Camino Finisterre Day 12: Flamin’ Rain In Spain – Again!

Monday 13 May 2024 – We looked out of our Mazaricos hotel window this morning to a drearily familiar scene.

In a moment of madness which we’ll surely regret, we decided we would brave the conditions, despite the track record of this kind of weather in this area. After all, the last time we came here, we were forced into a taxi by weather that was the subject of a Yellow Alert for rain. No such alert was in place today, so surely it wouldn’t be that bad? Anyway, I’d be wearing special waterproof socks, so at least I should be OK, surely? [Hah! What about me? Ed]

As you’ll remember from your reading of my description of how we got here way back on Day 2, the Mazaricos hotel, Casa Jurjo (#3 below), is quite some way off the official Camino path, and it has a deal for peregrinos whereby it will collect them from, or deliver them to, the Camino (at #2) as part of an overnight stay.

On the way out, we’d only managed from #1 to #1a before getting waterlogged. Today, the idea was to walk all the way from #2 to #1, even though we knew it would rain.

Accordingly, after breakfast, a lad called Jorje dropped us off outside #2 (a bar called Casa Pepe), and we started along the Camino towards Negreira.

At first it was raining, but OK. We walked through the village of As Maroñas

and out into the countryside.

As we went, there was the usual fairly attenuated flow of peregrinos coming in the opposite direction, and rueful smiles were the order of the day accompanying the “Buen Camino” greetings (through increasingly gritted teeth) as we passed each other.

In the distance in the photo above, you can just made out a digger by the roadside.  Its job was clearly to maintain the roadside drains that were obviously well-needed with so much flamin’ rain falling from the sky.

We pressed on,

and the rain pressed down. It was also bloody windy, which made things a lot more unpleasant. As I said, there wasn’t a Yellow Alert for Rain in force, but there might just as well have been, as I’m buggered if I could distinguish between the user experience today and that of ten days ago.  We simply got wetter and wetter, and our resolve to continue walking fell lower and lower…

…until we passed #1a (Casa Vella) again

at which point we decided, exactly as before, that Enough Was Enough. The claims to waterprooficity of my vaunted waterproof socks turned out to be overblown and my feet were as sodden as the rest of us.  We called in again

and the delightful señora there once again made us coffee and whistled up a taxi for us.

This means that we have completed the Negreira – Mazaricos stage of this Camino, albeit not in one go and, indeed, not even in one direction. This leaves unwalked the 13km from #2 to #4, which is a shame. But this Camino hasn’t been about proving we can do mileage, which the Camino Francés was, partly, and did.  This was supposed to be enjoyable and having to walk in the pissing rain is not that.

A small vignette played out whilst we had coffee at Casa Vella, as a couple of other people were there, one of whom was evidently (a) English and (b) slightly embarrassed to have no euro cash with him in order to complete paying his dues.  He asked if we could spare €20, which he would send us online.  While I suspect he was legit, I was reluctant to start handing out bank details to a complete stranger in The Foreign, even if he was an English Gentleman.  As it turned out he had sterling cash (does this make him more of a gentleman or less, these days?), and so I gained a bit on the deal – he gave me £20 and I gave him my last €20 note, retaining the €50 I judged would be needed for the taxi.  We never caught his name, but he was a pleasant chap, despite the fact that he runs a podcast, and hails from Newcastle, not that you could tell from his accent.

Anyway, the taxi was warm and, importantly, dry and ferried us swiftly and cheaply (for just €15) to our hotel, the Hotel Millan in Negreira.  We were supposed originally to have returned to the Mesquita, but there had apparently been a cock-up and so we were in a different place for tonight.  Luckily, our room was available for us to move straight into, and so we dripped our way upstairs and started the process of drying ourselves out.  We have a lovely view over the hotel’s pool

but it’s not really the weather for a swim, somehow.

The hotel offered a lunch, which was decent enough and very good V for M. Afterwards, we hopped across the road to buy some newspapers, which are almost as good at telling one the news as tablets are, but infinitely better at sopping up moisture from the inside of sopping wet shoes.

The rest of the day was spent drying out, both by us and the weather, which was dry by the evening. According to Accuweather, we should expect a couple of showers tomorrow, but, assuming that our various tactics for wringing the moisture out of our gear work, it looks like we should be able to walk the remaining leg.  We’ll take another look at the weather tomorrow morning, obvs.

Lunch had been an opportunity for us to discuss our philosophical approach to completing this Camino. It would, of course, be infinitely more satisfying to arrive into Santiago on foot than to skulk in by taxi. But the course of the last couple of weeks has taught us a lot about the limitations of our waterproofs (fairly considerable) and our courage (easily swayed by the lure of practicalities and comfort). So we’ll see.  And so will you, should you come back to these pages to find out.


2 thoughts on “Camino Finisterre Day 12: Flamin’ Rain In Spain – Again!

  1. Karin Wennås

    Haha, “despite the fact that he runs a podcast” 🙂 No judgment there!
    My last two days into Santiago was VERY wet. I put plastic bags between my socks and my shoes, and I used a hairdryer to try to dry the shoes the very last night. Otherwise I was lucky with the weather, which is not one can say about this camino you’re walking. I feel so sorry for you. But try to walk tomorrow, I think you’ll regret it otherwise (ok, I think so, I don’t know of course) Ultreia!

    1. Steve Walker Post author

      The plastic bag idea is one we’ll remember for future use – thanks. The hotel we were in last night was very poor and had no hairdryer, so we used newspaper and radiators, which did the trick.


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