Day 34 and 2 days to Santiago. A day of churches and bridges.

Our time is drawing to a close as we will be in Santiago on Monday. I’m sure both Ed and I will have some reflections on the Camino as a whole once we get to Santiago or once we are home but at the moment I’m feeling a sense of loss for what is coming to an end. This has been the longest walking meditation I have ever done and I have been keenly aware of every footstep. Some have been light and filled with energy and some were just ordinary everyday steps and some were heavy with exhaustion and the pain of arthritis. But none were as painful as what Ed suffered until we finally ditched his original boots and bought him new ones. But I am getting ahead of myself for the end had not yet come.

Today was the longest walk of the Camino at just over 27 1/2 kilometers. Most of the day was slightly overcast which while not the best for scenic viewing did keep the sun from beating down on us. And if there are 2 things we have learned along the way,  they are don’t trust mileage signs or elevation charts. When you see a sign that says 3Km to the next village,  you don’t know if it was measured by GPS “as the crowd flies”, or along the pilgrim paths or via the road. Those three can vary wildly! And elevation charts aren’t much better. Today’s charts showed some minor ups and downs and so none of us was prepared for a couple of really stressful ascents. However all that said, it was a beautiful walk today going through some beautiful small hamlets with some wonderful old churches (all locked 😣) and several wonderful medieval bridges.

Church of San Xulian in the village of San Xulian do Camino.

This next church was a real surprise. It is the church of Santa Maria (as are half of the churches in Spain) dating from the 13th century, and what is quite remarkable is the carving of the Virgin and Child in the tympanum over the door. It is really rare for such a tiny village church to have such a carving.

I have also fallen in love with all of the wonderful medieval stone bridges that we have crossed and even though they all begin to look alike, I can’t help myself from photographing them.

As we approached the Magdalena Bridge a young German pilgrim asked if we would like a picture taken of both of us together. We gladly accepted his offer.

The combination of purple and yellow was too much to pass by without a picture.

This is the second bridge of the day, the Ponte Velha, crossing the river Furelos into the village of the same name.

And finally the bridge crossing the river Iso into the village of Ribadiso where we will spend the night.

Ribadiso consists of about 6 buildings.

Our albergue, Los Caminantes.

The small cottage where our beds are located.