I’ve started alone after a breakfast but caught up again with Maria soon. The sunset was partly hidden behind clouds but before the stars and moon made up for it.
We arrived in Arzua around 1pm where Jeremy caught us as well. This is where the Camino Norte merges into the Camino Francaise along with one alternative of the Primitivo.
We sat down for a churros con chocolate and watched the pilgrims passing by. There were very noticeably more people and many of them looking rather tourists than anything else. The feeling of the Camino changed quite drastically: many tourists with their rucksacks sent with couriers and people walking casually with day-packs not being really friendly or considerate. Even the fairly new camino signs all vandalised. Kinda made me feel bad .. Also the amount of cafés, restaurants and albergues was just overwhelming. Not one albergue per 20k but 20 in one town.
Fortunately most part of the way was still leading through forest. Although we planned to say goodbye in Arzua we went on together searching for a place for lunch and a last drink. However by the time we found one and had a small beer we realised that we only 6k from the supposed end of the next etap, O Pedrouzo. So maybe because of the beer or just feeling the pull of Santiago we decided to do it. It meant more than 40k to which none of us prepared for today.
We found a nice looking hostel and went for a last dinner as next day I was to go to Santiago but Maria and Jeremy to stay behind which this time really meant parting.
After all it was a day with 43+k, record breaking step count and saying goodbye to people whom I spent a considerable amount of time in the past month sharing experiences and having chats about topics that I would have never expected.
Also, I just walked 500 miles and I will walk a 100 more 🙂