We return to Mathilde’s bar for breakfast. It is cold and rainy again, but we must press on.
It’s 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and we’ve now seen three days of rain. Again, we sing to ward off the rain, but Dorcinda and Brenda do most of the singing, including “The sun will come out, tomorrow,” and “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” All donativo! Dorcinda jokes.
We walk separately for a while, and for once, I race ahead of Dorcinda and Brenda on a downhill route. I’ve got my headphones in and let the music push my pace.
Near Fonfria, about halfway through the day’s itinerary, I stop at a gnarled old tree that has a sign with tourist information. The tree, a chestnut, is 800 years old, making it as old as Santiago’s Cathedral and almost as old as the pilgrimage tradition itself. There’s a bit of information about chestnuts being an important part of Castanyeda or Magosto celebrations for All Saints Day. I wait for Dorcinda and Brenda to catch up, so we can pose for a picture hugging the tree together. Dorcinda and Brenda ask what song was playing when I picked up my pace and took off, but I don’t tell them.
We continue to pass the time by reading poems from the free “world poetry” app we downloaded along the way, and Dorcinda finds some good ones. What the Hyena Said by Lindsay, Vachel.
We try to revive the dumb riddle game with Brenda, and I come up with a hit: what Spanish food, is a mermaid with no friends? Mer-loser! Brenda is endlessly entertained.
At dinner in Triacastela, I take a chance on Callos a la Gallega as a starter, but it’s gross. It’s fatty greasy stew with random pork bits thrown in. The waiter notices that I barely touch it, and he takes pity on me without any request, bringing me the more wholesome Caldo Gallego as a replacement free of charge.