Day 31 – Ribadeo to Lourenza

6/10/17 -29.3km/18.2mi from Ribadeo to Lourenza, with a total of 1405m/4610ft of ascent and descent.

After our rest day at the beach, I felt great this morning and it just felt “right” to begin walking. It might sound crazy – but after doing this for 30 days, it feels more weird to sleep in and relax than it does to get up, pack up, and get walkin’.

There’s more to that morning routine, of course: coffee & tea. In Spain, a “bar” is a combo of both “cafe” and “bar.” And when on a Camino morning there are no open bars, that means no coffee. And that means some grouchy peregrinos. Nothing was open in Ribadeo, the first bar we came across was closed, and the kilometers wore on as quiet forest paths gave way to massive farm fields in every direction. Though we passed a village or two here and there… no bars! During one of many long climbs, I passed some time listening to podcasts, until we eventually got to a small store and bar in Villamartín Pequeno. Glorious food and drink awaited us!

Also waiting for us there was David, who had blazed ahead of the rest of us earlier in the day. He gave us a little surprise: our old friend Giovanni had recently passed by the bar, and was also planning to stay in Lourenza for the night! Even though we took a day “off” in Ribadeo, we caught up to an old friend. This is a repeated treat along any Camino – you’re all going in the same direction. You’ll see friendly faces plenty of times.

We also saw a sort of unfriendly face! Weeks ago a cylindrical truck with an awful smell passed us while walking, and I jokingly asked, “is that a poop truck?” Seconds later my joke was confirmed as we saw it spraying manure-based fertilizer all over a plowed field. We could smell that field for a mile afterward! Today we saw another one – the ninth such one we’d seen on the trail. We joked that they were a little like the nine Nazgul (ringwraiths) in “Lord of the Rings,” each one having the power to make a smell of sheer death and destruction overpower us. These beastly machines are great for farms, terrible for pilgrim noses!

Anyway, when we got into town after a tiring but rewarding day, we happily greeted our good buddy, and had another great meal together. It may seem that each evening is a bit repetitive with gatherings, food, and drink – but they help us recharge our bodies and our spirits!