October 12, 2002

10/12/02 Eirexe/Airexe

38 km

Walking in the land of enchantment

I decided this morning that I really wanted to finish this pilgrimage with my perigrino 'family'. So that meant a long day ahead. I didn't know if I could catch them, but I at least wanted to get closer.

No clouds this morning, just a dense fog. It wasn't hot or cold but it sure was humid. Finally had to remove my raingear. It wasn't going to rain, it just felt like it.

Rocky, wet, winding road

All day the Camino wound it's way across the landscape, passing through many pueblos that probably were just large dairy farms. And every once in a while, the sun beamed across my path. I love the sun.

I crossed the River Miño over a bridge extremely high above the water. A good thing because I wouldn't want to climb down and up again. The town of Portomarín was rebuilt high above the river. But since the Camino didn't go through town, I couldn't justify climbing any farther than necessary. Skipped the town and kept going.

At one point, I crossed by the marker signifying 100 kilometers to go to Santiago. Hopefully my friends haven't gone too far ahead. A few other pilgrims at the restaurant in Hospital de la Cruz could only tell me the others were ahead somewhere. I decided to push on despite my feet hurting pretty bad.

An old woman moves her cattle to pasture

I have the flu today. Last night I couldn't stop coughing. While walking, I seem OK, but I'm not looking forward to the paybacks from this high mileage.

As I approached the refugio in Airexe, I was overjoyed to see Max juggling while Josué was talking with his friend Rocio, a fellow psych student here to walk a few days with him. I'm so glad I didn't have to go on, although I would have to find my friends.

Later, we all went to dinner at the house next door. Such a great family. We ate at the dining room table and they hardly charged us for what we ate. After dinner, the father of the house insisted on giving everyone shots of orujo. Much laughter followed.

As we get ready for bed, a bunch of us including Camille, Christopher and Ferdenand (France) are sitting in front of the fireplace with flames chasing away the cold of the night.

Enjoying the warmth of the fire and friendship