Camino – Day 36

Palas De Rei to Arzua This morning we headed off at 07.40, as it was a long one and we […]

Palas De Rei to Arzua

This morning we headed off at 07.40, as it was a long one and we wanted to try and get ahead of the crowds. Lots of people, including the school parties, appeared to have the same idea! As we left the hotel in the dark, you could hear the rumble of thunder, then there would be a flash of lightning. We had checked the weather forecast which said that between Palas De Rei and the town of Melide, which is about 15km away, we could expect showers (no mention of thunder and lightning). Beyond Melide, there would be no rain.

For the first 5km it just kept rumbling and flashing. We walked through areas where rain had clearly fallen during the night, so we were pretty sure a downpour was imminent. It was very warm, considerably warmer than normal for this time of the morning, presumably due to the cloud cover, but still no rain came. We stopped for breakfast, which we ate outside, moved on, and eventually fetched up in Malide, the sky clear, the sun out and the temperature climbing! I believe that in meteorological circles (used it again, Larry) this is known as the “jammy bar steward phenomenon”.

For the second half of the walk the sun just kept shining until we reached our destination of Arzua at 2.15 this afternoon. As I explained to my wife, in response to this morning’s
“I hate walking in the dark. It’s far too dangerous – you can’t see where you’re going, and we haven’t had breakfast yet and I’m hungry This is really bad. Did you see that lightning? And the thunder! Listen to that! Oh! Look at the Spanish school kids with their head torches on – I want a photo of them. Look at the full moon – it’s gorgeous!”
“This,” I pointed out upon reaching Arzua, “Is the up side of setting off early. We’ve arrived here in excellent time. The trails weren’t overly busy (they were still quite busy), and, as a bonus, we didn’t get wet.” “Be quiet while I find out where the hotel is”, was all the thanks I got.

As I’ve been saying, there are loads of senior Spanish school kids walking this final stage of the Camino. It’s quite striking how fit they are – both boys and girls set an impressive pace – and they’re always considerate when it comes to letting people past. You also get a response and a smile when you say “Hola” or “Buen Camino” to them. We’ve been very impressed with their demeanour over the last three days. It would be interesting to know whether this is an extra curricular activity for them, and therefore voluntary, or it’s a compulsory part of their education. I reckon it’s the former. There’s no way you’d get a senior year group back home where all the pupils are up for walking between 12 and 18 Miles for five consecutive days. I must ask former Head Teacher Mr G.Urie his views on this.

The final wave of the Scots invasion force is, as I mentioned yesterday, due to arrive in Arzua at approximately 18.00 hours…..

……And they’ve arrived! We’re currently sitting in a Scots/Australian axis catching up in the evening sunshine. It’s fantastic to see everyone again and at catch up on news from home. Party time!!!!!!!

Today’s album track is “Tempted” by Squeeze. Because the Scottish contingent chose it!




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