Day 25: Arzua to Monte de Goza

We got off to an early start, and covered quite a few miles before breakfast. Our major goal today is to cover some 40km (24+ miles) in order to arrive in Monte de Gozo (Mountain of Joy) by tonight. This will put us some 5km from Santiago at our ending stop tonight and allow us to walk leisurely downhill on Sunday morining for noontime Pilgrims’ Mass at the Cathedral. 

Step aside, Waffle House, this girl’s got breakie going on! We ordered eggs, bacon, ham, toast, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. All that on the griddle – yeah, that’s for us two! Oh, and you ask about price? 9€ total. Yeah, Spain rocks!

  Not sure if we’ve posted about these yet, but they are all over Galicia. This is basically a corn-drying hut that is raised above the ground to prevent rats from eating the stores and narrow slats to prevent birds from doing the same. They can be constructed of wood, brick, or stone, but all serve the same purpose and are everywhere in Galicia. 

Wisteria is now in bloom all over the northwest of Spain. It’s funny how, just a month ago, we were trudging through a snowstorm and are now almost sickened by the sweetness of flowers in bloom. 

According to our guidebook, we were supposed to stop in the town of  Pedrouzo. Instead, we trudged on through the mist and rain, opting for a forest route over that of the tempting town.  
This eucalyptus forest was really amazing. Frank called it an “enchanted forest” while Mikey had “Into the Woods” songs stuck in his head for way too long. 

Awesome marker, right? Yeah, we encountered this about 200m from the airport in a downpour. Santiago is close, but will we make it?!

At long last, we arrived in Monte de Gozo (Mountain of Joy).  From here – on a clear day – one can see the towers of the cathedral in Santiago. No such luck. Instead, we put on our rain suits and headed out for dinner. 

This was the main course. We began with a chicken noodle soup and then shared this platter: roasted pork leg with potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. Wine for Mikey, a Coke for Frank, amd two lattes later, we were set back by 16€. (For our slower readers, Mikey IS MOVING TO SPAIN!!) Perhaps a joke now, but the prices are such that we have been able to indulge without any worries. It’s actually laughable how inexpensive some meals are.

Well, we sleep now on full stomachs. Tomorrow is another day. ¡Hasta Santiago!

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Day 24: Portomarin to Arzua

Days can begin so gently and end with such vengeance. Today was that kind nd of day. We leisurely crossed a small bridge leading out of the city and began our nature hike. Sure, we had the giant crowd following from Sarria, but the air was fresh and our feet were light. Oh, well…

As you have probably noticed, many of our posted pictures prominently feature the Camino pathways. Well, that’s what we see all day, so go figure! Today’s path began with emerald green highlighted by a slight mist. The ancient rock wall was an added bonus. We were quite amazed by the longevity of this simple stone barrier.  

 By 9am, we were floating! Frank agreed to stop for all of 5 seconds while Mikey framed this shot of him on yet another bridge.   

The markers are definitely creative sometimes. This is a Camino arrow made of painted scallop shells. 

And then … in the “mist” of it all … the Lord provided mana. 

Pulpo!!! Yep, that’s boiled octopus sliced and garnished with olive oil and paprika. We stopped by a roadside “pulperia” (or octopus stand) and had some for breakfast! Step aside, Wheaties, you’ve met your match!!

“Stopped in to a church I passed along the way. Well I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray.You know the preacher liked the cold; He knows I’m gonna stay. California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day.”

Sorry, but this sign just really spoke to Mikey. Yes, at times “we ALL octopus!” Solidarite. 

A small break in the rain allowed us to continue on past our suggested stop in Ribadiso and continue some 5km further to the larger town of Arzua.  

  As you can see from the signpost as we entered Arzua, Santiago is SO close! We are really getting ready for it. Yes, our feet hurt, we are tired, but to see the “Emerald City” of our Camino is now a reality. 

Ok, so Mikey REALLY has a thing for pulpo – seriously. If there was a 12 step, he’d be the founding member. Needless to say, he made Frank stay at a private albergue in Arzua that was across the street from a pulperia. 

As it was raining horribly, Frank consented to have octopus once again tonight. We also did laundry and booked hotels for our stay after Santiago. Better sign off now. Buenos pulpos.