Last night my camino group decided that we should walk to Castroverde which was an extra 8 km past the traditional stopping point on the stage. The idea was that it would make the walk into Lugo shorter, now only 22 km tomorrow as opposed to 30 km and the last 8 km that we needed to walk today was mostly downhill. I agreed to go and plannned accordingly.
This morning we got up at 6 so we could have breakfast in the bar that opened at 6:30 and we could be on the road by 7. All that was great except usually I wake up when I wake up on the Camino so last night I woke up a bunch of times to see if it was time to get up.
The walk today was up and down mountains. Not hills MOUNTAINS! The up part is very tough. These are steep climbs that seem to go on for ever. To say that anything I had clogging my pours is gone would be an understatement. The sweat just poured from my body as we climbed up these hills. When we got to the top there might have been a little flat up there but then it was down and that is a long 2, 3 or even 5 km down the hill. Some will tell you that the up is the hardest but those of us who walk Caminos know that the down is the most treacherous. Today I was fortunate in that the down was on nicely manicured trails where you could cruise down with a little extra speed without having to worrry about slipping or breaking something.
By the time I got to the normal stopping point O’Cadavo I was asking myself what I had gottten myself into. But, after a nice lunch off I went. The last 8 km’s turned out to be about 3 km’s up and 5 km’s down. Not terrrible but my longest day yet about 8 hours of walking. I prefer to get to the albergue by between 1 and 2 for a nice leisurely afternoon of cold beer and conversation. Today only a few of us crazies went forward to tomorrow we will catch up with the rest of the crew. On a bright note tomorrow we will be in Lugo which is supposed to be a beautiful walled city. Crazy enough in 3 more days I will be in Melide which is on the Camino Frances and will join the hords of pilgrims traveling to Santiago.