We knew it would be a long day until we reached Redondela.
We knew there would be a bit of a climb in the last few hours, just when the dogs were barking.
We were prepared to enjoy the journey, and not be too focused on the destination.
Recap for the day: roses galore, foxgloves, waterfalls, café con leche (not before starting out as we hoped for, but A FULL TWO HOURS after leaving Tui!!!), small villages, a “slog through an industrial park” (accurate depiction from the pilgrim’s guidebook, but not smelly at least), local cheeses and chorizos for lunch, and 10 full hours of tip-tap tip-tap of our walking sticks. All before reaching Santiago Matamoros in Redondela, Saint James, the Killer of Moors, appropriate for the medieval Reconquista, somewhat xenophobic in our day and age. Still and all, heaven on earth.
Today I learned that Spanish kids, just like the ones at home in the US, also think they deserve an iPhone at age 12. I also learned that the economic crisis in Spain, la crisis, with no modifier necessary, yes is an issue, but the 12 year old still wants his iPhone. (As the cab driver in Porto said after the big soccer game, as fans filled the streets tooting horns and raising beer bottles, “Crisis? What crisis? Tomorrow we will all eat fútbol.”) There is a governmental economic crisis, but people still get their kids electronics and cars. They do tend to stay longer in their parents’ home however. The owner of Casiña da Tía Albina told me that la crisis does NOT in any way provide an excuse for her almost-30 year old son still living at home! All that over a café con leche.
Today I also learned that 31 kilometers is about my outside limit for any given day of walking. As we descended from our final climb into Redondela, we tried deluding ourselves that the town was just around the corner, that the distant grouping of houses was really tomorrow’s goal, or maybe one of the towns we would pass through tomorrow. Not so, delusional pilgrim. There is only one way to Santiago, and it is longer than you think.
Sage advice from the Camino. You are never almost there. When you finally get there, often times about 45 minutes after your feet had hoped you would get there, pull of the walking shoes, park the walking sticks in a corner, and soak in the local
wine culture. Ahhhhh.
Tomorrow: Redondela to Pontevedra, a short day at only 18 km.