Camino Compadres

The Inglés may be the shortest of all the Camino routes to Santiago, with this fifth day of walking already bringing us to within 16km of the Cathedral.

But that hasn’t changed the special character of this experience, with the rapid formation of a Camino family.

The individuals who started walking from Ferrol five days ago have quickly coalesced into a United Nations of Pilgrims.

As we nod encouragement to each other over a café con leche or a slice of tortilla, we learn each other’s names, nationalities and some of our stories.

A bond is formed and barriers are lowered.

Tonight, Germany, Canada, Scotland, England and Spain have broken bread in cheerful conversation about our shared experience, with another night of celebration to come when we arrive in Santiago tomorrow.

At a time when humanity could be described as a questionable concept, based on current events at least, the simple joy of our free and unrestrained exchanges lifts the spirits hugely.

No borders, no boundaries, no hierarchies. Just common cause and honest discourse.

In my experience, only live music festivals and walking the Camino so quickly create such entirely positive environments for human interactions.

We could do with a few more.

To reach Sigüeiro together today required a 25km stomp from Méson do Vento.

That made it the longest of all the stages, but the route was mercifully much flatter than yesterday.

That meant I was able to pay close attention to the path, rescuing a snail from certain death by car or crow, and enjoying another splendid Spanish sunrise.

I may have been interfering with the natural order of things by picking up the stranded snail and placing it safely on a grassy bank, but Camino Angels have always stepped forward when I was going the wrong way.

Why should the snail be denied similar sympathy? I hope it made the most of the second chance.

It was a cooler morning, with high grey clouds trailing moisture in the air, but the ever-promised Galician rain held off for yet another day.

My apparent act of snail-related kindness did not protect me from what was to come, however.

Whilst taking yet another picture of some trees in a field, I didn’t look down before I turned back to the path.

A lurking tree stump sent me flying.

I nearly recovered my balance, until the weight of my rucksack remorselessly tipped me entirely arse over face.

I went down hard, knees crunching into gravel and Right Shoulder taking a serious whack too.

The shock of the rapid descent to ground level was compounded by the ignominy of being spotted by Taño and Isabella, who were coming up the hill behind me.

They were treated to the sight of me wriggling under my pack like an upturned turtle, then helped brush copious amounts of Galician soil from my face and clothes.

I’ve had better moments.

Still, there was no serious damage done. I’d avoided landing on my sunglasses, for a start.

Pride and dignity were the only victims, and that’s no bad thing.

At the halfway point, freshly squeezed orange and slabs of ham and cheese repaired my equilibrium.

Rocio, the English café owner, predicted rain, but sunshine soon followed me as the last few kilometres were ticked off.

As the afternoon wore on, I began to feel the sharp stones on the gravel path through my boots, but blisters remain unformed.


Planes from Santiago airport wheeled above, reminding me that this special experience would soon come to an end.

But it’s not over yet.

Méson do Vento to Sigüeiro:

Stage distance: 25km, a few ups, but a lot more downs.

Snails rescued: 1

Dinosaurs spotted: 1

Slips, trips and falls: 1 (3) and a big one at that.

Attempt to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish revealed as “Happy Christmas” instead: 1

Unexpected Song Played In My Head All Day: Pink Moon by Nick Drake.

Accommodation Report

At last, I’m staying in an albergue, the excellent Camiño Real, run by Pepe. But I’m still being decadent with a private room.

Health Report:

Beyond the bone-crunching fall, absolutely everything else is fine.

Still no sign of a Pineapple Solero. I could have really done with one of those.

3 thoughts on “Camino Compadres

  1. lois lloyd

    Hi dear I woke at 6 to read your report and was alarmed to read of your collision with hard earth / much like I did recently but I hope you not too bruised and sore dear on the last leg of your wonderful walk?!

    It’s uplifting to hear of the happiness and harmony of fellow pilgrims against the trauma in the world – I hope it sustains you on the last kilometres.

    I was very moved about your snail rescue. I showed you as a little child how to rescue ladybirds and worms from puddles and put snails back on walls. And avoid ant traffic at all costs !

    I hope your stick helps you stay upright today and the journey end is safer smoother and joyful – love snd blessings Mum xxx

    Lois Lloyd BSc(Hons)



  2. Brenda

    I recently started reading your posts, and I’m impressed with your writing style. You share your Camino experiences in meaningful, entertaining, and exciting ways. Thank you. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

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