Elizabeth finds the beauty of the Camino on a rainy day…
The Camino de Santiago is a unique and very special experience in very different ways for every pilgrim, however, even though we plan our pilgrimage with lots of time in advance and prepare ourselves for the walk, there will always be something out of our control: the weather.
According to Galicians, the weather in Galicia is always unpredictable, it doesn’t matter the time of the year you can expect at least one rainy day in your trip even during the hottest month of the summer.
This was the case on our trip along the Camino Portugués, the day we walked from Caldas de Reis to Padrón we had a heavy rain the whole day but that didn’t stop us from walking.
It’s very important to check the weather every day, as around two weeks before the trip we had seen that it would be sunny, however, only one week later the forecast indicated that we would have rain on one of the days. Being honest, I wasn’t prepared at all, so as soon as we arrived in Caldas de Reis, I went to the local shops looking for a raincoat or anything that could help me keep myself as dry as possible during the day.
And the day had come, I was still hoping the rain would last only a few hours or wasn’t very heavy, but it wasn’t like that, the rain started very early in the morning and only stopped a little bit around 6 pm when we were already at our hotel in Padrón.
I wasn’t sure about walking under the rain, even though I was wearing waterproof boots and a large poncho I got the day before, I was sure that I would end up wet. And so I was, only 20 minutes after we had started our journey, however, opposite to what I was expecting, the rain didn’t discourage me at all, it made the day more exciting so with the poncho on and myself en route I continued the walk for the rest of the day.
“The landscapes of the Camino were much more beautiful with the fall of the rain; the green of the grass was brighter and the leaves of the trees in the middle of Autumn showed vibrant orange and reddish colours.”
I have to say this wasn’t an easy day for me, I wear glasses and with the rain it was more complicated for me to see the path wearing them than without wearing them so I had to take them off, which wasn’t too bad in the end. Something that made the walk a bit more difficult was that because of the rain, the path was muddy, so it was very important to mind my steps avoiding falling over. Surprisingly, despite the wind and heavy rain, I wasn’t cold at all, the walk helped me keep a nice temperature, so I was able to enjoy the walk the whole day.
I decided not to stop at any restaurant or coffee shop during the day because I was very scared of getting too comfortable with a hot coffee or a soup and not being able to continue the walk afterwards, so I kept walking all the way to Padrón only eating the fruit and snacks that I had in my back-pack and I’m sure that it was the best thing I could have done.
At times the rain lightened a bit so I could wear my glasses without any problem, this helped me of course, to really admire the landscapes of the Camino that were much more beautiful with the fall of the rain; the green of the grass was brighter and the leaves of the trees in the middle of Autumn showed vibrant orange and reddish colours.
Although I was doing the Camino with three colleagues, I walked this day mostly alone, since each of us were walking at different paces and the fact that I was constantly watching my steps didn’t help me with conversation, however by walking alone for several kilometres focusing on the Camino I could enjoy more the walk, the sound of rain, the smell of wet earth and my thoughts, I could easily say that it has been one of the best talks I have had with myself in a long time.
Throughout the walk, I met many other pilgrims of different ages, including a couple traveling with their baby in the stroller, which made it very clear for me, when you have decided to live this experience, independently of the motivation you have, nothing will stop you, the distance you need to walk during the day, the terrain that awaits you and much less the weather. Obviously we all prefer to have a sunny and pleasant day every day, however, unpredictable things happen and you can always get something good from them.