Today was just another day of walking. If that sounds boring…it wasn’t.
The morning was spent briefly along some wooded paths.
The late morning and afternoon were spent on pavement. I noticed that the ubiquitous crucifixes alongside the road started to display a figure of St. James on the column, facing toward Santiago.
We ended the day in Caldas de Reis. I had really meant to go visit the hot springs for which the town was named and soak my feet in the manner of pilgrims through the centuries. However, the one on the way into town was closed for that purpose and somehow it slipped my mind until far too late in the evening. I only remembered when Ilona and Everita, two women from Latvia whom we had encountered a few times, mentioned how wonderful it had felt.
They were fast walkers and we never actually walked with them. However, we’d see them in each town and would spend a lot of time with them in Santiago.
It was brutal in the albergue that night. They had too many beds for the size of the room, so your bunk would get shaken as people literally squeezed between them. There was a distinctive odor that bothered a lot of people although I eventually became numb to it. The albergue was overbooked, so mattresses were laid out in the tiny common area room and, coupled with gear everywhere—students didn’t quite get the concept of packs go under the bunk—people were tripping and stumbling all the time. Most of all, the students were noisy and restless (when they weren’t trying to arrange a bit of a make-out session behind makeshift screens of towels and blankets hung from bunks). We were definitely not well-rested when we started out the next day.