The plan was to get up late, take our time, get to Arca (Pedrouzo on some maps) for a late lunch about 2, and then kill about 5 hours waiting for the 7 o'clock mass. We'd then walk another hour (still light) to the crossroads of Amenal and its lone hotel. This would leave us about four hours of walking into Santiago tomorrow and guarantee we'd have plenty of time to make the noon mass and hopefully see the Botafumiero - the gigantic swinging incense burner.
|Arca Mass - note scallop behind altar|
Not sure how the second part of the plan will turn out but the killing time has not really been an issue so far - very leisurely lunch ended about 3:45. We walked across town to the fancy hotel and sat down in the garden for an ice cream. A crossword and a memory reconstruction later (we are trying to remember the first half of our trip), and it's almost 6 o'clock. Despite our slightly disheveled pilgrim look, the staff here doesn't seem to be shooing us away so we may stay until just before mass. (We did also order a coffee after an hour).
The walking weather this morning was incredibly pleasant - we left late enough to avoid the rain that many other poncho laden pilgrims did not. Because we had a reservation at the end of the day and I knew we'd just be killing time after lunch, I settled into a pleasant stroll and the mantra that "we'd get there when we get there" (until about the last 2 km). I met a nice Spanish family during first breakfast (while Janine was still getting ready) and we had a nice chat with a Colombian on the road. The crowds are slightly annoying to Janine as all the noise is invading her psychic space. I'm trying to view them as part of a giant river heading towards Santiago - If I pick up my feet, they'd carry me on in.
I do believe León to Sarria may be the best part of this walk if ones time was limited - If someone didn't care about the Campostela, I'd say skip the last 5 days. Perhaps the first time you do it, the extra excitement that builds overcomes the crowds and the commercialism. But the towns and the scenery seem a little less interesting during the last 100k. Granted I've seen over 500k of scenery so far - I'm a bit jaded.
Post-script: whole plan worked pretty well until they gave away our room despite us calling and saying to NOT give away our room. Ten minutes later, room magically appeared. Another Camino miracle.
Post script 2 cause it's still cracking me up.
Quietest food in mass: Potato chips in a foil bag. Better idea: give to a 5 year old. Think I can do at least a three minute bit on this.
Our father...crinkle crinkle...heaven.... crunch crunch ... Thy name ... Crinkle crinkle crunch crunch ... Kingdom come ... Plastic toy drops on floor... Be done