The Final Countdown

Day 29

Another kilometerstone today: I am now under 100 km from Santiago.  The countdown really begins.

I went to bed really early last night – 8:30 – and only woke up once during the night.  So when 6:15 rolled around, I was up and packing.  The room was quiet and comfortable, not fancy but everything I needed.  The hotel knows it’s audience: dinner is available any time from 4 pm to 8:30 and breakfast is available from 6:30 AM.  Casa Barbadelo – highly recommended.

The forecast was for rain this morning, and when I got up at 6:15 I could see it raining outside.  But when I went to breakfast 20 minutes later the rain had stopped. 30 minutes to eat, then finish packing and I was out well before 8.  The path takes us uphill a bit on wet roads and a few forest lanes.  Pretty much in keeping with yesterday.  Some low clouds made for few scenic  views or picture opportunities, and I had my jacket on to ward off the chill and just in case of rain.  

After about 45 minutes I was into a heavy shower and donned the poncho.  I do like the poncho except for the one thing I’ve mentioned before: it doesn’t breathe and condenses inside.  So I do get wet from that, but not nearly like getting drenched in the rain.

I stopped for a quick morning break after about an hour and was able to take the poncho off and continue down the road.  

And the big achievement of the day: the marker indicating 100 km left.  So right about 700 km down, 100 to go.  I’m typing this from the nights stop at Portomarin whee the distance is down to 94 km.  And 4 days of walking left.  Yea haw!  Almost done!

Stopped for lunch at a little bar with an outside seating area and had a nice conversation with a woman from Germany that’s brought her (well behaved) dog along.  We had a nice conversation and just as she was ready to leave the rains came again.  I finished lunch and donned the poncho for another brief walk in the rain.  About 20 minutes later the sky turned blue and the rain was done.

And here’s a pro tip: not only does cow dung smell bad, it’s also very slippery when wet.  You’re welcome.

There are two routes to Portomarin – I took the one that seemed more scenic, but it has a steep and treacherous descent at the end.  Made it down slowly and carefully, then crossed the bridge into Portomarin.  Met with my friends who had booked an apartment that we were going to share and checked into the apartment.

What a nice place to spend the night!  Even has washer and dryer.  We’re sitting out in the grassy yard, enjoying the sun and planning an early dinner.  And listening to some caterwauling (apparently some of the feral cats are in heat…).  I expect to sleep well tonight – 25 km tomorrow with some 1000 meters of total climb.  Still, we’re getting closer to the end.

Dinner tonight at an Italian place – my dish was caprese salad along with carbonara.  Delish. And as close to true Italian as I’ve had in Spain.