45 • Ourese II

Yesterday afternoon I packed a bag with shorts, slipslops and went off to the local Roman Baths still in existence in the old part of the town. I enjoyed my visit there four years ago and was determined to repeat the experience. Once again it was wonderful, full of old dears and a few young locals soaking in the water and catching the last of the afternoon sun.

I had a wonderful sleep in, a cup of tea in my room before going to look for a cafe Americano and a tostada and marmalade. The temperatures have dropped drastically overnight, everyone wrapped up in winter jackets, giving a completely different feel to the town from yesterday.

I went looking for KT tape for my shins and eventually found a Spanish equivalent in a pharmacy. By chance I arrived at the beautiful church of San Francisco just as Mass was beginning at midday.

Probably five days before Santiago and already I can feel that mix of sadness and relief, a kind of nostalgia. Rest days are important but they bring with them a pointlessness and frustration at not being back walking, I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow morning, getting back to the road. Fingers crossed for as soon as I cross the Roman bridge out of Ourense there is a sharp climb and the rest of the Camino to Santiago consists of ups and downs. A little parable of life itself I expect.