Day 16 Boente – O Pedrouzo
I slept so well last night. We had dinner with our Swedish and Polish friends, 10€ for a really excellent meal. Earlier we’d sat beside the pool watching the washing dry and catching some late afternoon sun. It was a great end to our day.
We had breakfast at 7.30 this morning and started walking just before 8.00. It’s still dark and daft pilgrims that we are we forgot to test our torches before we left home so we’ve carried two and neither work. Thank goodness for smartphones!
We could see the sky was getting lighter but under the forest canopy it was still dark. As we came away from the trees you could see the sky turn from dark grey to tinges of orange, the sun was waking. Just that tiny little bit of light made such a difference. We could see the way and the phone was put away. Every minute threw more light on the path and from behind the trees it looked like something was on fire. It was a beautiful morning to be walking.
This change from dark to light got me thinking. Really it only took a tiny little bit of those first sun’s rays to lighten our world. That tiny little bit made a huge difference. It made me think that if we all did something small… Just a little bit then perhaps that would also make a huge difference in our world. It wouldn’t have to be a lot, a smile, a greeting, an act of charity, a few kind words, a small acknowledgement… All these little things could transform someone’s day.
I’m my head I could hear a song but Gerry guessed it. It totally, beautifully, perfectly fitted my mood and we skipped along for a few minutes listening…
The sun rose and the kilometers fell away. Gerry is becoming a hard task master… 5 kilometers before 9:00… 9 kilometers before 10:00… But we did it today. Up a big climb and then down towards Arzua.
I wondered how I would feel today. We came down the hill and around the corner and there it was. The river at Ribadiso. That was one of my favourite places last time. I could see us all sitting there. I was chatting with Michelle and Ali with our feet cooling in the water. Oscar was swimming and Jaqui was chatting behind me. There were maybe a dozen pilgrims there. At some point Jaqui slipped away back over the bridge and took our photo. It was so hot and we were all so happy.
This morning it was cold and misty and there were no pilgrims in sight. I hovered for a while, watching and remembering and a silent tear rolled down my cheek. Time to walk on but memories are good.
Arzua was so busy. We got caught up in a couple of coach loads of pilgrims and it brought home to us how different the Primitivo had been. Don’t get me wrong, I love the camino Frances and I plan to walk it again and again and again but we feel like we’ve crashed someone else’s party. It feels like we shouldn’t be here?
We did 14.3km before 11:00 so the boss said we could stop for coffee. He queued for the gents and took so long his coffee went cold! On we walked and more kilometres fell away. We stopped for a quick lunch but it wasn’t so good… Hey ho… It filled a gap.
The sun was high and all thoughts of cold mornings had long since gone. We made a final stop 4km from the end and changed shoes.
As we wandered on, the forest of eucalyptus before O Pedrouzo was being felled. I know its a crop but it felt so sad and destructive. In just a few moments these enormous forestry machines could fell the tree, strip the bark and cut it up into logs. The next time I walk through here the landscape will be very different.
On the outskirts of O Pedrouzo a man stopped us. In my head I was thinking “here we go” but all he did was invite us to mass tonight at 7.00pm. I felt a tad guilty and reminded myself of my thoughts this morning… Just a little bit Colleen. Just give a little bit… Every tiny change can be a force for good.
Anyway we arrived. Fitbit clicked into 28.1 km. Our last night on the trail. The Northern coast seems so far away now. We’ve walked 405km and we have just short of 20km to go. It’s been amazing… Why do these roads have to come to an end? I guess without endings there can be no new beginnings. Hug your loved ones today and smile to a stranger (literally Gerry just starting playing our song as I type this)… all is well in our world, I hope your day was a beautiful as ours.
Ps as I came out of the shower Ger was having a doze listening to this… I adore this piece. I never know if it makes me want to laugh or cry… Possibly both. ❤️