Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Camino Finisterre: Day 33: Negreira - Olveiroa (34 kms)

I was the last one out of the albergue at 8:30 am.  Had a fast breakfast at a cafe on the way and started walking.

The way went uphill through nice forests and sometimes passing through small roads. I did not see any other pilgrim on the way except when I got to Vilaserio 12 kms away at around 12 noon. Here I see Anastacia, the Russian girl we first encountered in Najera and met several times along the way. She always walks alone, is  a very strong walker and always has a ready smile.  I have a bocadillo francesa con jamon and an Aquarius sportsdrink plus a cafe cortado. I wrap up 2/3 of the bocadillo and walk on again in20 minutes.  Still a long way to go.  It gets progressively warmer as the sun shines stronger and I have only my trekking short sleeved shirt. Must be 20 degrees.

Next stop is Santa Mariña at 2:30 pm for another sportsdrink and portion of bocadillo.  Here I see the Dutch couple Ingrid and John.  They are staying for the night.  They had looked in before they left to see if I was up, but I was still sleeping.  The trail goes a long way uphill again, continuing on through farmlands and country roads sometimes with huge tractors rumbling through and passing uncomfortably close.

Next is a long downhill where I spot a large body of water in the distance.  It cannot be the coast yet but I am already close to Olveiroa.  I arrive there at 6 pm and stay at the Albergue Horreo. I meet Anastacia there again and we have dinner together.  The albergue is named after the storage granaries, the horreo that you see the entire way.  According to the hostel owner, they usually contain potatoes, grain, even dried meats like chorizos.  The cross in the front is like a blessing for the granary contents, and the lance at the back is like a phallic symbol.  I think that this cross in one end and a lance on the other is like trying to cover all the bases -- Catholicism as well as possibly, animism, or the belief of spirits in the physical world or nature. 

As I walk alone the whole day today, I think back again and process my whole Camino experience.  I think that it is today when it all comes together, and I have an overwhelming feeling that I have found the answer to my quest.  At some point in the day I also felt as if my late father was walking with me, which felt quite reassuring.  I basked in and felt the beauty of nature, listened to its sounds - the chirping of the birds, the gurgling of the stream, the rustling of tree leaves with the wind.  I listened to myself and my thoughts.  I prayed.

I also kept thinking about the line I had read along the way -- written on a particularly ugly potion on a main highway-- "open your heart wider".  I think that is what the Way teaches us.

Negreiro portal








Dinner at the Albergue Horreos

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