Camino Blog / Vézelay Route to Santiago de Compostela

Day 77, 24th June. Ferreira to Castañeda

Back on the Camino Francés, finished the Primitivo. 28km

I broke the habits of The Way and walked the first 25km with Patrice, Francis, Fréderique, Xavier, Denise and François. They walked a bit slower today and I walked faster. So a whole day in French, they are used to me now and speak very fast, so it’s quite taxing mentally. Never mind. Then they stopped for the night at an albergue 3km earlier than me, so I’ll wait for them in the morning and we’ll walk together. 24km tomorrow, so I’ve had my last 25+ day.

Tomorrow is my last night, so I’ve been thinking about arrival in Santiago. I may walk with the French group if they don’t take an extra day, but I’m hoping to be there by 11:30 on Wednesday 26th to meet Silas before mass and also I’ve arranged to catch up with Marc (from the Vézelay Way) as well.

We caught up with the Camino Francés about lunchtime at Melide, and walked it for the afternoon. (Yes, it looks like a school trip, perhaps it is). To my annoyance and chagrin, I haven’t recognised a thing from my first Camino with Margie. I don’t have to go on about the culture shock of joining the Francés, the crowds, the commercialism, the manicured path. But it is jarring.

I’m staying at an apartment in the small village of Castañeda, which is very quiet. I grabbed a salad at Bar No Camiño on the way into the village so I don’t have to worry about food tonight.

I met a father and son (Sam) from North Dakota, he’s 12, walking from Burgos. He seems very happy and relaxed.

I feel I should have more to say about The Way today, but it was really just about sharing company for the day. They stay in cheaper accommodation than me but I’m past slumming it just to fit in, so our contacts have been other than in the Albergue. And we mostly don’t make arrangements to meet, it just happens fortuitously. The same with Silas, who has gone further on so that he can be in Santiago early on Wednesday, although I’ve asked him to be in the Praza at 11:30. It means I’ll have to leave O Pedrouzo at about 6 in the morning but that’s no sacrifice.

Getting excited.

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