Day 36: Laxe to Outeiro … or… the embrace of the forest

November 4, 37km

It’s interesting to watch how Letizia and I manage our pain / injury differently. Even without pain, having taken a hefty dose of Ibuprofin, she has the discipline to walk slowly and to rest in bed in the albergue when we arrive. When I had the same thing last week I would immediate get delusional that it was getting better, I’m sure of it! after taking my Voltarin tablet, and couldn’t restrain myself from ramping up my speed to normal. And the pueblo or town or city would always call to me for visits and a drink in a bar with my journal. Sigh. I’m bloody lucky it got better! We are a good and complementary team. A lot passes between us in the long comfortable silences as we walk and walk and walk.

This morning through cool tunnels of oaks and chestnuts I thought how fortunate it is that we go slow these last, precious sections before Santiago which will be with us by this time tomorrow. For me it’s so easy to get into a mentality of racing to the next whatever it is. I embraced or maybe was embraced by Grandfather Oak, long and strong. And I had the impression of being combed through by the reaching branches of the trees, like my aura was being gently loosened of tangles as in a good hair brushing. So cool and sweet and quiet and fresh are these forests. Sometimes the track is very muddy.

Santiago in Outeira at the spring where pilgrims would wash themselves in preparation for their arrival

It’s been a few days since we’ve been with Michael, as he didn’t come to the monastery and walked ahead the next day. And actually today we decide to go ahead of him to Outeira which will mean just a sixteen km walk into Santiago tomorrow. In the pension where he’s staying we have a coffee for the last 4km push at the end of an already long walk, but he’s resting upstairs so we leave him an excellent note and head off. I don’t know what happened but I felt like angels were lifting up my pack or putting wings on my heels! I flew up the hill and was just sailing along the forest track in a blessed moment so sweet but shy you don’t even want to notice it properly in case it flees. My body feels very strong and sure. Walking is home.

* * *

It’s a silly albergue, all concrete and glass meaning the heat from the radiators disappears into oblivion unless you’re actually pegged up against it. Which I was. A coooold night! Pilar, the nice matronly hospitalera is making dinner tonight, though, which is excellent. It includes home made Tarta de Santiago and coffee liquor and we are all happy and full. Alberto then walks in soaked and grinning and takes an hour to eat his meal because he’s busy telling us stories. Some new pilgrims are there including Petra who has been living on the Camino for two years. We are impressed.

My lucky day!

Today I fell on my bum when wet slimy boots slipped down wet slimy asphalt. Shock to the system but no damage. And I found eight four-leaf clovers in five separate patches when walking and not really looking. Slightly woo woo.

Here’s to you, Santiago apostle. Bring us home tomorrow so we can embrace you in the cathedral and complete the pilgrim rituals. We will join the much more numerous pilgrim stream of the Camino Frances, the French Way which will be interesting! From our tight-knit groups and three-quarters empty albergues to… who knows what!

Adelante! Onwards!

Love, Wildgoose

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