Walked Today: 7.2 mi / Camino2022: 332 mi
Breakfast, at Bar Teatro, just across the street from Pension Luis, got us off to a good start this morning as we walked out of Arzúa in the perfect-for-walking 54F at 8:30.
There were more pilgrims passing us today but not in an unpleasing way. The majority of these pilgrims seem more serious/mature, more focused and still noticeably happy and excited as we get closer to Santiago. Its a good mixture of 100km walkers and those who have come much longer distances like us. Buen Caminos were exchanged with most every pilgrim that passed us.
The scenery and terrain were also pleasant and distracting from an occasional hard pull up a small hill or cautiously restrained pace of a steep decline.
Most of the time we were walking in forests or in tree shaded paths along farm fences. We spent much less time along roads, either large or small.
We even passed a couple of vendors along the way selling items and offering to stamp credentials… sometimes for a donation. We passed on both but were more amused by the third member of the enterprise, who heehawed us as we passed.
As the sun began to rise, unlike our normal mode of seeking shade to walk in, we steered to the sunny spots to warm us in the high 50-low 60F air. But by mid morning, jackets were off and we were back in short- sleeve shirts again.
The less difficulty in today’s walk led us to be more observant of our surroundings and to compare changes in this part of the Camino compared to what we remember from 2019. The changes included new bars and albergues, new or repaired fences and walls and many more Kilometer-stone distance to Santiago/directional markers at every place a road or path intersects the Camino. This has been a continuing theme throughout our walk throughout Galícia, but was especially apparent today. These are relative changes as compared to our perception of the lesser amount of change in the SJPDP through Castile walk. It’s no surprise that because most, nearly 4 times as many, pilgrims walk only the last 100 km, this is where the keepers of the Camino would put the most effort into upgrades in infrastructure and services.
We arrived in Salceda and at Albergue Turistico Salceda around noon and had lunch in the restaurant while waiting to check-in at 1:00. This us our fourth visit to this property and we have a special affection for the owner, who helped us when Linda was struggling with some spider bites in 2015. His name, appropriately, is Santiago.
During lunch we had a nice chat with a pilgrim couple from Colombia. He is a retired dairy farmer and he and his wife are walking from Sarria to Santiago.
We had several nice exchanges with Santiago and his daughter, Liudmila, reminiscing about our previous 3 visits. It was a very special reunion.
3 MORE DAYS TO SANTIAGO