Raining in Galicia

Biiig croissants

Biiig croissants

image image image image

Palas de Rei to Ribadiso
May 1, 2015
7:40 AM to 2:30 PM
6 hr 55 min for 26.52 km

I ask you, “How is it possible to get a blister on Day 30 when I never had one before this???” I discovered one on the edge of my heel sometime in the night. That and today’s all day rain slowed me down. Margaret went ahead of us throughout the day. We did not have our breaks together today although Margaret waited for us to catch up for our 11 AM break. She was happily finishing a glass of wine when we arrived here at Ribadiso. Margaret was not sure where our albergue was but she intuitively picked the right one to stop at: Los Caminantes.

We spent a long time yesterday trying to find a private room for today, but May 1st is a national holiday in Spain; so, places are booked even for a rainy long weekend. This albergue is nicely done and sits beside a Roman bridge and a good restaurant, on the edge of town. We are in a room with four bunk beds and we share a bath that has two showers and two toilets. The sleeping bags are out again for the first time since the first week. So far only a couple from Seattle are with us. They have been hiking in France two to three weeks a year for the past ten years.

The good thing about today’s weather was that it was warm, 14C; so, not as cold as our last full day of rain. We were walking through forest trails quite a bit; so, that also protected us from the harder downpour. Occasionally the rain became more mist like and for the last kilometre it had pretty much stopped. A good thing because I was about finished myself. The description for today’s walk made us think there would not be any big hills. Not true! The biggest hill was at the end followed by a steep descent. You can guess what awaits us first thing tomorrow.

The forecast calls for rain e dry day until Wednesday. There is supposed to be more rain this weekend than there was in all of April. I will leave it to brother Jim to figure out what they mean when they say we will get forty litres of rain per metre squared. We think it means we will be wet.

Green was the colour of the day. Galicia is very green thanks to all the rain. The brightest colours were pilgrims in pink or red raincoats although we still saw splashes of flowers: wisteria, beauty bush, rhododendron, calla lilies. We saw lemon trees with lemons almost ready for picking. Large Palm trees and giant cacti are happy here. We passed through fifty foot tall eucalyptus forests and through many mixed forests where trees were moss or ivy covered with ferns at their feet.

We passed Manuel and his little brown donkey, Marina, carrying Manuel’s possessions and their friend, Scottie, the dog. They had gone from Bilbao to Santiago and were on their way back to Bilbao. I regret I did not get a good photo of Marina, but I took the photo in haste because of the rain.

In Galicia they put salt and pepper on the table. We have not seen that anywhere in Spain. One day we were offered ketchup for our fries. We think a pilgrim left that behind. We saw one pilgrim with a big bottle of ketchup in one of his water holders.

We just finished our big meal. Brian made a pork sandwich with the piece of pork I could not eat. He has it in his pocket for later. I wrapped up my Santiago cake to share with Margaret when we have mint tea before bed.

We are sitting on the patio catching a few rays of sunshine. Three Spaniards who have three different bottles of liquor on their table are enthusiastically singing a variety of songs very loudly with their rich bass voices.



  1. Based on this link: http://www.fao.org/docrep/r4082e/r4082e05.htm
    10 litres of rain per metre squared = 10 mm of rain, therefore it looks like 40 litres/m squared = 40 mm or about 1.57 inches – so yes, you will likely get wet = it’s a hard rain gonna fall – but not so much as to bring on Noah’s Ark conditions, as per last night’s new episode of Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon and his Mom are debating science vs. religion… Sheldon explains his latest complex theory and his Mom replies: “You can believe that, but God filling an ark with animals two by two is impossible?” Sheldon: “What did they feed the lions, mother?” Mom: “The floating bodies of drowned sinners.” So clearly, however much it rains tomorrow, you well-intentioned pilgrims should be just fine!
    On the other hand: Less than 40 kms to Santiago – but considering the rain forecast, please take it easy / no rush – as, per this Spanish news link from Oct, 2011:

    “The Spanish government normally declares a state of emergency when rain reaches 40 litres per square metre, and this is generally the lower limit at which insurance companies will consider claims for storm damage.”

    So, as OPG likes to warn us here at home, keep alert for possible water surges and, as much as possible, stay well back from the edges of water bodies and try to keep to high ground!

    1. Thanks for the info, Jim. We would not be surprised to hear we are in a state of emergency. Of note, everywhere else in Spain is sunny and hot!

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