Saturday, October 29, 2011

Camino De Santiago - Negreira To Olveiroa

Today I had two potential destinations.  The first was the small town of Maroña about 11.81 miles (19 km) from Negreira.  The second was the town of Olveiroa 20.51 miles (33 km) from Negreira.

I woke up, got dressed and put on my backpack.  As I was doing this I noticed that the bottom of the backpack was wet.  Since the backpack had been sitting on the floor I thought there might have been something spilled on the floor.

I left the albergue and headed out of town.  Before I got out of town, I thought of something and stopped under a streetlight.  I pulled stuff out of my pack and pulled out the water bladder.  Apparently when I filled it the night before the drinking tube quick release must have been pushed.  I reseated the tube and it stopped dripping.  I'd lost maybe a half liter of water over night.  Fortunately my clothes were in a dry sack so nothing important was wet.  Not too bad. There were places along the way if I needed to get more water.

For the first two to three hours there was a little hit and miss mist and drizzle.  I stopped at a bar and had some orange juice and tostada (toast with jelly).  After I left the bar the drizzle became a little stronger.

The stage seemed to be all uphill.  Looking at the elevation plot it was obvious that it was not but it sure felt like it.  The stretches of up were long and seemingly unending.  I talked with a couple pilgrims along the way.  It helped kill the time and distracted from all the up.

I reached Maroña and decided to keep going.  Not sure what I was thinking but I kept going.  After the town of Portaliña it really started to rain.  I passed a pilgrim going the other way.  This was very common between Santiago de Compostella and Fisterra.  On my first day I passed two Fins going the other way.  I'd seen them back in Logroño thirty-one days earlier.  This particular pilgrim was being followed by a dog.  A little farther down the road I realized the dog was now following me.

In the next town, Abeleiroas, a stopped to rest under a covered bus stop.  The dog sat down in front of me wagging his tail.  He had no collar.  He looked like a long haired dalmatian.  He was soaking wet.  He was also very happy to see me.  I wanted to pet him but, as I said, he was soaking wet.  I pulled out my principe cookies and ate a couple.  I broke off a little of the cookie and tried to give it to the dog but, to my surprise, it didn't seem interested.  I did not have the presence of mind to take his picture.  I regret that.

I started walking again and the dog came with me.  He would run ahead then run back to see what I was doing then he would lag behind a while before running to catch up.  All along he was just happy.  I think he was just lonely and wanted a friend.

The Camino then approached a busy road.  The dog had been following me down the middle of the dirt road I'd been on and really didn't seem to understand that roads could be dangerous.  When I reached the highway he ran into the road and I knew I didn't what the poor dog's death on my hands so I tried to shew him away.  When he kept coming back I picked up some gravel and threw a few rocks at him.  One connected, the dog yelped, my heart sank, but the dog ran into the grassy field instead of the road and he stopped following me.  I felt really bad and the rain, feeling my torment, started to come down even harder.

I reached Olveiroa and stumbled into the first albergue I found.  I walk in the door, I was dripping, I looked at the hospitalero and, without me saying anything, he said "Si!"  I paid him with some soggy money and he took me to a corner bunk.  He pulled the reserved sign off and put it on the upper bunk.  He then proceeded to move all the reserve signs to the upper bunks.  I liked this guy.  I stripped off all my wet stuff.  I'd actually used my camera bag's rain coat so my camera was completely dry.

I did my chores and gave my clothes to the hospitalero so he could put them in the lavadora and the secadora (washer and dryer).  I was exploring the albergue when I heard a commotion by the front door.  The dog had either followed me or, more likely, followed another pilgrim to the albergue.  The hospitalero chased him off.  I was happy the dog was unhurt.

I found a restaurant and had another hamburger completo, this time with fries.  I topped it off with an ice cream and went back to the albergue.  Other pilgrims were arriving including several Canadians.  I talked with a few figuring I could make a few friends but, after a short while it became obvious that this group of seven or eight had been walking the Camino together for a long time and they were very close knit.  I felt like I was out of the loop and intruding.  I stuck to myself and stayed in my bunk most of the evening.  After saying my Camino was a social experience, I found myself self-segregating, not wanting to meet new people just so I could say goodbye.

Another pilgrim of their group came in and before even telling me his name apologized in advance for his snoring.  This was not a good omen.  The guy was loud while he was awake so I can't imagine what he would be like in his sleep.  For the first time on the Camino I pulled out some ear plugs.  I had one of the most restful nights on the Camino that night.  Another late lesson.  Live and learn.

Day thirty-eight, my second longest stage, was another wet one.  What is it about long stages and rain?!?  The forecast for the next few days was dry so at least I could enjoy the weather for the rest of my adventure.

Total Distance: 20.88 Miles (33.60 km)
Total Time: 7 hours 19 minutes
Total Elevation Up: 3,477 ft (1,059.79 m)
Total Elevation Down: 3,159 ft ( 962.86 m)

[Click on map for a larger version]

2 comments:

  1. I don't mind walking in the rain, but trying to warm up and dry off afterwards is a pain.

    I LOVE the dog!! Maybe he was a guardian angel dog, looking after you!

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  2. Miss McC: I hope he wasn't a guardian angel because I threw rocks at him and that can't be a good thing to do to an angel.

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