Day 47 – 2nd November 2015, Negreira to Olveiroa.
I awoke feeling refreshed and energised, ready to face a longish walk of 33 km or so (20.6 miles) to Olveiroa, the next stop on my journey towards Finisterre. Hostal la Mezquita provided me with a generous buffet breakfast, which was indeed welcome. I thought I might as well stock up as much as I could for the hours ahead on the road.
I bade farewell to Negreira, just as the sun had poked through the eerie mist, which cloaked the cobbled streets and headed out into the countryside once again. I paused briefly by a stone crucifix at San Xulian to watch the last few moments of the sunrise and then continued on my way along the leaf-strewn woodland paths, that opened out onto farm tracks later on. Thankfully, the skies were clear and the sun shone brightly, warming up my tired muscles and I soon fell into a good, walking rhythm.
I trundled on admiring the beautiful, lush green fields and passed by a group of men with their guns and hunting dogs. Having encountered men with guns in some dodgy scenarios in other parts of the world during my humanitarian aid career, this sight would have unnerved me a little and I would have been ready to take flight if necessary, but not here. I felt perfectly safe. They went about their daily business, chatting merrily and wished me a “Buen Camino” as I ambled by. After a couple of hours or so and 14 kms of walking I stopped at A Nosa Casa in the village of Vilaserio to enjoy a second breakfast (or was it an early lunch?) consisting of a huge bacon and cheese bocadillo.
My epic and enjoyable walk continued through the magnificently beautiful, rolling, green countryside and shaded woodlands of Galicia, which reminded me so much of my home county of Warwickshire in the UK. Once again, I didn’t encounter pilgrims en route and walked in solitude totally at home. The constant pounding of my feet on hard, dry, compacted earth and asphalt for the second half of my walk made my feet throb and burn and by the time I reached Olveiroa later in the afternoon it seemed I had walked much further than I had first thought, taking into account the elevations of the hills the distance I had covered was probably nearer the 35 km mark. Never again, I thought to myself! This was way too much!
I was flagging when I entered Olveiroa and opted to bypass the busier albergues and despite my aching feet, continued to walk a little further into the heart of the village. I came across a lovely, rustic and characterful Casa Rural called As Pias and enquired inside about rooms. Luckily, they had one ensuite available and I snapped it up as I was ready to drop. I forced myself up the stairs and into my cosy, stone-walled room with shutters. I could’t wait to have a shower and soothe my poor aching feet. I will make a special mention and big thank you to my friend Shelley Mottershead for the cool and soothing foot gel she gave me before I set off for my Camino. I have used it several time already on my journey and I smothered my feet in it after my shower. It really worked!
Being too tired to take a look around the village, I crashed out on the bed for a while, then I managed to skype Brett before going down to dinner. Oh yes that alien, which took over my stomach a few weeks ago, was still making its presence known and I was ravenously hungry. I must have stumbled upon a ‘gastropub’ here at As Pias, I thought to myself. The excellent pilgrim meal, wine and friendly, laid back service didn’t disappoint and feeling sated, I trundled off to bed. Tomorrow, I have about 31km to walk in order to reach Finisterre. Whoop, whoop, Camino Finisterre is two thirds done already. But will I burn my clothes in the fire pit at the end of the earth?
Watch this space to find out what happened next.
Peace, love and light,