27: Redondela – Pontevedra

‘At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive.’

The Pilgrimage, Paulo Coehlo

Although we slept in a hot room with 50 other pilgrims, FF and I slept like queens thanks to two large glasses of vino tinto before bed.

The end of the pilgrimage is coming – only three more days after this one. It’s strange to think it’s almost over already, just as we feel we are settling into this slow-paced life. We climbed up into the hills again today to look down on San Simon Bay, crossed stone bridges and wandered tree-lined pathways that follow the route of ancient Roman roads north. We find loveliness in everything around us – a sudden untraceable sweet scent, the colours of clothes on a washing line, a small kindness from a stanger on the way.

Walking along with more people from Tui has changed the nature of the camino – now it’s as much about the people we are walking, eating and sleeping with as it is about the waymarkers and the road.

The striding Belgian brothers have become like kind old uncles, checking we are going the right way, looking to see if we cross busy roads safely, giving us hints on where to stop and eat. Julio, the older Spanish man, has shared his food with us and always says as we pass him ‘poco y poco, pasa y pasa’ – little by little, step by step.

Opposite the albergue in Pontevedra was a pulperia and we went to eat there in the evening. We were joined by an Italian man who for some reason believed we were French. When he worked out we were British, but that I spoke French and FF spoke Spanish, he conducted a conversation with us in two languages, while we mutually translated for each other into English. In another corner Ronald and Roland sat drinking beer, and called over to us to help an English couple who were struggling to order food in Spanish. Gradually we are learning what each other’s strengths are and are calling on each other to help others along the way, we are forming a little community of the road.

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