Day 19: Camino del Norte

Mileage: 27.3
Total distance: 409.4

  • Leaving the ocean. 

Tonight I am sleeping in Mondoñedo behind a cemetery in the center of town. There is a wonderful light wind coming off the mountains behind me and a few people still out and about wandering around in pairs under the glow of the street lights. A number of birds are sporadically flapping around and a very very quiet noise can be heard somewhere in the heart of the city that I believe is a live recording or karaoke version of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”. It’s a very peaceful evening. 

  • Entering Mondoñedo. 

I woke up around 6 this morning and walked outside to watch the waves crash around for one last time before heading inland. I stretched for a while and ran my fingers through the frigid ocean to say goodbye. Around 7 I was off. 

The trail to Ribadero was mostly flat and smooth and was over in no time. I crossed a huge bridge that towered over the ocean and my path was on two feet wide with a sketchy fence to keep me from falling off. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad to most people, but it freaked me out a little. 

  • R.I.P. longboard. 

On leaving Ribadero the trail goes right into the hills with a five kilometer hike uphill before any sign of leveling out. I didn’t see a soul for hours and I loved it. The clouds hung overhead for the majority of the day giving the world a grey and nostalgic feel that settled me right into a stable hiking pace and a calm mind. I love weather like that. It stayed around 70 all day and anytime I felt hot, a breeze seemed to come upon me. And I got to see a kite today. 

  • Trail today was a mix of dirt road and pavement winding through dense Eucalyptus forests doused with fern plants giving it a very heavy jungle vibe.

There were so many downhills I fantasized about rolling down, but found myself letting it go and accepting the joy to be found in where I was and what I was truly experiencing. Today felt really good and solid. I felt focused and healthy and I didn’t strain myself to get where I hoped to get. Anytime I felt my body needing water or food or rest or stretching I listened and gave it what it needed and that felt really new to me. Usually I push and push myself to extremes and pay for it later so a day like today is nice to experience and know I can replicate whenever I want. 

I only have three days left on the Camino and it is very bittersweet. I’m excited to move onto something else and push myself in different ways, but I am going to miss the character of this trail and the power of it’s influence in my life. I am very happy to be in the mountains and away from busy streets and city noise. As I was walking today I looked down this huge hill I was on and saw a small little village way below and felt like a coyote or a cougar wandering the woods and tromping through the forest. It feels good to feel like an animal again. 

  • This is a good representation of what the day was like. Lots of rolling, green hills and scattered villages. 

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