Day 24: Ventas de Narón, 31km

Bridge to Portomarin

Bridge to Portomarin

Last night I self-inflicted my first “injury.” And true to my nature it was not something that made sense. Not tendinitis, or blisters, or shin splints. No. You see for the first time, the snoring in my eight person room penetrated my sleep. There are always snorers. It is to be expected, and ideally tolerated since this is indeed shared space. But last night, five of the eight snored in the most obnoxious cacophony. The worst offender, as it seems to often be was a woman, who despite her best efforts could not inhale all of the oxygen in the room. I slept through a lot of it, but around 3:30 I unfortunately woke up and only fitfully slept from there. But what I also apparently did was subconsciously push my earplug into my left ear, so that when I fully woke up at 6:30 it was aching and I couldn’t hear well out of it. Eventually, it felt better, but still aches a bit. Hopefully, tonight, there will be less snoring? And that will be my only “injury.”

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And so I woke at 6:30, having a leisurely long breakfast waiting for the sun to rise and the fog to burn off a bit. Thankfully, the temperatures dropped again so it’s no longer hot at ten am.

Bikers Caught in Traffic

Bikers Caught in Traffic

Once again, I had a pleasant, solitary hike through forests and farmland. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to walk with people since I have a specific pace that feels right for me. I’ve only met one other person that seemed to share that pace, but they would have arrived in Santiago today. I thought I would see more people on the trail given our proximity to Santiago, and while I’m off the Brierley stages (until the last night), I saw only a moderate amount of people. Around Portomarin I met an American woman in her 70’s and walking 30km per day. She agreed there weren’t many people, but evidently she said, there were hoards the day before with support vehicles. So perhaps we missed a surge?  She laughed and said “it’s so absurd! There were all these capable looking people wandering around with their little bags while taxis took their enormous suitcases on. I mean, what is it that they think we’re doing here? It’s just walking…and now, I wonder, where are they?” I want to know too. At 3:15 my place has only a handful of people staying. I try not to judge how others walk this, there aren’t rules, and you never know why someone needs a bit of extra help. Then again, I’ve never not gotten a bed because of one. But I’m also pretty sure, if you’re 70-something carrying your own bag and walking 30km per day you might just be afforded a bit of snarky commentary.

100 km to go!

100 km to go!

My day was an easy 31km, there aren’t really hills anymore (though it’s thankfully not entirely flat), so I’m able to cover good ground pretty quickly.And I passed the 100km countdown point! 100km, that seems like so little! When I arrived at my current destination I had to choose to stop, or continue another 10km. Though I certainly had the time, I decided it was best to not, and at least attempt to take the last section slowly. So I’m…in the middle of nowhere in probably the tiniest town I’ve ever stayed in. But my Albergue has a cafe that makes good food, and a patio for a glass of wine and reading, so I’m content!

Wild Dogs of the Camino

Wild Dogs of the Camino

77.5km to Santiago!

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