So the second last day on the Camino and once again I was scheduled to finish off the main track. A short day of some 17km – I was to call the number of the Casa Rural once I reached the village of A Rua, and I would be picked up.
A funny day for me: it was an easy flat walk and I just plodded along stopping at a couple of cafes for a drink break. But I felt really subdued. Now that the end of the Camino was approaching, I didn’t quite know to think. And now I felt tired and my legs felt heavy. I could usually trust my calves to complain when going uphill, but now my thighs seemed to want to get in on the act, and my left knee, perhaps feeling left out with all the attention the right one had received, now began to contribute to the symphony of pain.
I think it was all in my head really. I had reached the point where the only thing left to do was to actually complete the Camino.
But I reached A Rua easily, and my fears about finding a public phone to call the Casa Calvo were groundless. I was to wait outside the Hotel O Pino. As soon as I asked the hotel guy if there was a telephone he volunteered to make the call for me – the Spanish have been great like this; they always seem happy to help.
Again I was in an old renovated building primarily made of stone. In this case it was an old manor house with a huge walk in fireplace (An inglenook in English I think).
But the highlight of the day for me was over dinner. I was asked to come and sit with four Swedes who were doing their second piece of the Camino – this time from Sarria. They wanted to hear from me how I had walked the whole path. So I had a very good, convivial dinner with the four Swedes – Ingemaar – the Professor of Medecine in Upssala University, Per – a retired clergyman who was now a well regarded creator of hymns, and Johannes and Jacob – Swedish business people from Switzerland. I don’t detail this as some sort of name dropping but rather to illustrate the point that on the Camino you meet all types of people, from different countries and religions, and even social status on an incredibly level basis. You speak as peregrino to peregrino.