We had decided to start as early as possible on Day 2, after the shock of how hot it got in the afternoon. Still, I refuse to walk in the dark – that way madness and injured ankles lie – so we ended up setting a permanent alarm on our Fitbits for 08.00 every morning. Admittedly getting up, dressed, packed and ready took more time than we had hoped, but it would get better with time and practice, surely. Then out into the new day.
The day carried on like the previous one ended – flat, no shade, the pale sun slowly rising and the temperature with it. Being a fan of Galician lush hills and far reaching views, this felt very unusual. Still the walk was easy enough and with good company the time and kilometres flew by.
An unexpected benefit of starting later than most other pilgrims was that we came past a field just as they were racking and stacking the hay bales into those baffling huge towers. This is how they do it! (Top tip: Cover eyes and nose and breathe through your buff, there is a lot of hay and dust in the air as they slot into place.) Another camino mystery solved.
As we got nearer to Viana, I noticed a couple of pilgrims who walked with Pacerpoles, so of course I stopped and chatted to them about all things PP and to sing their praises. We even jokingly started working on a Pacerpole users’ secret handshake …
When we got to Viana, we did our first bit of basin laundry as the room had a drying line outside the window. The shower was lovely, for once cold water was preferable to hot!
Somewhere just outside Viana my ankle got a knock. It didn’t feel serious but it was sore and we found a nice bar next door to where we stayed, in a parallel street to the main drag which was bustling with pilgrims. I was worried that my ankle would get worse, so was happy to stay there with my foot up rather than run around sightseeing. In fact we quite enjoyed sitting in the shade cooling down in the afternoon heat.
Later we had a meal there with David, who again had arrived in town hours before us. Staying in prebooked rooms meant less contact with other pilgrims, but David stayed in albergues and had noticed some changes in pilgrim behaviour and attitude. We had already noticed there seemed to be more people walking with daypacks, and more luggage waiting to be picked up in the morning. Possibly meaning nothing more than that the number of walkers has increased, or that we were in accommodation that suits the luggage transport customers better. We were happy we were able to carry our own packs and enjoy the freedom and flexibility it gives us. You’ll never wonder where your rain gear or spare socks are if everything is on your back!
The Exos backpack seemed to do its job of keeping the weight of Scouse Spouse’s shoulder and allow him to walk practically pain free, and nothing else hurt (apart from my ankle). So far, so good. Day 3, traditionally called Pain Day, would be a short one, only 10 kms to the city of Logroño. Sadly David would walk through and carry on, so we probably wouldn’t see him again on this camino. We bid him farewell and buen camino as he went back to his albergue to have an early night and an early start the next day.