June 7, 2019
Last night if you had asked me I would have said this Camino was over.
I seem to have a pinched nerve in my neck….and there was no way I could get comfortable. I took an Aleve and as the bed wasn’t any good came out and slept sleeping up on a tiny couch in the “Living Room”…. this was the only position I could stay in and not feel terrible pain.
Where does this come from?
I seldom, if ever, suffer from neck pain like this.
Thoughts of the pack being too heavy…to ….. maybe I just slept on it wrong…. to…..a million things being the possible cause
This morning I woke at 4am, not particularly comfortable…. but my neck was much improved….so much so I can definitely continue. I should actually express what a difference I was feeling. Last night it was 100 on the pain scale…..this morning a 15. What hurts now is my keester ….from sitting/sleeping on this little love seat all night…. easy to remedy.
We are definitely deep into Galicia to be sure. This area is called the Ireland of European for a reason….mostly because this region gets so much rain….everything here is lush and green. In that we had rain yesterday comes as no surprise….and the forecast for today…..rain in the morning, 8c, but sunny breaks in the afternoon.
Today’s walk is over two large 130m high crests and then walking into a seaside town called Ponteverda. Depending on the rain….not a bad day at only 20 km.
As I am up I decide to get out at first light. This turns out to be around 7:00am, and so I did.
There are a couple of observations I am wanting to comment on. The demographic of the Portuguese Camino, at least from Porto has been largely women, and overwhelmingly German. Please appreciate this is an empirical value….but the numbers I’ve seen are overwhelming supporting this statistic. The next largest country walking I think is South Africa. I am not the only person to see this. Our Hospitalier at the Casa de Herba, Sara, verified my observation. Sara felt it was a possible airline flights favouring the tourists from Germany.
So out the door I go….and into the rain. The path is very similar to just about every other day so far. There continues to be a lot of asphalt mixed with a mall amount of crushed stone path. Once in a great while the path is over natural dirt and rock… but this is very infrequent. Compared to the Camino Frances the Camino Portuguese is highway travel. This is brutal on the feet and I am thinking most of my foot pain could have been avoided with cushion sole trail runners rather than the low cut hiking boots.
Livin’ and learnin’.
When it is raining heavily I wear Rain Pants and a Poncho to cover me and my pack. As my phone is buried deep under rain gear, and inside a zipped pocket there are no shots in the rain….
The rain pants stop the rain running down my legs into my socks and boots. When I have this combination in play there is also no way to play music. I use old fashion wired headphone, despite having the wireless variety….I just don’t like the fit or sound quality from the wireless type. With the wire, there is no way to keep the phone dry, and have the headphone wire route properly to the phone’s protected location. So, when it rains….I am forced into a Music Free zone……..
Not my favourite way to spend the day
Then again my mind starts taking off on the “Topic de Jour”….and today it is the pending American Revolution. This revolution will be more akin to the French Revolution, where the people take back their country from the Aristocracy. In the case of America this would be the Wealthy and the Big Corporations. Unfortunately this will likely take place after I have departed but it will happen. Big business and the American establishment have enslaved the middle class, treating them like donkeys. It is so ironic when looking at the situation south of the 49th Parallel this is being played out every hour of every day.
Before you run out and buy me a roll of tin foil to put on my head protecting me from the government “spy’s”…..these are simply random thought “paths”…… I’m thinking about the topic and let it take me where it goes….. then so don’t think about it again…..yeah, until the government turns on the “thought control beam”…….. (insert big smiley face emoticon)
The first hill does not fail to disappoint….. sucking the oxygen from your lungs, just when you need it the most. The hill is not super steep on the accent, but in the rain, and with the minuscule amount of drag the rain gear adds, the effort seams more than should be needed.
Normally when climbing my mind will play games….. this must be the top just around the bend. When you get there the road turns sharply uphill…. even steeper. Surely the next bend will be the top…… nope. I have found the ideal mindset is to not look for the top…. but when you are needing some inspiration, stop, look around to see how far you’ve come.
Today I was able to see magnificent vistas, the ocean, large and small fishing ports, hamlets and towns….. these are the rewards I have come to believe…. not the top of whatever I am climbing. I’m sure there’s a life lesson here somewhere.
At times today I could easily be convinced I was on the coast of BC or the maritimes. Simply gorgeous, and the smells of the ocean permeated my senses. I love when this happens. I am becoming more and more interested in being receptive and using my sense of smell to experience and remember…. I sometimes feel we, as a society, really make an effort to not smell.
Perhaps a topic for another day……
After completing the first climb the sun came out so the the second climb was essentially in sunshine. Finally the goal of the walk into Ponteverda appeared to be achievable.
I decided I wanted to stay in the old section of town….. and passed by many pilgrim lodging options….. things might have been easier if I had just taken one of these. The 5th place I asked for a “heya or cama” I got lucky. (room or bed) It appears everything is booked here. I ended up with a bed in a room, with a microscopic TV, and a bar with clothes hangers. The bathroom was across the hall….. but it turns out this is for my exclusive use. I just have to remember I need the key to go to the bathroom….. I’m just so happy to get off my feet. It’s been about 25 km today…. didn’t feel like anything more than 250…..
After cleaning up I went out in search of Tapas…. easy to find in this part of town. Think of a myriad of very narrow streets and 15 plazas….. so easy to get lost. The Tapas was wonderful…and I was beat.
My appreciation to Google Maps getting me back to my bed……