Camino del Norte: Day 25, Arzua to Arca

This time tomorrow we will be in Santiago! I can’t believe that we are already to the end. Though this has been a challenging experience, it is still bittersweet to know that it will soon be over. We are just a little under 20 kilometers to the cathedral in Santiago. Tomorrow we are waking up a little earlier than usual because we want to get there early enough for the noon pilgrim mass, as well as have time to get our bearings. Apparently if you get there early enough, they’ll be able to include you in the tally for the mass and say where you started (Irun).

Today we were again in no rush when we woke up. We had lots of time to make it to our next city and the Albergue didn’t open til 13:00. So, we leisurely got our things together and then headed to the place we got churros yesterday to see if they’d be just as good in the morning. They were. They might’ve been even better because they had just opened when we order the chocolate and churros. Every time we eat churros con chocolate, I burn my tongue trying to quickly shovel all the hot chocolate in my mouth before Scott eats it all.

Once we started on our way there were people EVERYWHERE. People from all over the world, with all different gear, speaking all different languages, everywhere! It was also kind of silly but every 3-5 kilometers there was a café and a place to sit down and fill up your water bottle. Something that we had not really been accustom to on the Norte because everything is a little less developed. It was weird to see so much infrastructure.

The walk was easy for the most part and it was mostly by a highway, nothing too grand to see. Scott even said that he felt like he hadn’t even walked today… I wasn’t quite on that level, we still put in 12 miles. Maybe he’s just in good shape now?

After we checked into the Albergue about 50 high school kids checked in as well. I think they are on some sort of school trip or maybe for their church. I have a feeling that we won’t be getting much sleep tonight. They are LOUD. But at least they are having a good time. I think it’s pretty cool that a big group of teens is doing something like this, even if it is just 100km.

Most of the afternoon we just relaxed in the Albergue. Scott went and got some snacks at the store and we munched and chatted. Of course, we watched some shows and then decided it was time for dinner (we ate out again YAY!) On our way to dinner we stopped to get some things for our families at a little gift shop that had Camino memorabilia.

The street that we are staying on is lined with restaurants and bars, all boasting a pilgrim menu. So, we took our time wandering looking at each menu, checking out other people’s food, and comparing prices. We picked a place that looked pretty hip and new with good Google reviews (Google always knows best). It turned out to be a lot fresher of food than we had been eating, but a little more expensive. It was overall good, veggie lasagna, soup, pork bits, bread, wine, and cheesecake, you can’t complain too much at that!

We are enjoying the calm before the storm in our Albergue. Currently all 50 high schoolers are out to dinner, so we are taking in the quiet. It is supposed to rain all day tomorrow (of course) when we arrive to Santiago, but we have heard that the celebration is all the same regardless of weather. Honestly, I can’t wait to get there!

Today’s Stats:
Number of km: 19.3km
Percent paved trail- 19.3km
Percent unpaved trail- 0km
Difficulty- Easy
Cities passed through: Burres, A Calzada, A Calle, Salceda, Brea, O Empalme, Santa Irene, Arua
Albergue- Xunta, pillows, full kitchen, washer and dryer, outdoor space, clothes lines, hot showers, and wifi

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