Homeward Bound: Final Notes on El Camino de Santiago

How can I begin to describe the Camino? It was nothing like I imagined or planned for. Except, meeting people was, as promised the best part of the trip. I can’t explain the feeling of being on the Camino, in part because it is so different, all the time. For every person. It is so deeply personal, so to share how the Camino felt to me, seems somehow beside the point. But I can try. I can start by describing my last night.  Continue reading


Day 26: O Pedrouza, 34km

Last night. Was an albergue experience, which I haven’t, apparently had, which is odd (and fortunate). We shared the room with a few Spanish 100km hikers, who shipped their suitcases between alburgues. Which is fine, except, they are having a very different sort of hike than us. Around 11, an hour past the generally agreed upon lights out, they saunter in intoxicated (I feel it is worth mentioning they’re all in their 50’s, so not teenagers on holiday) and make no attempt to be quiet. Then at 6am, it’s the same, they’re talking at full volume, no attempt to let us sleep. And…this is typical Spanish behavior that baffles me. It must just be a cultural disconnect, but we all felt rage-filled and tired this morning.

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Day 25: Melide, 28km

Today was a good day. Last night at the albergue I met an American couple from LA, we had dinner together and walked together today. The trail varied from woods to roadside with almost no variation in altitude. The trail is incredibly busy, and while I miss the more solitary early trail, good company made today fly by. We’re overnighting in Melide, a “city” of 7,500, known for its pulpo (octopus), despite its inland location? So we posted up at the supposedly best Pulparia, order a giant plate, with potatoes and ample wine. For desert we ordered a house-made coffee liquore, off menu. The waiter was pleased, and offered us a round on the house. We left full, and happy.

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