And then there were 4

After our rest and celebratory time in Santiago we bid farewell to two of our hiking tribe members – we had gathered a wonderful Camino family: Chris, the grandad, me, the grandmom, Tony, the dad, Stephanie, the mom, Mandy, the big sister and Simon, the young son. Chris we sent on his way this morning back to Belgium, however without his phone as somehow it went astray last evening. And Simon planned on heading to his mom’s house outside Santiago, however it seems the big city attractions and local friends were too hard to resist, so he stayed there last night. So much for us finding him along the trail today….. Not such a bad thing, as none of us spotted the house. So, four of us trotted off, not so smartly, and soon stopped for coffee and toast. Much to our delight, Gladys found us and declared that she’d join us for at least today. Then, a German named Tillman, whom Gladys had met the evening before began walking with us, and yet another German, named Wilhelm popped up. Much to Mandy’s delight he had hiked the English Camino, so she began to pick his brain on that route.

We’re now headed to Finisterre, on the coast. The guide book stated it was a 4 for terrain and we were thinking “huh?” We were expecting a nice, relatively flat walk to the shore. After awhile we found out why it was a 4 (out of 5)….a long, long slog of a hill that kept on and on, necessitating the use of my poles to help me along. This on one of the hottest days we’ve had thus far. But luckily we received great news while sitting on the side of the road at the top of the hill – a hiker coming the opposite way told of a river up ahead a few km that would provide cool relief. On we trudged. We stopped at a roadside bar for some refreshment. The owner reinforced that the river was indeed up ahead a bit.

And voilá! There it was – a beauty of a river, the Río Tambre, with a Roman style bridge over it, rapids, a rope swing and best of all for Stephanie and me, some lovely rocks in a shady area where we could cool our feet. Over the bridge we went, shoes and socks off, the young ones and brave Tony into the river via the rope and us ladies soaking our feet in the cool, running water. What heaven! My feet haven’t felt that good since we began. Eventually we had to pull them out and continue our saunter into Negreira. By that time Tillman had decided to head off on his own.

We walked along poking into albergues to see what was available and what we thought looked acceptable for the new tribe (at least four today) for 6 of us. We found one with no curb appeal, but 6 beds open and it was air conditioned! A another first. Once cleaned up we mosied to a supermarket and bought food for an easy dinner.

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