Triacastela to Samos, 10 km
Today is the day right in the middle of my Camino... I can't believe that, starting tomorrow, I will have more days behind me than in front of me.
So, today was pretty uneventful, as 10 km really isn't that far. At the same time, I was pretty sure that I had the wrong trail, since the Camino splits right after Triacastela. One way goes straight to Sarria, and the other goes through Samos. My guide book mentions that the road to Samos isn't that well marked, and that the Samos route is almost all tree lined path, but longer than the direct route. When I read that, I took it to mean that I wouldn't be on the highway at all, so when the first 3 km were on the side of the highway, I figured that I had somehow gotten on the direct route. I about jumped for joy when I reached the first tiny village and it confirmed that I had actually NOT gotten lost for the first time on my Camino!
Beyond that, the scenery was gorgeous, and I loved walking through the woods as the leaves are just beginning to turn and fall off. It was glorious to be showered with golden leaves in the brisk wind. In one of the other small villages I passed, there were signs everywhere reminding us not to answer nature's call anywhere in the village. One owner purposely put the sign up in order to partially cover the yellow arrow on the corner of their house as a pointed reminder. The thought occurred to me that the remedy to such a problem would be planting poison ivy or poison oak in common areas of elimination. I couldn't help but giggle a little at the thought, although I immediately repented of ill-wishing other pilgrims. Besides, it made much more sense when I realized that there were no facilities between Triacastela and Samos. At every little village I went through, I kept thinking that there would be a bar where I could grab some tea and head to the little girl's room, and every time I was dissappointed.
Not long after this, I passed an older French gentleman taking pictures of some small car parked in someone's barn. So I asked him if that was a Trabi... He told me, no, it was a Fiat. Then, in spite of our lack of a mutual language, he told me that the car he was photographing was the same make and model car he had owned 40 years ago. As I walked on, I thought about how Dad probably would have done the same thing, and it made me smile at the universality of the human condition.
Since my Albergue didn't open until close to 2pm, I decided to take a tour of the Monastery. However, there weren't enough english speakers for a tour in English. There were 3 others who spoke little or no Spanish, so, since I knew the most Spanish, I ended up translating for the others. It is a good thing that the tour guide was speaking slowly, as I actually understood more than usual--probably close to 80%. Of course, having to listen and practice is probably helping as well. Even so, I felt a little like the blind leading the blind!
And, as I was getting ready for Mass this evening, I realized that some of the welts that I thought were mosquito bites were actually little patches of rash, since they were weeping and had multiple bumps rather than the single bump of a bite. I think it might be God's way of reminding me that I really shouldn't purposely try to teach a lesson to others the hard way. I'm still not sure what is causing the rash, but I am coming into contact with so many different environments that it really could be anything.
Tomorrow is the Acid test, since it is my first 15 km day since my injury. How I do tomorrow will tell me how the rest of my Camino will go. I just need to make sure that I take it slow and take rests, and I should be fine, but it is still a scary prospect.