When I left Gontan just before 9.00am the town was still sleeping. A chilly wind was blowing. The sun had just made it over a nearby mountain. The sky was covered with cloud and looking dull and overcast. Despite this grey beginning some parts of today's walk were the most serene, peaceful, quiet, and beautiful to walk than any I've experienced so far in this journey. There were archways of trees. There were country dirt roads barely a car width wide. There were tracks with trees and shrubs growing a couple of metres high on each side. There were small herds of dairy cows grazing quietly, some watched over by elderly Spaniards. It was such a pleasure to walk these paths.

My right leg played up for the first half hour. I'm thinking about filing a 'Leg Report' because I've said so much about it. I had to threaten my leg with consequences. I told it, “If you don't behave you'll not be coming on another Camino with me”. It then settled down and did its job without complaint for the rest of today's walk.

The municipal albergues keep getting better and better. The one I'm in tonight, which was opened in 1999, has, like last night's albergue, been purpose built. It's three storeys high, has all the amenities a pilgrim could need, and is located in an
industrial/commercial estate about 2km from Vilalba. It seems that all these municipal albergues have their price set at a��5/night. This is pilgrimage on a shoestring budget compared with the prices I laid for hotels in Italy and France. If you 'Cook and Carry' (ie, prepare your own meals and carry what food you will need for the day) you can get by on a��15/day. This afternoon I spent a��18 at the supermarket (a 2km walk from the albergue into Vilalba) and got enough food, including a couple of Atlantic salmon steaks for dinner tonight, to last me until Monday morning. I never assume there will be a supermarket open anywhere on a Sunday.

Because today's walk was 18.5km a number of pilgrims who were at last night's albergue, thinking the walk too short, went on. But the problem as I see it is the next albergue is another 23km away. I've got a very relaxed schedule for my walk into Santiago. I see no point in doing a 40km+ walk and arriving a day earlier. It makes no sense to me but everyone has their own reasons for walking these longer distances.

From time to time I've given thought to the incredible demands I've placed on my
mind and body throughout this journey. For four months I've asked them to give me an average of about 22km/day, and they've delivered. It might seem to an observer that what I've done is seriously repetitive, and perhaps monotonous: packing the backpack, carrying it all day, and then unpacking it at the end of a walk. The rewards are what occurs in between. It's a sheer joy to think of how different today might be from tomorrow or how different it was from yesterday, and this has been the case since the beginning. Good on you mind and body. I love you.

In fact, empire rang out the last new year from the source essay helper online of the decade, occupying the top spot as we flipped the calendar to 2010