Palas de Rei – Taberna Vella*
15.62 + 6.51 | 479.12 miles
+2,704 | -3,171 feet
I began by 7:00, which seemed to put me ahead of the crowds. The larger groups of the morning tend to spread out by late in the day. Also, those of us who have been walking longer are more accustomed to an early start and walking in the dark. I suppose the benefit of a more crowded Camino is that it eases one into the “real world” again.
Thursday begins a holiday weekend in Spain. As I was writing in my journal, I realized this is the day I’m going to arrive in Santiago… wait for it: the Post Office is closed, so I can’t get my suitcase until Friday. This seems about right given the timing issues I’ve had with it.
I need my suitcase before I go to Finisterra. If I wait until Friday, assuming the post office does open at 8:30 as usual, it would be a late start. The forecast is for rain starting about midday. I prefer to get most of the way before the rain begins. So, some people have a second breakfast, I decided to go on a second walk.
I walked another 6.5 miles and planned to call a taxi to take me back to where I was staying. Relying on the taxi is always a little bit of a leap of faith because I was walking to a little albergue in the middle of nowhere. I did ask the host of my albergue for a number a taxi she recommended, so I was optimistic.
The walk went well, and I was able to enjoy the end of day light. It’s much easier to walk when my backpack only has water and a few necessities in it! The taxi arrived quickly after I called. Overall, it was good use of my time, since I probably would have just been reading anyway.
This leaves me about 21 miles for tomorrow to reach Santiago. I decided this was my best option and gives me a rest day in Santiago. In addition, the ninth anniversary of my ordination is tomorrow, and arriving in Santiago seems an appropriate way to celebrate.
I know tomorrow will be crowded. I plan to consider it a festival – just as when the Israelites would travel together and sing psalms as they went to Jerusalem for the festivals. Tomorrow in Santiago!