The next morning we took our bags over to the dining room for breakfast. I could barely hold back my emotions as I watched the peregrinos who had stayed for the night prepare themselves for their next stage and the others who were using the albergue as a breakfast stop.
The activity was swamping me. I felt they were all looking at me with a mixture of pity and ridicule – obviously neither of these things was true but at that moment I was a wreck again. The tears were beginning to run down my cheeks. AM could sense this and tried to comfort me. I needed an angel now, more than any time. I even asked for one. Don’t know who I asked – I’m a non-believer, but I asked.
Through my tears I could see a little kitten – looked exactly like our little cat, Lilly – at my feet. It was scrounging for food. It simply jumped up in front of me on the long table and looked at me. This sounds ridiculous I know but it looked AT me. In that instant I changed my mind. I asked AM if she thought we could still get the bags sent on. She told me to ask the hostelier. He said we could and in a matter of seconds I had my kilt unpacked and put on outside while people were having their breakfast. Rucksack labelled, AM ready to go and we were off. My foot didn’t matter or even hurt.
I will call this kitten my fourth angel. I don’t care what you think, it was this kitten that got me up, wiped my tears, made me smile and set me on the road again, I don’t know why.
AM, as is her way, stood by me again. I had just switched from an emotional wreck to a peregrino again and she just went along with me. What a woman.
Melide was the first main town that we would hit that morning, 11 km. I never felt a twinge in my toe. We stopped for a C&L and a coffee but there was nothing we fancied to eat, we weren’t even hungry – let’s walk on. A further 6 km later and it was time to eat.
We stopped at a little café and sat in the garden. We had the biggest Tuna bocadillo between us washed down with more C&L and coffee. Some of the schoolkids had already made it there – very noisy bunch. As we sat eating more schoolkids arrived. One was carrying a wooden cross bedecked with coloured ribbons. Not sure what it meant though.
We ate and then moved on towards Ribadiso de Baixo, a small village straddling a river. As AM and I arrived on the top of the bridge all the young boys and girls who were swimming in the river began cheering us. “Bravo peregrinos.” It was very welcoming after the long walk. “Brava the Lady.” I felt obliged to give them a twirl of my kilt which raised a cheer again.
We met the Canadians we had met on day one with AM and we checked into our albergue before returning for some food and liquid refreshment.
We met a wonderful Scottish/Canadian guy who had obviously been using some special herbal remedies for his blisters. Mid-sentence he broke off his train of thought to say “Oh look! A Cat” only to return without hesitation to the original. The slightest thing can distract you I believe.
We’ve crossed the river.