It would be another 23 kilometers today and the weather forecast says more rain. Oh dear. Left our hotel at 8:30am, careful not to drink much coffee nor fill up  much on breakfast lest I go looking for a bush in the next 5-7 kilometers leaving the town of Portomarin towards Palas de Rei. Wearing only my windbreaker over my Merino shirt and shorts, I welcomed the slight drizzle and hoped it would be like yesterday’s weather. It was not. 

   

And just as I dreaded, it was a long uphill climb. Darn! It’s a struggle to stop, get my backpack off, take off my windbreaker, dry up a bit (you can break out in sweat walking!) then deciding whether to put the jacket back on or wrap it around your waist. Unlike Day 1 when we crossed many fields, a forest and a bubbling stream, today’s walk didn’t present much by way of “communion with Nature”. For a good 5 kms or so, we walked along a major road which we had to cross 3x I think. Oh Lord. 

 

We were only too happy to stop at Casa Garcia for mid-day refreshments. This guesthouse looked better than most. Cozy. Our next stop was LUNCH where croquetas de quezo y patatas, hamburguesa, tortilla and empanada were enjoyed while it started to really pour. Thankfully, I brought my fleece vest and raincoat/poncho. So, 4 layers of clothing — shirt, fleece vest, windbreaker and poncho — and my gloves and beanie completed my ensemble to battle this Galician weather. And I calculated there’s 10 more kilometers at this point before reaching Palas de Rei!

  

The Camino is truly a test of willpower. I decided on just doing the last 100 as I don’t have the energy to walk 800, or even 500 kilometers. Now I ask myself if I have the energy for even 100-113 kms. I’m bushed!

If only I could break the camino to walk only 10-13 kms daily, I’d be fine. IF I had the luxury of time, I would have gone for 10 days. But as it happened, I’m stuck to do this in 6 days. Thus, the first 2 days’ walk bring you near the halfway mark at 23 kms/day or a total of 46 kms. out of the required 100 to earn the compostela. 

Before long, we were approaching Palas de Rei. But I fell behind the pack to change my wet socks. Can’t risk having blisters. A slather of Vaseline which i carried in my backpack and I’m good to go for the day’s final 3 kms. Somewhere along the path, the road was all mud and water. No space for a single step without risking a slip. I wondered why this man was standing along the elevated edge seemingly waiting for pilgrims. He stretched out his hand and said “I’d help you”. Reaching for his hand, he pulled me towards the elevated bank where I trudged on to finish my day’s camino. What a gallant peregrino!

By the time  we reached Complejo de Cabana in Palas do Rei,  we got quite a surprise. Not 23 kms we’re told, but 32.6 kilometers. Duh? No wonder I felt wasted. My feet need some serious TLC. Gosh, I can’t believe I paid for this! Lol. Buen Camino!