Sunday, 20 December 2015

Camino De Santiago Day 3

On the third day I decided to stay behind and walk separately from Ze’s group.  There were two reasons. First I wanted to have a little bit of spirituality in my Camino so I could have a silent conversation with God. And being alone would help that. 

The second one is that I wanted to focus my attention on revealing the punch line of my April Fool’s day joke to my MBA classmates.

The walk alone was rather refreshing. I had the time to pray the rosary. I passed by an old church and took a UP Ikot photo.

Church in Pontevedra

Further on I crossed a magnificent bridge . I had a sudden realization of the present. It reminded me of the quote by Heraclitus.

 'No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.'

I pondered upon this quote as I was crossing the bridge relishing every moment of it.  There is a slight possibility that some day I will cross the river again but the circumstances will be different and it will be a different version of myself. It reminded me of man’s mortality and somehow it made me sad.

Bridge in Pontevedra

Along the path I saw a coffee shop (smack in the woods which made it somehow out of place) and I paused to prepare the message I intend to reveal to my MBA classmates regarding my prank.

I turned my phone off so that I would have remaining battery for the big reveal. I realized that the view was much nicer than the past two days. Bummer.  I was taking photos of the surroundings but I was not with the group. I suddenly missed them.

Walk in the woods

I overtook a group of pilgrims. I took a shot of group and learned than one of them was from Murcia. They would have gladly welcomed me in their group but I was determined to spend the morning walk alone.

A group of pilgrims

Further on I saw a lady accompanied by two grandsons. They were giving a fruit each to the pilgrim. I guess she wanted to show her support to the pilgrims in this way. I asked if I could have a photo with them. Maybe because of the gesture of the photo shoot or maybe because it was a rare opportunity for her to find an Asian doing the walk much less a Filipino.  Whatever it was, she gave me three fruits, that’s two more than the usual number they give to a pilgrim. I was quite pleased and felt special.

Posing with the lady who was giving fruits to the pilgrims

I decided to have lunch a few kilometers before Caldas del Reis. I was expecting that Ze’s group would at least be there or at least have gone ahead because I have not caught up with them along the path.

In the bar I asked a couple who came from Portugal if they saw them. Much to my surprise they said they have been in the bar a while but Ze’s group have not passed the area yet and they were quite sure of it

I was a bit puzzled because I did not encounter them along the way.

I went to inside the bar to order sandwich. When I got back the couple told me that Ze’s group just arrived and went to the lawn area of the bar. I went out just in time to see Ze. I was so glad to see him that I gave him a big hug. It seemed like we have been separated for ages when it was only half a day that I got separated from the group. Perhaps there is something extraordinary about the ordinary.  But this mini reunion with Ze and the group was one of the things I recall fondly about this walk.

Reunited with the group at lunch

On the way to Caldas Del Reis the sun was really scorching but despite this the group was quite enthusiastic whenever I ask them to pose.

It is day 3 and the journey is coming to a close in 2 days time. Maybe this impending reality is slowly getting through everybody so they want to at least capture every moment of the journey.

Caldas Del Rey the intended stop for the day was well known for its flowing water that there were lots of stations in the place where pilgrims could soak their tired feet. I saw Sarah again while admiring the view of the river. Chico shouted at her and her friend. Since our group was relatively slow the albergue was already full when we arrived.

Fortunately due to the charms of Chico we found an apartment that accepts pilgrims. He was lucky that the lady he asked for a recommendation happened to know the owner of an available apartment. It was quite a steal. For only 6 euros per head we got the entire apartment to ourselves. There was also a kitchen and a washing machine (we had our clothes washed and dried). For that night we cooked dinner. Chico prepared an awesome meal of pork and mushrooms. The way he cooked the rice was also superb, I asked for tips from him.

A great dinner cooked by Chico

Later that evening we had some photoshoots. And then we played some music. I recall that Ze, Cacha and I were dancing on the ledge of the house while the upbeat music is being played.  We danced as if we had our own club and we were oblivious to the people down below. We just wanted to have fun. I can’t recall the reason why Chico was not with us. I think he probably gave his mom a massage.

The flat has big living room

Anyway the dance was quite fun and if not for the biting cold and the trek  that awaits the following day we would have continued on until the wee hours of the morning.

That was another quite memorable moment for me of the walk.


  1. Tell us about the rice, please! What was good about it and what were the tips you were given?

  2. Thanks. There are two special things about the way he cooks his rice. 1) He sautés the uncooked rice with garlic first giving it a distintive flavour. 2) The amount of water added is just enough to submerge the rice plus a tablespoon.