Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Day 34. Sobrado dos Monxes to Arzua. 22 kms

Your excretions and secretions and contributions similar
As such are too much for our cloaca minima.
It's not that we scorn your presence or proximity
But any extra effluent will clog up our facility.

The facade of the church at the monastery is baroque, rather like the cathedral at Santiago. Only a single chapel remains of an earlier Romanesque church.

The albergue with its many dormitories could accommodate the 150 or so pilgrims that can pass through each day in summer, but this not true of some of the smaller refugios. The albergue run by the Confraternity can hold only 28 people, and one of the hospitaleros explained it can get rather tense when they, English, have to turn the others, Spanish, away. The municipality will not allow them to put down mattresses on the floor to accommodate the surplus as the sewer system can only take so much. I composed a verse for them to post on the door when they are full.

I won't be waxing effusively about dogs today. Last night, foolishly, I bent down to pat an idle dog in the square, and he lept up, snapped, and almost took my hand off. And this morning, I had to walk downhill backwards to keep my eye on a little yap-dog that was having a go at me. I dared not turn my back or he would have taken a piece out of my calf.

I set out along the main road, then a minor road, passed a little old lady collecting chestnuts, and then a little old man with a little old dog, and after that it was plod, plod, plod along the road to Arzua, there to join the eastern hordes from the Camino Frances. 

But they are not here in great numbers. I am in an albergue, where at four o'clock there were still lower bunks available. Certainly, there are new faces: more young couples, some Koreans, who walk the Camino because of one book which it seems everyone there has read, and a woman who walks about with a beatific expression on her face as an example to us all. And, in another one of those incredible coincidences, Judith and Jurgen from Mayne Island who have just finished walking the Primitivo.

I finished the day with a delightful meal with Preben the Dane, Verina a young German girl, and later, a young Australian fellow who appeared and made a fair defence of Australian migration policy.

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