Although the length of this segment was less than 20 miles, we agreed that it was the hardest of our camino. The highest and steepest climb was up a mountain from which the picture below was taken. Vigo stretched out before us. About an hour and a half before, we had hiked up the hill in the distance. Towards the end, we had to deal with long grades as we neared Arcade where our hotel was located. I photographed Laird coming down one of the steeper grades to give you a sense of the challenges of the day. What goes up eventually comes down. It was hard on the knees.
Every walk produces surprises. As we walked up the wooded hill in the background of the Vigo Vista, we heard loud cheering from a stadium above. Curious, we stopped and watched a match of youth league futbol. The fellows with the masks were standing by for their game to start. Games go on all day because of the number of teams in the league.
As we plowed on, we met John Jimenez, a young professional cyclist from Costa Rica. Note his right arm that is in a sling. A month ago, he crashed during a race. He broke his collarbone; he showed us the staples that closed the wound. Ouch. He’ll be back in the saddle next month. His dream is to ride in the Tour de France. Perhaps we will see on a broadcast in July.
While making the descent from the mountain, we came across Kim and Duc from Germany. Kim is an internal medicine physician and Duc is a software engineer. They had made it to this point from Porto in six days whereas it took us ten. They were carrying full packs! We were not being competitive in making this comparison. Kim is 28 and Duc, 32. Our age differences brought home the point of youthful bodies. Both of them also had wonderful spirits to explore and experience the world. We wished them well when we met them later dining at our hotel restaurant. The Invisible Hand?
As arduous as this walk was, meeting these young people reinforced our belief that no matter how bad the news may be, these young people are following their dreams and in their different ways are contributing to the commonweal. We are in good hands.
Tomorrow, breakfast starts at nine because it is Sunday. Our walk is about 9 miles. Another welcome respite for weary bodies with high spirits.