DAY TWENTY-ONE: Castroverde – Lugo
23km – 18oC – clouded and sun
Third week already, my goodness, it’s going fast and yet it feels like forever. Today was a small and easy walk to Lugo. The day started with fog and clouds, and it was only at eleven when the sun broke through. Before entering the city area I walked through the most beautiful roads, through forests and the stone walls on the side of the roads gave me a feeling of Ireland, ahhhh Galicia ❤
During the way I had some chats with Elizabeth, an older woman from Switzerland who I come across regularly. A group of loud and macho Spanish guys from my age where doing some kind of super fast walking combined with a lot of breaks, so this created a constant catch up, which was annoying and hilarious at the same time.
Entering Lugo made me feel sick of the terrible ugly tall buildings. Until I came to the ancient city walls and entered the old city center. The whole old center is surrounded by this ancient city wall where you can walk on, really beautiful. I was so early that I had to eat my lunch and wait before the albergue opened.
I explored the city with Valentin, a nice guy from Russia which I met since a few days ago. The cathedral was really stunning, big and very rich. Also to walk on the city walls was quite nice. But it’s a big and buzzing city with people forcing us to buy bracelets and other shit, blerggh. In the evening I went to the mass in the cathedral. The inner altar you couldn’t enter throughout the day, and was again so so stunning. Tomorrow I’ll go off track to meet a friend I met two years ago along the camino road. So much looking forward to meet him again! Buenas noches!
DAY TWENTY-TWO: Lugo – Palas de Rei
37km – 22oC – clouded, sunny and hot
The first 2.5 hours of walking wasn’t nice, on asphalt roads which was quite dangerous because of fog and the traffic. But I was on hunter mode, my pace was fast and I felt hungry for the day. I was catching up with a lot of pilgrims and as I was catching up I imagined that other pilgrims might have the same judgments with me as I had yesterday with the ‘fast walking macho guys’. I enjoyed this thought as I was smiling about my big yearning to judge my surroundings.
After the asphalt I was treated by the most beautiful roads through the forests. The fog and the green moss on the trees created a really mysterious atmosphere, as if you where walking through a fairly tale.
Today I went walking off the camino track, down south to Palas de Rei, to visit my friend Pablo. After 27km I left the shell and I took off my invisible pilgrims cloak and I pictured myself being a traveler of the earth. It felt free, as I shouted loudly to the mountains: PALAS DE REI!! which got a dog orchestra going 😂.
I did not only left camino de Primitivo, but by walking into Palas, I also joined the French way. And this was noticeable, as it’s really busy with pilgrims. I walked outside of the city center and I recognized Pablo’s house which is directly on the camino. He wasn’t home but had a donkey outside which I made friends with 😊. In my first camino in 2014 I stopped walking for a sec because I heard good music, I went to the house, as Pablo was walking down the stairs. He invited me for a coffee and I stayed for two days with him, and had an amazing time. After a while Pablo, his girlfriend Manuela and his dog Ut came home. It was as if I saw him yesterday, after some food I took a shower and chilled around the place.
This evening some friends where visiting and some of them brought instruments and they gave a really beautiful jam session. As the peace pipe was passed on, I had some crazy chats with two brothers which are running a growshop in Amsterdam. Let’s see if I’ll walk tomorrow 😊.
DAY TWENTY-THREE: Palas de Rei – Melide
20km – 23oC – sunny and hot
Yesterday evening was wicked and I met some interesting figures. It was so nice to have my own room to sleep in. Pablo doesn’t really host an albergue, though he opens up his place for pilgrims traveling with animals, as he has stables, or just for people which stumble into his house like me 2 years ago.
I slept for ages as I woke around 11. We drank some coffee outside and talked about non-duality and the fluidity of reality, as we found out 2 years ago that we have quite some similar interests and shared realities, which is really nice. After a few hours of relaxing around the house I decided to walk. Just a small bit, so that I don’t have to walk a long day tomorrow as I will reunite with my camino Del Norte gang 🎉.
