Ramblings, Musings and Rantings

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going – Paul Theroux (1941 – ), American travel writer and novelist.

Camino Day 30, Viernes 9th Octubre. 714 klms. Palas del Rei, Lugo, Galicia, España

Wow. 30 days walking. Over 700 kilometres. Wow!

[Swarm report. We left Portomarín well before sunrise this morning before the motherships had a chance to fully discharge. That was a good strategy. There was still a very noticeable increase in general traffic, but the big crowd was behind us. And I think that in the intervening 24 hours I’d got more used to the new reality, and so I found myself far less bothered than yesterday. Hopefully (no promises) no more will be said on this matter.

Oh, and the dude with the cross from yesterday is possibly a bishop.]

Once the sun came up this is what we walked through for much of the first couple of hours:

We were treated to a lovely sunrise, which morphed into a light foggy morning not unlike yesterday. Our plan was to walk the 8 klms to Gonzar (a couple of hours) and then stop for desayuno, which was exactly what we did. We ended up as a fivesome – the same group as dinner last night. Great breakfast.

Yesterday’s post created a great deal of conversation between J and me, and that in turn led to today’s title. Thinking about all my words over the last month, it seemed that each could be categorised as either a rambling, a musing or occasionally a ranting. I’m using this tone because it’s going to come to an end rather soon – we have only 3 more days left.

I’ve both enjoyed and I think benefitted from my ramblings, musings or rantings, and as a by-product I hope that you the reader has also. I’ve had minimal feedback (that’s OK by the way), and that which I have had has suggested that you have enjoyed these RMRs.

Our quite lengthy discussion revolved around J’s versus my views on people’s approaches to this walk. Our views differ in some regards, not much really, but certainly they do in some regards. One of the great things about our relationship is that we can and do hold different views on some things, and we can readily explain and understand each other’s perspectives.

We are now also investigating (or at least trying to investigate) the rationale behind the 100 minimum walk to earn a Compostela. That limit must have been created for some reason, and we are trying to find our what that reason is.

Our digs in Palas del Rei are nice. We are in a sort of log cabin estate about a kilometre out of town. It’s a pleasant change from last night which, whilst quite serviceable was pretty basic, with the thinnest of connecting walls.

After the normal settling in stuff we wandered into town for a looksee – would you believe we almost immediately bumped into Melie and Hank, and then Kerry, back to the famous five again. Perhaps not surprisingly given my recent posts and also the reality that for all of us the Camino is just about over, we got into quite a deep conversation about religion, spirituality, atheism, Compostelas and the like. The sort of conversation rarely entered into at home. The sort of conversation that our present situation and environment facilitates. Interestingly, Hank, who has previously been silent on these matters declared that he won’t be seeking a Compostela (as won’t either J or me). For some reason I’d made an alternative assumption. It was a far reaching and interesting conversation, the sort I’ll miss once this is over.

A few photos from the day follow:

Sunrise about an hour out of Portomarín.

More magic mushrooms

Horreos in the family garden


The crowd


Country house


Closer is indeed the case. We are only three days’ walk away. Tomorrow is a biggish day (~25klms) – the next two just over or just under 20.

I’d like to think that now, as our journey comes to an end, irrespective of how we may have stayed, for at least this particular journey, J and I are travellers, not tourists. “They” say that your journey does not end when you reach Santiago, but starts.

3 thoughts on “Ramblings, Musings and Rantings

  1. mikeperth

    Hi Peter, It’s really great to read your musings, ramblings and rantings. I have enjoyed them all. I have just finished my trip and I’m Vienna airport waiting to board an EK/QF flight back to Perth. This has been my 3rd Camino, all of them from Sarria. I do intend to do the whole thing one day but at the moment time does not permit. When I do these treks they are normally part of 2 trips, this year we spent a week in the Dolomites, last year it was the Amalfi Coast, the year before a cycle trip in the Loire Valley. In addition this year I have just finished a recce in another long trail in the Balkans, the Via Dinarcia. I understand your feelings abut the extra walkers/pilgrims in the last 114km section. But people do the walk for all different reasons and I’m not sure that it really should affect your experience. Or you decision to get a compostela. I must have taken over 45 people on the Camino now and they were all doing it for different reasons, some of them did not want a compostela also. Some changes their reasons in the way. All enjoyed the comradely. All enjoyed seeing Spain from ground level and not in a bus. Isn’t walking a great way to really experience the environment and the culture of a country?! Please keep writing your posts and rambling and ranting. Looking forward to chatting to you about it over coffee one day soon. Cheers, Mike Wood. Peregrine Travel Centre WA

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Hi Mike, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my ramblings, and in regard to yesterday you are of course quite right. I was overwhelmed by the numbers. This has been an incredible experience at many levels. I’ll look forward to that coffee. Regards, Peter.


  2. Gillian thomas

    I am going to be sad when you finish The Comino, as I have so enjoyed your “thoughts” each day. The first thing I do when I wake up is to see how you both are, what photos you have put up and how far you have walked.
    Loved today’s read and great photos. Those mushrooms are unreal.
    I wonder how Ali and I will feel doing The Comino next year, I feel through you that I have almost done it, feeling sad it’s almost over. Looking forward to the next few days and getting your thoughts and feelings on the final days . The journey of a thousand steps is nearly over😢👏


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