Day 46 and this dozy pilgrim walked straight through Dozon and out the other side! Let me recall how this could possibly happen – I mean I actually read the street sign that stated in b&w “Dozon” but I was going by what my smart phone was saying and I walked on!
Now a few things are wrong with this because mainly, my feet were ready to stop! My eyes were saying “Here t’is!” but my brain was disagreeing with the circumstantial evidence. Philosophical question: When is Dozon NOT Dozon?
To begin at the beguine.
I got up at Sparrow’s Fart in Cea, which for me was around 8pm and I was out on the road by 9am.
I hit the road out of Cea – truly a quiet little pueblo….
and I was within spitting distance of Santiago de Compostela AT LAST!!!!!!
(I forgot to say that in Ourense I changed over from my Skechers boots to the second pair of shoes I had which were Ultra-lites. No more sore balls of the feet at least until the late afternoon, if still walking. They were great shoes and fortunately the weather stayed glorious and sunny. Just right.)
I’d strongly recommend September and October for doing this particular route.
It was the 19th of October and I’d spent the previous night deciding I’d kip in Dozon. Anyway – hold that thought.
I found the neatest stockpile of firewood in the whole world.
And the road takes you up over the hills to some gorgeous country. I met a big dog just bounding towards me up there. He was friendly but preoccupied. I couldn’t understand his situation but he seemed OK enough. It turns out that the further up and along I walked, I understood that he was looking for his master.
There was a lot of rifle shot happening. Men with guns and those ubiquitous white vans you’ll see a lot of in rural Spain – were they shooting wild pig? Rabbit? Anyway – this lovely lovely dog was perhaps a bit new to the whole thing, although fully grown, and he’d lost his Man. I left him to his sniffings and scoutings, and later I saw the Man up on the ridge with his rifle. If I’d understood, I would have helped the dog more clearly to go in the direction of his Life’s companion. But alas, I didn’t get it until it was too late.
Up there I also remet Gregor who was now joined by his sister and they quickly strode out of sight ahead of me. Even though I was now superfit and super slim (size 14 down from 20-ish) I was still “the slowest pilgrim in the village”.
Now, here’s where it gets “Dozy”. I had been using my smart phone more and more as the months had gone by. It kept me linked to FaceBook and I was using a local Spanish sim card so it wasn’t too financially catastrophic. And I’d been using a Via de la Plata app which meant I was relying on technology for a lot of times when my self-trust wasn’t fabbo.
Here’s the thing. If you look at this pic, taken on top of the ridge, you can see a village down below.
Now in Spain, they have sometimes the main name of a village then they’ll have a couple of side villages with the same core name but a different prefix.
I descended into Castro Dozon but my smart phone was insisting I still had 7 or 8 kilometres to go before I reached Dozon proper. What to do? I kept walking!
I saw the sign that read “Castro Dozon” or something and checked in with my smart phone and it still said “Nope! You aint there yet!” Now a veteran walker will know instantly that another 7 or 8 ks is maybe 2 more hours walking or at least 1.5 hours, depending on how shattered you are at the end of your walking day.
So I kept walking west. I walked along the bitumen road waiting for this elusive Dozon, according to my phone.
There was a tavern on the left so I went in there and got a beer. I was knackered which has some of the letters in the word I really felt.
I slowly unwound enough to ask the men there at the bar, where was this hiding Dozon. They pointed behind me. I’d walked through it and kept going for another hour or two. Bugger!
Here’s the really amusing part, for me. After the swearing, of course.
The men arranged a taxi to take me to Lalin which wasn’t even on my route. They said it would drop me at a hostal there BUT that I must catch a taxi back to this tavern the following morning so that I could resume my walk from this exact spot!
They were adamant that I return to the scene of the crime (of being a twit) so that no cheating was involved. This is how stringent that 100 ks from Ourense is for that genuine certificate, should you want it.
I did as instructed. The taxi eventually arrived after another beer or two with the friendly Spanish men. I piled in and he took me to Lalin and the hostal. By that stage, I was so knackered and bamboozled by my phone and my extra hours of walking, that I turned up in the dining room still all walky and sweaty. And you should have seen the expression of the innkeeper. He truly did “aghast” to perfection. (Pilgrims have no idea of how they smell. I had no idea. And by that time, after nearly 50 days out on the Camino, I didn’t care.)
He served me and I ate a wonderful meal and then finally took my Pig-pen self up to my room to bathe, do laundry, read. sleep. Presumably, he sprayed deodoriser in the dining room.
It was then I realised what had happened with the smart phone. I hadn’t turned it off for it to recalibrate between etaps. If I’d turned it off in Cea and fired it back up in the morning, it would have been able to tell me accurately where I was. I know that that was the problem but I can’t explain it accurately.
I had actually been in Dozon, as my eyes had told me. But because the phone said it was another 7 ks to go, I trusted hi tec instead of my organic self. Oh well. Live and learn.
For the rest of the night, I read my Clint Eastwood book, watched Spanish TV and slept not badly at all. I’d arranged for today’s taxi to pick me up in the morning and drive me all the way back to the tavern of beers and friendly helpful local men and start my new adventure. And I turned my phone off!