Walked today: 4.9 miles
Walked Camino 2019: 408.2 miles
It rained a lot last night but appeared to be over when we left Pension CHE this morning. We walked about a quarter mile on the roadside, then took a gravel farm road, that after another quarter mile,
joined the Camino. We chose this route, rather than walk 4 km back into Arca to pick up the Camino there. This cut our planned walk today by about 1.5 miles.
Even though the rain had stopped we dodged puddles all the way.
We did a lot of uphill’s today, mostly of short duration but totaling 65 floors according to Linda’s FitBit. About half was through forest and half on narrow, lightly traveled paved road.
We walked around the Santiago airport, hearing only 3 aircraft over a span of a half hour. Half-way around the airport we broke out of the forest enough to see a stone marker for Santiago, beside a major highway heading into the city. We also got a brief glimpse of Santiago, some 11 km in the distance before going back into the woods at one end of the runway.
Switching back onto a paved surface we entered the hamlet of San Paio (pop.25) and stopped for breakfast. Our casa rural, “The Last 12 km” (65€), is our reserved destination for the day, but after finishing breakfast, we decided to keep walking.
We walked to Lavacolla (pop. 171) which literally means “wash private parts.”
Medieval pilgrims seldom if ever bathed along the journey and even “ridiculed Muslim and Jewish enthusiasms for personal hygiene,” but apparently took advantage of the small stream on the edge of Lavacolla
to finally cleanse themselves just prior to arrival in Santiago. Also, Laffi recorded in the 17th century: “There is a river in a wooded place two miles from Santiago called Lavacolla, in which French pilgrims, out of respect for the Apostle, wash not only their private parts but, stripping off their clothes, clean all the dirt from their bodies.”
We walked on past Lavacolla for a mile or so and finally stopped in Vilamaior (pop.<25) at Casa de Amancio for OJ and Santiago cake, before calling a taxi (13€) to take us back to San Paio.
San Paio and the small Iglesia in the hamlet is dedicated to San Paio (Payo) a Christian child that was martyred for refusing to convert to Islam.
She was 14 when kidnapped by the invading Muslim troops and taken to Sevilla and tortured, body cut into pieces and thrown into the Guadalquivir River.
Our home for the afternoon and evening is located facing the iglesia.
The owner let us check in over an hour before normal. We believe she owns both the bar/restaurant where we had breakfast and lunch plus the guest house where we are staying.
She speaks excellent English and personally
decorated her charming/upscale property. Our late lunch was also enough to suffice for dinner, but we took two slices of Santiago cake and the remains of our lunch wine back to the room for later, just in case.