery next to the albergue.
Do you remember how we arrived just after shops were shut and you ran round the market getting strawberries and tomatoes as the stall owners packed up?
Do you remember how it was raining and we watched the raindrops slide down the window? (Little did we realise at that point that by 4:30 we would be being pelted with hailstones, some the size of golf balls, and that the rain would follow!)
I remember how cold it was in the dining room, we all wore our jackets – oh it will be nice to be cold in there this time!
And here we are. (Do you see Melide in the distnace?)
Back to telling our story, back to people counting the kids, back to meeting lots of new people, back to hearing English, back to listening to how amazingly far and fast an American has come (sorry to all the nice Americans, but there is always one skiting about his distance – usually an ex-military bloke, and today he found me within fifteen minutes of arriving!)…although some of our Primitivo-ites are here too, and there is a strange comfort in the camaraderie that exists between us.
Distance: 28.4km (for once, shorter than the guide said)
Cumulative Distance: 1,160/860km
140km for the girls to go to get to their 1,000 – eagerly urged on by their brothers
Weather: apparently 25 degrees, but it felt hotter!