Besides the cold I was surrounded by bad snorers and my ear plugs couldn't keep the noise out. To make a long story short I hardly slept last night but for done reason it still wasn't hard getting up at 4.45 (!!!!) this morning.
We wanted to be on the road early so we were certain we would get a bed in Pedrouzo. It is around 18 kms from Santiago thus making it a popular last stop.
Siobhan and I were flying today and we did 14 kms in 2 hours and 45 mins. Eventually we were by the albergue around 11 o'clock and got in line to get a bed. The albergue has 120 beds so we had no troubles getting a bed even though we weren't the first one to get there.
Bags in line once again.
Surprisingly there weren't many bars along the way. I kind of expected things to get more commercial the closer we get to Santiago but apparently not.
We did walk past a man that sold all kinds of junk basically in the middle of nowhere.
Siobhan not looking too pleased with the place.
Once I reached the albergue and removed my back it came back big time though. I am now drugged up on paracetamol and voltaren and will make it to Santiago tomorrow even if I have to crawl! I will deal with back afterwards.
I asked for a lower bed once I got to registration and the lady was so nice to give me this bed:
A real bed! :-) (please ignore the mess) It is going to be my last night in an albergue and even though it wasn't as bad as expected I don't think I would sleep in albergues again if I were to come back. I would probably mix it with hotels/B&Bs along the way. It is a cheap way of travelling but obviously the comfort isn't the best. And people are very inconsiderate so you don't get much sleep. I don't even know how many times I have been thinking "why am I in this cold crappy place when I can actually afford a hotel?" during the night. It is perfect for the camaraderie though since you get to talk to and hang out with people at the albergue.
I didn't take many pictures today so I don't have much to show. In the beginning we walked uphill quite a lot. The guide books have claimed that the last few days the course has been flat but they cannot fool a flatlander such as my self. I recognise flat when I see it and the course has hardly been flat!
The last part of the stage was very much downhill and as far as I can understand it will more or less be like that until Santiago. Which is only 18 kms away. 18. I can almost smell the cathedral!
That means do far I have done more than 300 kms in 11 days. Crazy. Unfortunately I have been lost a few times so the correct number I don't have.
Speaking of being lost here are some of the examples of what we are looking for in order to go the right way. Most times they are obvious but sometimes you really have to look for them. I especially find it hard to follow the road in big cities where the signs mix in with everyday life. But in general it is easy to find the tight Way especially if you are not too caught up in your thoughts.
Arrow and shell in Leon.
In Castilla Y Leon they always signed cities/towns/villages with informative signs such as this one. It has a map of thr place and says where the find bars and albergues and sometimes how far to the next place.
Sign next to colourful house.
In Galicia the signs look like this. It says how far to Santiago and is often placed every half kilometer. Very nice.
I have almost reached the end and I am not quite sure how to feel about it. It has been a great experience but I am looking forward to reaching Santiago now. Several people have mentioned I should carry on the 90 kms to Finisterre ("the end of the world" as it means) which is reached in 3 days. I am definitely not doing that and I feel that I am getting ready for the next part of my vacation which will be relaxation in San Sebastián and other places.
I haven't been think as much as I would have which is a surprise to me. I am guessing that it will happen once I get away from the Camino and I start processing all my inputs. I have been thinking some things already but for now I will keep it to myself. Uuuh, a cliffhanger. ;-)
Thanks for reading. :-)