Day 36 Camino – O Cebreiro to Triacastela

Rain is pretty normal really. I have no reason to be surprised about rain happening. It’s water from the sky. It makes the grass greener. It’s why it looks so pretty and so fertile here in Galicia. Fuck you clams this rain is your fault aaargh I wanna go home where’s my mummy?


I’ve spent most of the day swearing. Cold, wet and like the kid that can’t have the thing. “You’re wearing cotton” says another pilgrim who used to work at summer camps. “Cotton kills,” she adds. That and “Don’t get pregnant” are her two top tips for adolescents. I missed the first tip for my whole life. Second one has been fine thank God. That’s what lets me be here. But my cotton T-shirt has been soaked next to my skin all day, insulated in wetness by my wet cotton shirt, hugging me with wet yuk. The wind and rain has been sheeting relentlessly through everything and I’ve been getting more and more pissed off as my inner layers have been freezing me and my outer layers are pointless. Nothing makes me angry like being cold. I hate it. And it looks like that’s going to be the game for this next week, so I’m going to get stuck in and come to terms with cold wetness before I get to Santiago, and work out how to dress best. Because I’ll have to. And I’ll start by monitoring my cotton. Anyway I have a hidden advantage now, in Mel.

Mel cycled ahead and scouted out the albergues while I was trudging through the wet. Because of her short day (thanks Mel) I have now landed in the lap of luxury. There are advantages to having a friend with a bike that I could never have anticipated. My boots are in the boot drying cupboard, I just had a foot massage in the foot massage machine, we have bottom and top sheets and blankets in an almost empty dormitory, and I’m writing this on the sofa in front of the fire. All of these things are brilliant things compared to the usual. There are even books scattered around, although “The Europe that will survive after Brexit” might not be the happiest read.


In a bit we will wander over and find food. It’s less than 150km to Santiago now so the facilities are going to just get better and better. Back in France pilgrims were rare, and you couldn’t refill your water all day unless you knocked on a farmhouse door. Now every village has so much in place to make our lives nicer in exchange for our money.

The walk today was beautiful at times but it’s hard to notice when you’re miserable. I had a moment at lunchtime with Luisa when we had both coincidentally stopped in the same place and neither of us knew where the fuck we were because we had been isolated in misery and had stopped caring about anything other than finding a fire. From then on I tried to notice things, and we stopped at an 800 year old tree for photos.


I tried to improve matters by buying a sheet of plastic for a million pounds, but it did nothing other than blow up into my face and depress me further. Although Julianna insisted I looked like Neptune. Or Grover. I prefer angry Poseidon. But we don’t get to choose who we look like.


I’m now going to puddle around the town in my stripy espadrilles. Because denial springs eternal. It’ll warm up again. It’s only November…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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