Today was hot. I think they said the high was 150 and the country was catching on fire.
Or it could have been a high of 99°F, which is too hot for me to be walking across mountains and vineyards and dry dusty paths with a heavy pack on my back.
Our day started out alright, being that we started walking before the sun was properly up and in the sky. We were all rather sore from the climb down the mountain so our spirits weren’t the best, but we were still walking and forging onwards.
We came to Ponferrada in good time, but I must admit I wasn’t too impressed with the city. It did have a castle, which was really really cool to see up close and personal. It’s my first proper castle – acheivement unlocked!
Sadly we were too early for the castle to be open for tours, but I was happy just being able to walk by and see it first hand.
We didn’t stick around the city too long, both because we still had a long ways to go and because we knew it was supposed to get very hot and stay hot.
And boy were they right. When the sun was up the heat kicked in something fierce. Rebecca is a desert queen and thrives on heat, but I am from the cold northlands and start to melt pretty quickly in the heat. It was not a great day for me.
We ended up taking a two hour lunch break and I still felt like I was melting. We had a mere 5km to go, so I geared up and followed my party onwards. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty miserable.
The last stretch would have been a beautiful hike with gorgeous vistas if it were maybe 10 degrees cooler. As it was I was shuffling along cursing the grape vineyards for not producing any shade. And okay, I was also shuffling along and being amazed at the views occasionally.
When we finally came to some shade I put my pack down and told the others to leave me behind, this was my home now. I will sit on this bench in the shade and wave to the other pilgrims.
Rebecca ignored my theatrics and suggested I cool my bandana in the nearby stream, which I immediately did.
It was another hike in more heat from there, but I did eventually make it to the city of Cacabelos, where I am now.
It was not the best of days, and sadly tomorrow is not supposed to be any cooler. But the heatwave should break Tuesday night I think was the latest forecast. So there is hope! I just keep telling myself that I walked across the Mojave, I can handle Spain in July.
When you get right down to it, there’s nothing to do about it but keep trekking onwards to Santiago. Which is exactly what we’ll do in the morning.