The worse part of the walking day is right at the very start. Getting ready to leave is fine, packing your bag, getting everything sorted and in position and setting out. Psychologically and physically it takes a little while to get into a rhythm and then it just becomes what is you are doing. What makes it worse it that when leaving a town inevitably there is a steep uphill climb involved so that it is really hard work. Peregrinos tend to leave early so that they are not walking in the heat of the day and aim to arrive at 1ish at their destination to grab a bed at the albergue as they tend to fill early. It is usually dark and especially if you are walking through areas where there are no street lights you need head torches. On the french way there are many more people and on early mornings it looks like a load of miners going to work in the mine as there are dozens of people ahead of you with lights shing in all directions!
This clip is of an early morning on our way out of Pontedueme. We were walking uphill in the dark along a residential road where every house had a dog and every dog barked furiously at us. It was miserable.
It was also hard to find your way in the dark as you couldn't easily follow the written instructions and could not see waymarks and yellow arrows either. We got lost lost several times.
Me and Angela had our Blair Witch moment on the first night when the sun went down like a light being switched off and we were in the middle of a forest. We had told Martin to go ahead and we thought we were very near the Albergue. We panicked a bit, Angela kept running ahead and then stopping to let me catch up which was futile really. We were worried about Martin who wasn't in phone contact, was he ok?
We went onto a main road and called out to a man in the house with the intention of getting a cab to the albergue. In broken Spanish I was hoping that I was saying something like "Hiya, we are trying to get to Neda to the Albergue but we're a bit lost and we are a bit worried about continuing in the dark through forest where there are no street light. Would you mind awfully calling us a cab?" What I said was "somos peregrinos. Tenemos miedo! En el bosque, no luces!" Roughly translated this means "We are pilgrims. We are scared! There are no lights in the forest!" I think he got the message because of the wild look in our eyes and so he walked us back down the road where we came from and along the road telling us to cross the bridge via the main road where there are street lights and it was only 10 minutes.
Fantastic! we walked along, picked up Martin who was getting really worried and went to the bridge only to find that we couldn't get onto the road. We had done something wrong. So we had to go via the original route through the forest in the dark right the way around the lake which took 2 hours! But we had Martin with us so we were safe!