All you really need to know about today is it rained, hard and nonstop. For some reason my right foot began to bother me so I limped a bit like the hunchback of Notre Dame.
Still, things were okay at first. I stopped at every town I passed to drink café con leche and give my foot a rest. I was wet but not soaked, at least for the first few hours.
Eventually the rain won out. It penetrated my shoes and my pants. My underwear was wet. My socks were sopping. I was growing angry as I do when I am miserable and there is no end in sight.
I decided I would stop for the night in La Faba. La Faba decided that it would take a million years to reach. The rain picked up and began blowing sideways. I yelled, “THIS SUCKS.” It felt good to yell so I screamed, “THIS F%&ING SUCKS!” I said other things too but you might be reading this at work and I don’t want to get you fired.
Finally I reached La Faba. There was an albergue that advertised itself as “vegetarian.” I’m a vegetarian so I figured I could at least get a good warm meal. I walked my soggy, sorry ass to the door and inquired about a bed. The bespeckled hippy who greeted me pointed outside and I followed. She unlocked a door in the underside of the building usually reserved for livestock and showed me a cave with a few beds inside.
“Uh, I think I’ll go elsewhere,” I said.
She waved her arm towards the door as if to say, be my guest. I wanted to tell her that hanging a tapestry on the wall does not make a barn a suitable place for humans but what was the point? In general I’ve found that anyplace along the Camino with prayer flags and Buddha statues are not nice places to stay. That’s too bad because I like Buddha as much as the next guy.
I walked back to La Faba’s municipal alberge but when I arrived a sign on the door said they did not open until 3 p.m. I looked at my phone and saw with a great deal of disappointment that it was only 2 p.m.
“DAMMIT,” I yelled. Then I turned on my heel and set back down the road.
I can upon a Frenchman.
“Are you going to the municipal albergue?” I asked. He shook his head yes. “It’s not open until 3.”
“3!” He exclaimed.
“Yes, I’m headed to the next town. I told myself I wouldn’t take another step but I don’t want to sit around for an hour waiting for the doors to open.”
“Oh,” said the Frenchman, “I’m not going anywhere. I am done for the day. This is terrible.”
“I know,” I said. “I’ve been screaming my most creative cusswords. I was so mad at the municipal albergue that I peed in their front yard, right in front of the statue of St. James.” That was the truth.
The Frenchman laughed. “Buen Camino,” he said with much sarcasm.
“Buen Camino,” I said back with even more.
I walked to the next town but when I got there my legs didn’t want to stop walking. My brain was screaming, “Stop!” but my legs just carried me past the doors of the albergue. So on I walked to O Cebreiro. I followed the yellow arrows to the municipal albergue and that’s where I am now.
The smell in here really knocks your socks off. It’s a mix of feet, sweat, and wet clothes.
It is safe to say that I still have not reached the exhilaration stage of the Camino.
Today I walked 18 miles (28.7 km).
I did not take any photos because I couldn’t risk ruining my camera in the rain. Here’s one from the last day of rain.