It was supposed to rain this morning and didn’t. It was gorgeous. Having managed to sort out my mobile internet access eventually, I managed to find the Iglesia de Santiago – although several nice people I had asked had told me very politely that yes, they knew that church and that it was in Santiago de Compostela…

From the church of St. James (in A Coruña!) I followed Google maps. Maybe I was looking in the wrong places, but there were none of the yellow arrows, usually marking the Camino, anywhere to be seen.

The sun was to shine this afternoon but didn’t. Instead, it poured down as if there was no tomorrow.

I just made it to the first albergue on the way, the Albergue de Sergude. It’s a brand new hostel, €6 a night and I am entirely on my own. Unbelievable. I didn’t count on being in a place with no bed linen, no towels, no food, no drink, no cups, plates, or cutlery, but, hey, that’s life. So I went down the road, walking!, to the next bar, shop, estanco, all in one. As I opened the door the lady behind the counter said, with a broad smile, oh buenas, ¿peregrino? I smiled back at her and asked how did she know? Once my eyes had got used to the dim light in the place, I knew.

One of the octogenarians told me that last time some peregrinos came into the bar he saved their lives by translating for them – they were saying ‘milk’, ‘milk’, ‘milk’, pointing at the small children walking with them, but the poor woman behind the bar didn’t speak any German, English or French. So, menos mal, the man was able to come to their rescue!

He was a bit disappointed when I managed to speak to the lady of the house myself who offered ‘callos con alubias’ for dinner – I won’t translate that for you. Let’s just say it’s a very traditional dish, especially great on cold days like today.

Just before I left, the lady asked me would I come for breakfast – she’d be there from eight in the morning. I said I would.

Just in case you haven’t been around here, it’s is a bit like Leitrim in Galicia. One of those places where all conversation stops for a few seconds when a stranger comes into the bar, only to continue apparently just where it stopped, ignoring the alien in their midst as best as they can.

While I was getting wet on the hills of Galicia, Pádraig was practising the camino at home beside the sea, in glorious sunshine. Not sure whether it was supposed to rain or not in Dublin today – whatever was supposed to happen… the sun was shining from a blue sky!

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I suppose by the end of April, weather here will have improved as well!

The truth is that all the daily hustle, all the heartbreaking and annoying things, all the scandals, all the murders, all the filled-up-to-the-rim septic tanks, the secret underground passages, all the neglect, all the bad things will disappear when we’ll get here in a bit more than a month. It’ll be the real life, far away from the narrow-minded, hurtful, self-righteous, never changing.

Who, who would have thought that we would ever even dream of walking the Camino ever again? Dreamboaters!

PS: Did I mention that you’re supposed to bring not just your own towels, but your own sleeping bag or blankets as they’re not supplied here? 🙂