Today was almost the day that broke me.
Woke up to the fourth straight day of rain. Why did we bring both London and Melbourne weather with us? Now rain on most days on the Camino is usually manageable, but rain on a day you’re climbing a mountain is an absolute nightmare.
We wanted to get an early start knowing that it was going to be a tough day. Left by 7.15am, walked for about an hour and stopped to crack open the walnuts given to us by the old lady yesterday. They were delicious and a whole lot of fun to crack with our feet. When the walnuts ran out, our backpacks were on and we started to ascend the mountain. By this stage the weather was good, no rain, just overcast and a bit cold. Definitely wouldn’t mind this kinda day for the rest if the Camino.
I certainly broke more than a sweat going up a mountain and eventually stripped down to just a T-shirt despite it being less than 10 degrees outside. The terrain varied from gravel, to stones, to leaves then eventually to mud which was not so fun. We knew we had to pass 3 towns to reach the top, so each time we reached a town we knew we had completed another third of the ascent. With me being a pretty slow walker and Jason being super quick, we agreed that he’d just meet me at each town to save him for have to stop constantly.
We actually really enjoyed the hike, the different terrain made it all the more interesting. The only thing that wasn’t so great, was the higher we went the more torrential the rain and the stronger the wind. This meant we were eventually just walking through mini rivers. Despite having waterproofed pretty much everything on our bodies, we still managed to get soaked – clearly our gear wasn’t designed for hours of endless rain. By the time we reached the top, our bodies were absolutely freezing, so much so that we couldn’t stop to have a break otherwise we’d probably end up with hyperthermia. We progressed to the next town as quickly as possible and when we reached it, our feet were drowning in water. At the entrance of the town we saw a Casa and were excited to check in and get warm. Unfortunately it was just a supermarket and not a B&B like we’d expected. It was another 2.5km to the next town and unfortunately this involved going up and down hills.
My brain was going mental and whilst I was walking, all I could think about was cursing anybody I could who may be at fault for causing the rain; Mother Nature, God etc. I got to a hill and as I started to walk up I felt my body overcome with exhaustion – every step was an effort. All I wanted to so was collapse in a heap and cry. But I didn’t, I couldn’t. That would just make me even colder and no closer to getting somewhere warm. So I tried to power through as quickly as I could until I finally saw the town name ‘Hospital’ not too far in the distance.
By the time I reached the town Jason has already checked to see if the municipal was open, which was it was, but we also wanted to see if a private Casa was available. We found a bar which looked like it had rooms above it, so we went in and asked and just our luck, there was a room available. A smile came across my face instantly. I was so close to breaking today, but with Jason by my side and a warm room to rest up in, I managed to get through it …. just.
Total cost for today:
– Breakfast: €2 Yoghurt and bananas
– Lunch: €2 Bread and ham
– Dinner: €10
– Snacks: €2 Biscuits and apples
– Accommodation: €15
Total cost for today: €31
Til next time
Ann & Jason xo