October 16: Back on the road again. A different kind of day. I’m so pleased that Susan has joined me. We think it is the longest we have been apart since we were married, though we have gone on other excursions before without the other. Another difference is that the number of people on the path has increased drastically. I thought that after a rest day I might meet some of the people that I had walked with before I jumped ahead a day, but that did not happen. I recognized no one other than possibly one Korean fellow who seemed to recognize me.
I think most of the people we met were also starting in Sarria. I have also noticed that the average age has gone down considerably, likely because young people often have limited time to walk. People were also less likely to greet each other, which is more typical of new pilgrims before they pick up the sense of community that develops over time.
Early on I was uncertain what effect Susan’s joining me would have on my experience, both in terms of different fitness levels, and what difference it might make in meeting new people. However, if I have learned anything from the Camino it is to be simply open to what is. There is no doubt that things will be different but I’m very happy she has joined me and I am now waiting for the next chapter to unfold.
Susan today was plagued with the tendinitis in her Achilles’ tendon (her heel) that she has experienced a few times in the past and which flared up again a couple of weeks ago. It bothered her all day to some extent and got worse toward the end. She iced it when we checked in and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. If it becomes too painful, we’ll call a cab to take her to our next stop, and I will arrive later. We’re both hoping this won’t throw too much of a monkey wrench into her walk.
So far I am enjoying moving a bit upscale. We are staying in a casa rural, which is really on a ranch just outside of Portomarín. They pick you up from town and bring you here. The shuttle driver is also the chef and I’m not sure what else. We have a lovely room and the setting is beautiful, overlooking the river valley. The food has been very good and it feels like pure luxury. The chef, Enrique, is very proud of his food which is mostly grown right on the ranch. Can’t complain about that. We’re also booking ahead each night and that is a nice change, too.
The weather continues to be good to us though we are likely to get a little rain this weekend. The scenery continues to be beautiful and varied.