Day 33 of our Adventure: WALK!!
CAMINO Day 24
Wednesday October 4, 2017
18km / 12.5 miles / 4.5 hours
Total Ascent: 984 ft.
Total Descent: 738 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 2; Waymarking 1
Scenery Rating: 2
Arzua to O Pino (Rúa)
We’ve been leaving close to the same time each morning, and it seems to be much darker than when we started our Camino on September 6. Of course, the days have been getting shorter, and we’ve also been walking westward for 4 weeks. Turns out that sunrise on Day 1 in San Sebastián was at 7:38 AM. Tomorrow, in Santiago de Compostela, sunrise will be at 8:36 AM. There is a 26-minute difference in sunrise times just by virtue of being 435 miles west of our starting point, and another 32-minute difference due to the seasonal change.
The sunrise isn’t the only difference! The sheer volume of people is astounding. A whole parade of young people passed us about an hour and a half into our walk this morning. Besides the “kids”, the numbers have increased exponentially. The first few bars that we came to were packed with people, and we decided to bypass those in favor of a quieter stop. Interesting décor they had there…. We shared the trail with cyclists, a few of whom almost ran into us. No warning bells, just these guys who zoomed past, 3 abreast. I yelled after them that they need to ring their bells.
As we continued to walk, the crowd thinned out, and when we were less than a mile from our stop for the night we passed those same kids. One was on the ground with heat exhaustion. A second group was sitting on the ground, resting, and a third was waiting for the others to catch up.
We walked through a few aromatic eucalyptus groves today. The day was warm (82°), and we appreciated the shade. We also walked past a “Wall of Wisdom”, with dozens of questions printed on sheets of paper.
We are at our final stop, Hotel O Pino, before tomorrow’s walk to Santiago. Our plan is to leave early (with headlamps) to try to get to the Cathedral in time for the Mass at noon.
I made a list before we started of various people we’d dedicate each day’s walk to. Some of them were special, private intentions. Others were more general. The dedications included:
- My sisters, survivors of decades of family vacations
- My U.S. Power-Arano Cousins
- My Basque Uncles and Cousins who live in Berriatua, Ermua, and Isla
- My Dad and his Mother, Bernardina Arano Power
- First responders, victims, and families of the 9/11 attacks
- A friend whose sister died recently
- My Mom, on the day that we walked to Santillana del Mar (because she loves that town)
- Our 3 children, Michael, Angela, and Gregg
- Our grandson Nathan
- My (Lithuanian) Kanzler grandparents, Ben & Alice Kanzler
- My Godfather, Uncle Don, who walked parts of the Appalachian Trail, and my Aunt Judy
- Various friends whose birthdays fell on our walking days
- Specifically, Grace Garcia, who was celebrating her birthday on the Camino Portugués
- My Power Aunts and my Dad who were afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease (on the day of the Alzheimer’s walk in Point Pleasant, NJ)
- Tomorrow’s walk is dedicated to Margie Clifford, who fought (and recently lost) a quiet and valiant fight against cancer, and who never gave up… I thought about her tenacity as I sometimes struggled to make it up a tough hill, or to walk those final 4 km on a long day. Her birthday was 5/5/55, and we are walking into Santiago on the 5th. Margie, thanks for the inspiration.