Camino Primitivo, Day 13

Walked from: Pedrouzo

Walked to: Santiago de Compostela

Distance: 19km

When: 24 October 2019

My day started early. After lying in my bunk, unable to sleep as the small room’s two champion snorers duked it out for pole position, I dragged myself out of bed at 5am to catch up on the previous two days blogs. But I wasn’t feeling tired – I had the familiar buzz of energy and anticipation that surges through me on the final day of a long walk.

Daylight arrives late in the northwest of Spain at this time of year; setting off at 7am, our small – but perfectly formed – group walked for the first two hours in the dark on seasonally spooky forest paths. It was raining. We could see bugger all. It should, to be honest, if not eloquent, have been a bit shit. But as I listened to my friends, people I didn’t even know existed at the beginning of this Camino journey, chat (sometimes quickly to one another, sometimes slowly, with the thought that comes into picking words the English woman with crap Spanish might understand) and sing, I walked with the same big smile I’ve had on my face for the past 13 days.

Ten kilometres in we paused for breakfast, the rain falling ever heavier outside, before arriving into Santiago’s old town at noon. Soaked, the five of us (Nilda, Pepe, Esteban and Florentino) who had walked in together were joined for the final kilometre by Sumjio and Thomas, who had arrived in sunshine the day before but braved the rain to join us. I’d met them all for the first time just thirteen days before, when we’d spent the night at the wonderfully hospitable albergue in Villapañada on the first day of my Camino. As the days progressed, we had came together and left each other behind at different points, but they have all come to be special to me, and it was an absolute pleasure to arrive at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in their company. As we reached the main Plaza, Thomas, a lovely German man with a beautiful smile and an excellent line in hugs, who speaks neither English nor Spanish, gleefully produced a bottle of Kas Limon from his pocket – a present for this lemonade-loving hiker. He’d been carrying it around with him for two days, awaiting my arrival. The thought that went into that gesture, the fact that he knew me well enough to do that despite us not being able to talk to one another, summed up the spirit of the Camino for me in one 500ml plastic bottle. My eyes might have been a bit wet. I blame the rain.

A quick visit to the Pilgrim Office to collect our completion certificates (my third one now) was followed by a looooooong, hot shower. And food. And drink. Then later, more drink. It had been an early morning and while I won’t bore you with the details of the party we had, or of my mild hangover the next day, I can assure you it was also a very late (but very fun) night!

This is the third time I’ve walked to Santiago de Compostela, and each has been special, but for me this one has been the most authentically Spanish. I’ve explored beautiful places, had conversations with interesting, different people who have really made me think about the rest of my life and how I want to live it. I’ve eaten a lot of bread and drunk a lot of wine, when I had some foolish idea in my head that I would do neither. And, quite frankly, I have laughed my arse off. Best. Holiday. Ever. Thank you for reading. And Buen Camino.

About silkakt

I love to explore countries on foot or by bicycle. An English woman, I moved to the south of Spain in September 2020 and I have dreams of encouraging more people to discover this amazing country by walking its various Camino routes. To date, I've walked the French Camino from St Jean in France, the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon (interior route, not coastal) and the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. I have also walked a fair few long distance trails in the UK, including all of the National Trails in England and Wales, and a couple of long walks in beautiful Scotland.
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23 Responses to Camino Primitivo, Day 13

  1. Thomas Potas says:


  2. Andrew Taylor says:

    Brilliantly written as always x

  3. Siwan Hayward says:

    Wow silka such epic tales and always told with humour and humanity. You are an inspiration and a marvel. See you back in London Monday eve for some culture x

  4. Thomas says:

    It was a nice Camino and I thank you all who accompanied me. Be it the construction worker on the street, the woman who gave me the umbrella or Bar Mann in Gijón who gave me 2 bottles of water. The friends who accompanied me every day and all those whom I could give a smile because the way gives me a smile every day. Greetings Thomas

  5. Canuck Carl says:

    Thanks for sharing Silka. And congratulations on your third completion certificate. 😀🚶‍♀️

  6. Thomas says:

    Silka , I wish you a happy 2020

  7. Thomas Potas says:

    Dear Silka, I send you a smile and a hug. Yes, and when we see each other again, for our well-being with KAS lemonade.
    Greetings Thomas

    See you all again.

    • silkakt says:

      Thomas / Brian! I hope to see you again this year, to walk together again and drink Kas lemonade. Seven weeks? Cadiz to Santiago, starting 21 September? 🤞

  8. Thomas says:

    Happy Easter, yes I have planned the Via de la Plata for this year or better I still waver. Repeat between Primitivo or Via de la Plata. So far everything is questionable in this world. We will see . Where’s brian brian is in the kitchen. Wishing you all the best . Thomas

  9. Thomas says:

    I would also like to go hiking and drinking lemonade with Silka 🙂

    • silkakt says:

      And I would like to go hiking and drinking lemonade with you. Even though you walk faster than me!!!

      • Thomas says:

        Hi Silka, Brian is in the kitchen at Am Krangener Berg 1 in 29410 Groß Chüden and he is standing there in the kitchen. I am very happy about your message. I have a spark of hope that we see on Via de la Plata, pictures long for the distance. Are you all right ? My email is I talked to Sumjio on the phone last week, it was very funny, I could learn some English with you, you are definitely a good teacher. Greetings Thomas

  10. Thomas says:

    I’ll probably make a quick decision. Long planning is currently not possible. The time is not favorable for that

  11. Thomas says:

    You are not slower and you have a firm step. I’m not worried about that

  12. Haim Yehie says:

    loved reading…..

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