Day 40 Camino – Palas de Rei to Boente

Oh hooray green grass. Wahoo mushrooms etc. Screw you Al with your desperate attempts to put a positive spin on everything. I got soaked to the fucking bone. Every inch of me. I took my phone out of my pocket and jammed it down the front of my pants to keep it dry. The alarm went off on vibrate at 2.42 UK time as it does every day. It’s meant to help me and a good friend of mine to stop, look around and be grateful. The call to presence was no more pleasant than the surprisingly unwelcome vibration in my pants. I didn’t want to reach down to stop it though. I let it keep going. Then I discovered I could make it go on snooze for 8 minutes by punching myself in the dick. My legs were wet. My neck was wet. My phone even got wet in its cosy new home. Wet Wet Wet. I could feel it in my fingers. I could feel it in my toes. There I was yomping through the Galcian countryside humping a massive bag full of clothes and gongs and fucking pig shaped pillows, occasionally swearing and frequently deliberately and precisely punching myself in the cock.

Earlier in the day we made good time. We breezed through lovely little towns, finding crystal shops, churches and weird little buildings for drying maize.


The crystal shops are a surprise to me. I thought of this walk as being very Catholic, but I’ve met a fair few hippy types around, and there’s clearly a market for jingly jangly new age bullshit.

On which subject, this morning I was chanting, mostly for good weather, and some old pilgrim guy turned round, caught my eye and air-crossed me hard. It was meant as an attack but I took it as a blessing and thanked him. I’ll take a blessing in any language. My belief structure is mine and it’s not at war with yours. But the poor guy must be exhausted, with all these crystal shops to hate as well as wayward types like me who find the wrong things helpful because we’re wrong wrongy people.

We stopped early because we can do what we fucking want. It was a bit jarring because Mel was ahead scouting albergues in the next big town. But both Luisa and I have inadequate rainproofs and we were miserable drowned rats. We had both decided miles before we found it that we would stop at the next open albergue so we did. A little later, Dustin and Mike stopped by in their excellent rainproofs having sent their packs ahead and booked a hotel room. That’s the way to do it. It’s another footstank albergue for us tonight. And a tasty meal of meat with meatmeat. That’s what you get for not being waterproof.

Back when this trip was a theory, I thought that tomorrow morning I would stride into the cathedral at Santiago triumphantly, flanked by my personal mariachi band, the inevitable dancing girls, fireworks, my true love, and the goddess Athena. I’m still a couple of days out, particularly in this weather. And the best I’m going to get at this rate is Dustin enthusiastically clanging a cowbell, a raven shitting on my head and some old bloke aircrossing me because I don’t think the things he does. Life ain’t a story, kids. But whatever shit happens it’s always possible to turn it into one. I’ll have to go that way instead. Forty days and forty nights? Meh. I’ve got loving to do, stories to tell, and lives to improve. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.


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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