Our Camino is changing dramatically and it is all good. Over the last two days we’ve walked 47 km and are in Arzua, the town where the Camino del Norte merges with the Camino Frances.
First things first, though… When we left A Pobra de Parga yesterday morning, it was 8° and a light fog was lifting. All was quiet except for the crunching of our footsteps, the melody of a variety of birds, and Dave calculating our elevation gains and losses. He wanted to keep track of our progress, knowing we were going to climb to the highest point of the entire Camino del Norte that day. It turned out that the climb was gradual and not a problem at all.
This is a new route which is about 8 km shorter than the traditional route. It has the disadvantage of having few services such as bars or cafes. There was a bar (thank heavens) and the tortilla that was prepared freshly for us was delicious.
Just before noon we arrived at the top of the mountain where windmills were lined up as far as the eye could see. I looked at one overhead just long enough to get a photo, but it felt ominous to know it was hovering there like an alien being.
They often say there is a lot of road walking on the Camino del Norte, and these past two days is what they are talking about! Listening to music as we tediously plodded along the highway gave some relief – ABBA, Bohemian Rhapsody, Eric Clapton, etc.
We saw nobody between our morning coffee break and our arrival in Sobrado dos Monxes in mid-afternoon. We were starting to feel rather lonely. (BTW the English translation for Sobrado dos Monxes is “left over two monks😂”)
There was a concert at the Monastery de Santa Maria de Sobrado where we were staying. Ariel Nina played an unusual instrument: the zinfonia (maybe) as well as a variety of tiny whistles that made bird sounds. It was unusual entertainment, for sure!
There’s so much more to tell like connections made with interesting people such as drummer Ales from Slovenia; Irish Londoner Seamus; Mexican Francesco from Switzerland. There’s just no possible way to tell it all.
We’ve had our fill of solitude and are glad to join the busier Camino Frances now. We’ll slow our pace and savour the last few days of the journey. For one thing, we don’t want to arrive in Santiago before October 4th when we have a reservation for three days. Also we want a late check out from our room at the 1930 Boutique Hotel here in Arzua because it’s the best! ❤️ We’re thinking about redecorating our place now. 🤔