When your head is in the right place, your feet will follow.

Energy is a curious thing. I had ridden a continuous wave of motivation up until reaching the Camino’s traditional terminus, Santiago de Compostela. However, the road west, deprived of familiar pilgrim company, sapped my spirit. Thankfully, after rediscovering my reasons for walking, my head and legs re-engaged on Day 33.

Camino de Santiago Diary – Day 33

After a peculiar lapse in energy on Day 32, the Camino’s magic returned as I stepped out into sun-streaked Galacia. With my feet and mind again synced, the speed of the road quickened. Enormous agricultural meadows followed the straightforward route while a battalion of windmills whirled on my peripherals. I covered much of the previous day’s total kilometres before lunch. I didn’t begin the day with a distance in mind, but my feet didn’t feel like stopping.

Windswept walks through Galicia.

The day was fuelled by conversations with new faces willing to share fresh stories and perspectives. Curiously, I met more Germans on the road to Olveiroa than on the previous 800+ kilometres of the trail. These encounters allowed me to test my Year 10 level Deutsch and provide them eye-rolling practice at my expense.

The tiny village of Olveiroa (population well under 200) offered little in the way of provisions but, as always, supplied enough options to sustain a humble pilgrim. We located a small stone barn with bunk beds, and an even smaller grocer with budget-appropriate spaghetti; our penultimate night on the Camino was set.

The popularity of the Camino of Santiago has helped this region regain its splendour, while also maintaining its ancient granaries.
vivecamino.com

Bundling our belongings into the makeshift Albergue, I noticed the remnants of its previous life sprinkled around the room. Fragments of hay, blots of half-wiped mud and a couple dozen disorientated black beetles heightened the decor. I immediately checked my bunk for unwanted bedfellows. 33 nights had passed without bed bugs; I certainly wasn’t going to catch them now.

After our final pilgrim dinner in the equally ad hoc kitchen, we arrived back at our barnyard bunks to discover 40,000 flies had accompanied the faint smell of cow manure. I knew this would not be my most enjoyable sleep on the Camino, but it didn’t matter; the end of the world and the end of the walk awaited me on Day 34.

All the details.

Trail distance covered

33.4km

Accommodation

Albergue de Peregrinos

Price

€8

Terrain

With almost 900m of elevation gain en route to Olveiro, you’ll sleep well that night (despite the flies).