Day 16 – Arzúa to Lavacolla

19.2mi/30.89km from Arzúa to Lavacolla

On our second-to-last day of this trek, we did our second-longest day. Our legs are well beneath us now and we’re feeling strong. Pity that this will end so soon!

Over the course of some 7 hours of walking, we concluded that the weather here is really indecisive this time of year! A few days back in Lugo, you may remember we had a gloomy forecast of rain every day all the way into Santiago. But by and large we’ve been walking in damp, cold, but non-rainy conditions. And we’ve been thankful for various short pockets of sunlight to bring some warmth. It’s been a lot better than that forecast predicted.

The indecisive weather DID help us finally decide to skip our typical 3-4 day post-Santiago trek to the coast. Each time we’ve gone there, it’s been summertime, sunlight and warmth has been plentiful, and the days have been long. Sunsets at Finisterre (“The End of the World”) are festive occasions to celebrate with other peregrinos who walked another 3 days to that famous 0.0km milestone. Sunsets at Muxia are quiet, contemplative, and peaceful. Neither would be terribly fun in this frequently changing weather, the persistent damp cold, and the short days. But that’s ok! I’ve begun to feel a closure and a headspace that I desperately sought when I began this trip. David has had a solid trek as well. And so we march to Santiago knowing that it will be the end for us this time… but it will not be the last time.

We took tons of photos today as once the Primitivo brings you onto the Camino Francès, there is often excellent motivational graffiti, and still lovely landscapes – though the views may not be as sweeping as those on the Primitivo. And as populated as the Francès can be, it’s sometimes nice to see fellow peregrinos ambling about. Everyone says hi and “buen camino.” It’s a great atmosphere.

But there is one kind of peregrino that you don’t want around: the “snorlax.” In these peregrino albergues, people are crammed into bunk beds with plenty of other folks. There are typical pilgrim smells. People are on different schedules so there’ll be someone busting in late at night after drinks, and someone rustling through their plastic bags at 5am as they get ready for an early start to the day’s walking. These things are normal. But the snorlax allows you no rest. His snoring reverberates through the hollow metal of the bunk beds, it vibrates through your blanket and earplugs. It prevents you from getting that most important thing on a Camino: SLEEP! The last 2 nights we’ve had some power snorlaxes in our rooms and I need some damn sleep, man!