The walk from Arzua to Rua was 20Km, just one kilometer more than what JB advised in his guidebook but we cursed him anyway. A kilometer IS a kilometer. The distances between our stops have shortened from the original 25 kilometers to only between 15 or 20 now, but it feels the same or our pace has slowed. Perhaps we just don’t really want to get there. Either way the last 5 kilometers reduced us to petulant children, repeating every few steps, “are we there yet?”
We joined up with a large group of pilgrims and then collectively cursed JB as we all practically barged into a random Spaniard’s home having taking a wrong turn along the road. To be fair, it was not JB’s fault, we all just missed the marker clearly visible below the cold beer sign (HELLOOO) but he seemed like a reasonable target for our exhaustion. We came across memorials for fallen pilgrims along the route or for those in whose name someone else was walking. We left Gus’ prayer card or his cross in their care as often as we could.
The teenagers we’d seen yesterday was even more impressive today as we met up with them only to discover that the group had only ever consisted of six women and the three young men in wheelchairs. Their chaperone told me that the men we’d seen with them the day before had materialized then like every other time they were in most need of upper body strength, to carry the wheelchair across a swollen creek or to help push them up a particularly steep hill especially because one of the wheels had broken. So it was our turn to help them for a while. We’d just happened to catch up with them at the foot of another steep hill.
We practiced being cute, holding hands and taking our picture while we walked down the hill (it only took five tries). Santiago is just another 20km away!