8.8mi/14.16km from Melide to Arzúa
Today was a quick and relatively easy day with nice paths, good conversations with a few new faces, and surprisingly manageable weather. David and I have been dreading “the weather” ever since Lugo a few days ago. A nasty-looking radar map showed an entire country covered in rain. We did have “sheets of rain” in the forecast for many a day but somehow we lucked out and haven’t been hit with more than a few minutes of rain here and there.
We kept up the faith these few days that we’d have good weather fortune and things worked out very nicely. Incidentally, let’s talk about faith. I met an older Italian couple today; the lady was doing a Camino to remember what happened after her daughter had suffered a life-threatening car accident a few years before… while this lady was on a previous Camino. At that time she prayed to a little Virgin Mary statuette in a tiny town along the way, begging it to save her daughter. Her daughter survived and is thriving today. This year she and her husband walked a different Camino route but came off-route all the way back to that small town so she could pay her respects to the statuette that she felt saved her daughter… but it was no longer there. She was distraught, and sought out a local priest for advice. The priest reminded her that her faith, not the statuette, is what mattered, both the day of the accident and right now. She didn’t need to find a particular statue to thank her God for delivering her daughter safely. She gave that thanks with her Camino; and she pays it forward with her daily actions. All much more than a simple prayer to an idol. It was nice to hear her story of faith. You can have faith in others, in yourself, in the value of kindness and decency – it doesn’t have to be religious.
Anyway… let’s ALSO talk about “moop.” Caminos bring you to lots of farm paths often used to transport livestock. In Asturias and Galicia, more often than not these livestock are cows. Cows poop EVERYWHERE. And on our hiking paths, that poop mixes with mud to form a viscous, brown, unavoidable substance called “moop.” It cakes on your shoes and your hiking poles. You can be sure you’re breathing it. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you might recall the Bubble Boy insisting that it’s “moor,” but I assure you, the card says “moop.” (https://youtu.be/Ia02fGpUQfU)