Arzua to Rua

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Hmmm – the clouds were heavy this morning and after yesterdays wonderful walk in the sunshine we were not optimistic that we would experience the same again today.

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A common sight on the Camino – loads of cattle get herded through the villages and yes, it does smell of cattle manure.

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Our first stop for the day and luckily only light rain thus far, but the clouds are building.  Lots of pilgrims on the route today and the bars are full and very festive.  We battled to get a seat and waited a good 15 minutes.  There was no way we were continuing without a cocao cola and cafe con leche.  Gotta love Tanika’s faces………

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We had no sooner left the bar and the rain started falling harder.  We took a pit stop at this very wierd bar.  Girls felt very uncomfortable inside so I had to gulp down my cafe con leche.  Must admit the heavily tattoo’d owner made me feel a little uncomfortable too, especially with his girlfriend hanging on him smoking weed (well that is what it smelt like)!

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Most of our morning was putting rain coats on taking rain coats off putting rain coats on taking rain coats off – so frustrating as they are not easy to fold up and wet when trying to squish them into our back packs.

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Camino paths were very wet and slippery.

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…………….and then all hell broke loose.  We safely and dryly arrived at Salceda (about half way for the day) and opted to have a bite to eat at a very special and festive bar.  On arrival you have to enjoy a free shooter with the owner – whom by this time was plastered!  There is not a space on the walls, chairs, tables that are not inscribed with messages from pilgrims from all over the world.  We met a group of 10 South Africans here who started the walk in Sarria.  Spoke Afrikaans for a while catching up and sharing each others experience.  The girls spoke so passionately about the Camino that the one lady and hubby were convinced they would return with their three children.  We spent a while here enjoying the fun, ……………….then all of a sudden the rain came belting down so hard – pilgrims were piling into the bar for safety as the thunder was rolling so loud and lightning striking every few seconds.  I stood in shock thinking “what now” as there was no ways we could walk in the belting rain and a taxi was not an option as the last 110 km the girls needed to walk to qualify for their compestella (certificate).  We waited and waited and waited – the rain did not ease up.

Pics of the bar in Salceda!  Roof, floor, walls, toilets, bar counter, wherever you can write you can leave a message – some messages and drawings very interesting.

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Cassidy enjoying leaving her message.

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While we were waiting for the rain to clear the girls wrote Page Nicks a message and left it in the bar for her to find.

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Knowing that John (a friend) was planning to walk the Camino in July – I too wrote a message and left it for him to find on his Camino.

Here are the messages the girls left – one or two especially written for Brad (girls brother).

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Three and a half hours later and the weather was still hectic.  There were no signs of the rain clearing up and our only option was to walk to be in integrity for qualifying for our Compestella.   We only had +- 10km to go but the rain was belting down big time.  Chatted to the girls and we had come so far already, we had survived snow, hail and storms so why would this one be any different but I knew the difference – this rain was “hard” – it felt like we were being sliced in our faces it was so hard, anyhow we confronted the rain and embarked on our last 10km for the day.

I in fact don’t remember much of the 10km walk as my only focus was to get us to our hotel for the night as quick as possible.  We ran / walked / ran / stopped for one or two pics – the thunder rolling above was scary and the constant lightning was nerve wrecking.  Cassidy was also cramping badly (must have been what we ate at the bar in Salcedo), I could see she was in pain and not complaining about it.  Found some panado and gave her two to help ease the cramps till we got to the hotel.  The panado did not help but it is all I had on me.  Tanika’s blisters were irritating her and her takkies and socks were drenched. (So were mine and Cassidy’s).  It felt like I had an olympic size swimming pool in my shoes I was slopping so badly.  Every step I knew we were closer to our goal for the day so just conquered ahead with little shared amongst the three of us.  I kept reminding myself that there were other pilgrims experiencing this weather as well and were coping so therefore we could too.  Thoughts of the blind lady walking with her grandson kept me going as well as the guy I met on my Camino last year who only had one leg and was walking the Camino.  Thoughts like this also inspired the girls to keep going.   The discomfort in my shoes were building and I was concerned about Tanika’s blisters.

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To top our exhausting very wet day our hotel was not the greatest, in a tiny village Rua just before Pedrouza.  I have no idea why we were booked into this tiny little place when Pedrouza was 3km away, a fairly decent size village with loads of bars.  Rua did not even have a bar for us to go to for dinner.  No tumble dryer either for our soaked clothing.  It is what it is and we fortunately had some gluten free snacks in our packs that we ate and embraced that we would be in wet clothes tomorrow.  We played cards and chatted and lights were out fairly early as we were truly exhausted.

Tomorrow is our last day to Santiago – Buen Camino and sleep tight!

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