I said goodbye to Pablo and Manuela, knowing that I will be back. The walk was easy but hot. It was already late in the afternoon so there where not many pilgrims walking anymore. Soon I found a nice albergue in Melide. Being back on the French way seems to be a big flashback of my first camino.. In the evening I heard some singing nearby, while I was eating my dinner on the balcony. When the singing made place for drumming, I KNEW IT.. I left my stuff be, walked outside towards the drumming, and there they where…. the South-Korean traveling school which I met 2 years ago on the camino as well. Two teachers travel all around the world for 10 months a year with 20 children between 12 and 18 year. Every evening they perform and raise money for charity. I had some lovely chats with the teachers again.
“PLANT ONE HEART,
ON PLANET EARTH.
ON ETERNAL PATH.”
– Pablo Martinez Nogveira
DAY TWENTY-FOUR: Melide – Salceda
25km – 18oC – clouded and chilly
No real nice pictures, so today some camino throat singing by me 😂.
After a slow and easy waking up I went on my way and for quite some time I was catching up with a lot of the Korean kids as they where walking not only with their backpacks but also carrying their instruments, which is a poor thing to watch as most of them are so tiny and slim. They are all very friendly and seem to have an amazing time.
I met Sunny on the way, the woman who runs the traveling school together with her husband. We walked a while together. She told me about how she started the school. They where working for years with children and at one point they decided to get their own children out of school, sell their house and go traveling with their whole family for 3 years all around the world. They wanted to give other children this experience and alternative to the regular school system as well, and so they created this traveling school which they are running now for 7 years. After I told about myself, my story and that I am very passionate about what they have founded, we where on both ends interested to keep in touch with each other. Before I walked further on my more faster pace, she took of this souvenir bracelet with a picture of the pope, and she said that when she bought it, she was thinking of giving it to someone special, so so sweet 🙌.
After almost 20km my Mexican friend Ricardo saw my face at a bar, and we reunited after splitting up at Oviedo. We embraced like brothers, really great. After a long break and catching up, Marta and Maciek the Polak brother and sister joined us as well in the reunion. Happy times! So good to be back in their company again, having the crack constantly 😂.
DAY TWENT-FIVE: Salceda – Monte del Gozo
25km – 19oC – clouded and chilly
This last part of the camino is for me a hard nut to chew on. Entering the French way in the last 100km opens up this big commercial carnival, with bars and souvenir shops on each corner of every tiny village, and today even people dressed up like St. Jacob. Luckily I was prepared for this after my first camino, but still. I so enjoyed the peacefulness of the primitivo. Walking Del Norte was because of the coast still quite touristic, but as I went land inwards with the primitivo it became so much more quiet and rural. The villages where so beautiful, as if time has been standing still for decades. The people in those villages seem to be quite self sufficient, with no supermarket nearby, getting everything locally and most of the houses having their own vegetable garden and orchards. Back to the primitive.. Funny because in the Netherlands self growing and buying locally seems to me almost like a retro ‘fashion’ amongst youngsters.
So besides this amazing sunrise as you can see on the picture, I didn’t really enjoy the walk. I am really surprised though by the little amount of pilgrims, I was expecting it to be way more busy.
We walked today to Monte del Gozo, which lies 4km before Santiago, so that we can arrive tomorrow in the morning to Santiago. Our Polak friends are feeling at home as we are staying in this Polish albergue.
After our last self cooked dinner together, I brought in the idea to do a talking stick circle, to reflect on the camino or to share whatever people would like to share. I missed the albergues where they had evening reflections like some on the French way. So it was really nice to enter this space of authenticity and vulnerability with us four, because mostly we are making just a lot of good fun and childish crack. It reminded me that it’s a waist to wait for magic to happen, as we can create magic all around us whenever and wherever we want.