We had a very ominous sky until around 9.30am when it began to lighten up. It was one of those try as hard as you like, nothing happens days. The sun never made it out, and it tried to rain but couldn’t. I’m glad it wasn’t hot. My drinking water bladder has finally given up on me. The first one I had lasted four weeks and this one, its replacement, about six. I’ve been patching it to try to stem the leak but today it defied all my attempts. It’s been put in the complaints box until I get back to Sydney. I’ve had to resort to a plastic bottle in my pocket.

Early on on today’s walk I had a group of two in front of me and two groups of four behind me. From the closest group of four all I could hear was chatter. The talk was
incessant. I wondered if these pilgrims ever take time out for reflection, for thinking, or for contemplation. I call them the ‘Walk & Talk’ pilgrims. I find the chatter off-putting. I like to feel like I’m the only pilgrim on the road and cannot feel this way if I can see someone to my front or can hear someone behind me. Today I deliberately pulled over into a bus shelter, took off my backpack, and waited for the two groups of four to pass by and go out of sight. I was then on my way feeling at ease once again.

I had a terrific breakfast this morning. The hospitalero had set the tables with plates, cutlery, mugs and napkins. This is definitely not the sort if service I have become accustomed to on the Camino. They had a real toaster, a rare thing in Italy, France and Spain, and plenty of thickly cut crusty bread. I delighted in eating plenty of it, toasted. I think I’m putting on weight after the initial and quickly lost 7kg in Italy. Albergues like the one at Miraz stand out like beacons along the trail.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I had a ‘Lipton Jiggler’ in the bunk above me. There is a young girl and her older brother walking with their parents. The young girl tossed, turned and rolled around in her bed until midnight. Is this usual? Adults on the walk
take just a few minutes to fall into a deep sleep and then stillness. There was a funny moment, in a horror film kind of way, when the girl’s hand and wrist dropped over the side looking like it was loosely attached to the side of the bunk.

Tonight’s albergue is located in the Monastery of Saint Maria of Sobrado. I imagine this would be a very cold place in the winter. Aged sandstone looks cold. It has another well equipped kitchen and so pasta was again on the menu.

By tomorrow afternoon I will have joined the Camino Frances at Arzua. It will then be just two days to Santiago and journey’s end.
For all of jay-z’s tough-guy posturing as he built his reputation https://justdomyhomework.com/ on hits like 99 problems and big pimpin’, his very best work of the decade is this open-hearted postcard to the town that made him