A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Santiago Dreaming

I'd spent the night of Friday 14 December in the albergue at Ribadiso. It was beautifully situated by the river bridge at the village entrance. It had received an award for its environmentally-friendly design. In the summer it must be very busy with pilgrims. That night I was the only occupant. The nearby café-bar was shut so I made do with eating leftovers from my backpack: bits of stale bread and cheese, an orange. The night was icy cold, the ink-black sky dotted with stars. I struggled to keep warm and pulled extra blankets over my sleeping bag. I could hear the sound of cats scavenging in the rubbish bins outside.

Next morning I was so keen to reach Santiago that I decided to walk the whole remaining 43 km straight off. I left in the dark, stopping in Arzúa for a café con leche. It was very cold and frosty, but as usual the sun warmed things up as the day went on. I was full of energy. I walked fast. I couldn't help it. My feet were singing. I passed more churches and wayside crosses on the way...

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