Passed the 100km mark today. Read in my book that they´ve actually made a mistake though and when you arrive at 12 km to go it´ll become 15 so I should have taken a photo at 97... ah well. Walking through Galicia is like walking through the Ireland you see in films, small green fields, stone walls, hills and drizzle. Nice short walk today (24km). The next 3 days will be sizeable and then hopefully just 5 km Friday morning to arrive early in Santiago to get the certificate and hear our names called out after the sermon at the daily pilgrim mass. Then off again for 3 more days to get to the end of the world, Finisterre... All going to plan. Been to the pharmacy again so hopefully I´m equipped for the days to come and nabbed some wool at the Cebreiro market which soothes all those infant blisters. I´ve been accused of doping because of all the products I´m using to keep going! Have developed an allergic reaction to all the creams I was putting on my legs so had to buy another cream to combat that!
At Portomarin, arrived at 12pm. Earliest arrival since I started, was like I was on holidays. Wondered around and finally arrived at the pool at 2.15 to see that it would be open at 3.30. Too lazy to move any further I just hung out reading until 3.30, 4.00, 4.15. A german girl then arrived and we decided to ring the number. Probably disturbed the guy from his siesta but I feel invigorated now. Swimming in the rain...
So, I´m glad I didn´t bring my psychology book that was meant to give me ideas for next semester. I barely have time to read the book I have... it´s amazing how much time looking after one´s feet takes! And am running into people from earlier too which is nice.
So since leaving Ruitlean where I was awaken to the sound of Ave Maria and freshly made toast we reached the caminos highest points, saw the Galician delicacy of boiled octopus, made a few diversions ´coz we love the challenge, walked together and apart, had to time to reflect and company to distract ourselves, converged and divided and converged again.
Now it´s all about the walk. Everyone at their own pace. Well that´s what it´s about to me. The end is nigh. In fact, the end has been nigh since September began. In August I wasn´t going home ´till Sept but since Sept began it´s been almost countdown. So these last few days are important.
Once again, have to acknowledge how good it is to be Irish because every other nation loves us. I obviously do not look Spanish and attract questions and generosity and friendliness.
Sarria, where we slept last night, is the last big town before the 100km and walkers need to walk at least the last 100km to Santiago to be entitled to get the certificate so it´s become a lot busier. The refuge where I´m staying holds 160 places and was full by 3. When I started people told me the opportunity of getting your bags carried for you and I was thinking I might do it for one day but now it really would be unheard of. There is a certain pride in being a ´real´pilgrim, to have walked about 700km now with my 11kg bag myself. It would be unheard of to get it carried unless something awful happened which hopefully won´t. So we´ve developed a bit of a superiority complex to those other day trippers who just carry their water and picnic bag but do appreciate when they offer us melon slices and olives from their bountiful supply of food!
If nothing else, this has been a great opportunity to practice my languages. I understand again why I studied them. It has also been an interesting study of self. I never noticed how important the fact that I am in the youngest determines who I am. The fact that I am often speaking French or German also affects my role, being less skilled infantiles me. Being less experienced... Whatever roles is the most dominant is determined and the hierarchy is decided and the leader - follower roles are distributed. But once the roles decrease in importance then the hierarchy reshuffles or I refuse to play the game and move on.