A Camino Experience 

So, we walked 28 km today. Up. The early part, maybe 18 of that 28 was either on or next to a two lane road that wound up through the mountains. On our right side was primarily a rock face, shiny granite dripping with the rain, or fuzzy green shrub cover. To our left was another rock face further away, and in between, a river rushing downhill as we meandered up. More heard than seen. Down below. Occasionally overhead, propped on maaaassssive pillars, was the Autovia, the main artery leading to Santiago and the Atlantic. I imagine that the truck drivers delivering their wares, were treated to some spectacular views as they thundered overhead.
It rained. Again. A lot. Like yesterday, not unpleasant, mostly warm, but by the time we got here, we were wet all the way to our underbits.
When we weren’t winding our way up on this two lane road, the path occasionally veered off further, through a “village”, really a collection of 4 or 5 stone buildings that closely fronted a single lane road. A cozy bar where we’d enter to drip more than warm up. But, get a drink, use the facilities, move on. A brightly shuttered window boxed structure sat right next to one crumbling in disrepair, but each with its own charm. We bought apples for the local horses and Joycee got a couple great shots of some Camino Kitties at a moment where my phone didn’t risk drowning.
This section, the 18km, was pleasantly up. You noticed you were going up, but it was easy.
As we got closer, we veered off onto a single lane road that was definitely MORE up. Still not terribly hard, pretty views left and right, but the layers started coming off despite the rain. 
Then, maybe 6-7 km from where we are now, we veered off onto a footpath. Steep, slick rock face underfoot, running with mud. At first we tried to delicately pick our way along, hopping from high surface to high surface. But soon it was pointless, there was only slogging upward in the mud. The only silver lining is that mud is soft on tired feet and our boots were both pretty successful from a water-proofiness perspective. The slogging mud river ended for a bit in the T-1 village to here and we were greeted by a happy soggy puppy who seemed to say, “Well, that sucked, but it’s over now!”. We walked through that little village and back onto another steep slippery track to the next one, this one. By then, my coat was slick wet inside and out, from rain and sweat, so I shed it.
Now, 2 hours later, showered and dry I see it as a Camino experience. We’ve been lucky weather wise, both warm and cool but primarily dry. Our rain days have been rest days where you can easily curl up for a nap or duck into a bar for a fine Rioja. I’d read plenty or stories and seen a few YouTube videos of slogging mud. Today was just our day.  Happy that it’s over, however. Fine weekend projected.


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