m. ascensió acumulada
The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
I’ve woken up, cured and dressed without making any noise. Or rather, making as little noise as possible.
And yet, or because of, when I was about to leave, the girl in the bunk over mine asked me if I was already leaving, where I was going, what day I wanted to reach Santiago… I only saw one eye, one eyebrow, and half the mouth, but she had such a sweet voice, and she looked so happy on the stretcher, that I was about to lie down next to her, hug her, and try to share that happiness that I didn’t know where it was coming from.
But I’ve chosen to go to breakfast. We all take wrong decisions, and who knows if this will become part of this group. AT posteriori, everything is easy. If I had thought with my feet, I would have stayed, regardless of who was on the stretcher; lucky me there were only 45 kilometers left because the thing was starting to be quite unbearable.
As I said, my path has led me to breakfast, and there I have coincided again with Germán and Paco. I’ve been entertained, as always, and I’ve started walking at half past seven, the day I’ve started earlier, so far. It will also be the day I will walk the most: 40 kilometers to Monte do Gozo. If my feet allow me.
The day has been quite similar to yesterday’s journey from Melide: many people going in the same direction. Between this and the pain of my feet, I was in a pretty bad mood, so I’ve taken few pictures. I have basically dedicated myself to walking.
A long journey
The road is not hard, nor flat, it goes up and down slightly, but with nothing to highlight. So, in less than three hours and 15 kilometers I have planted myself in Salceda, where I have stopped to eat, despite not being the midpoint of the route. But I was hungry. And I had nothing else to do.
After eating, the thing has remained just as monotonous. Before reaching O Pedrouzo, which initially should be the end of today’s route, there is a descent, neither very long nor with much unevenness, but that serves to break the routine. And after a few kilometers, you go back up almost everything you had lowered, until you reach the airport of Santiago. It is easy to recognize because the road borders it at one end, for a kilometre or so, and fences full of crosses made with branches and things like that appear. There are those who put padlocks on bridges, and there are those who put crosses on fences.
After the crosses, everything is boring and downhill again, until the road approaches the Monte do Gozo. It is a mountain and therefore, you have to climb it. I have arrived at the top, which is where the hostel is, after 8 hours and 20 minutes, in a state between destroyed and half dead. The spaghetti of the meal would be gluten-free, sugar-free, salt-free and calorie-free, because the last few miles have become really hard; every step seemed made on a carpet of faquir, and I can assure you that the giant and megalomaniac statue of John Paul II at the top of the Mount has no healing powers.
Monte do Gozo, last stage
The Monte do Gozo, if you can, avoid it. It is an installation in the purest military style, of barracks, perfectly ordered, of recent construction, thought and designed to accommodate 400 pilgrims per night, which can be 800 in the Jacobean Holy Year. It is comfortable, the showers are clean and go well, there are washers and dryers, but it has no soul. You don’t know how I missed Bodenaya.
To compensate, while I was out curing myself, Paco and Germán arrived.
Paco is Valencian, a friend of Germán, and joined in Lugo. The 40 kilometres have also made long for him, so they have arrived later than expected.
While we were out telling us about the day, the Great Snorer in Chief, which was going straight to Santiago, has passed. I liked the idea of spending the night next door to get there early.
I felt like a medieval king, camped outside the city wall that, the next day, would open the doors to see him enter triumphantly.