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Day 3: Eirexe to Coto. 15.1 miles.

First, I think it’s only fair to point out that our daily mileage count comes from Kent’s pedometer (and if you know Kent, you know it’s been accurately calculated to the nth degree). As such, our mileage includes the “extra” meandering we do at various points, like ducking into a shop, or checking out a cemetery, or the exploration we do when we reach our final destination for the day. But honestly, our “meandering” and “exploration” is fairly limited, given that we’re muy cansada* (very tired) by the end of the day.

Cool doors, right? They were locked.

Anyway, on Tuesday, because we were feeling cocky about our legs/feet holding up fairly well, we opted to take the suggested detour (4.6km) to check out a Romanesque church with incredible frescos. Originally a monastery for nuns, several prominent knights of the Order of Santiago are buried in the church.

Or that’s the rumor, anyway. We have no idea because the doors were locked and there wasn’t a single soul anywhere. We did, however, see three dogs. They barked at us, and one of them was pretty pissed off when I stopped to smell and then take a photo of some lilacs growing across the street from his yard. All three seemed pretty harmless…until we turned around and began the trek back to the Camino. Los perros were clearly fed up with us at that point. Hadn’t they let us know we weren’t welcome there in the first place? Channeling Mandy, my dog-whisperer friend, I ignored their complaints and walked confidently forward, shoulders back and head held high, as they came bounding across the road. Kent, however, has never had a Mandy lesson, or binge-watched episodes of dog/people trainer Cesar Millan like I have. My husband grabbed my arm (I may still have a bruise), freaking out a little as the dogs nipped at his heels. I kept walking, urging Kent to simply ignore them. Finally, he figured it out, and the dogs returned to their yard.

Pretty, although not so much when you’re being chased by a dog.

If you think that was the end of our Tuesday Camino adventure, you’d be wrong. After the dogs, we continued our in-depth discussion—it was Kent’s day to offer up questions for our mutual consideration. We were so deep into our conversation that instead of returning to the Camino, we made a wrong turn. Worse, we didn’t figure it out until we were quite some distance from the path. To make matters worse, we going in the absolute wrong direction. Okay, “we” didn’t figure it out. I had been pontificating about some very critical and important point when Kent suddenly stopped, turned to me and said, “Why haven’t we seen a yellow arrow or another pilgrim for awhile?”

Why indeed?

What amazes me is how well we handled each setback. We didn’t turn on each other (to be honest, in the past, that hasn’t been unusual for us) or have a personal meltdown. Okay, Kent was freaked out by the dogs, but I’d already been chased by one of them on the way in, and I had mentioned that, on our way out, we might have a repeat performance. Still, when we were given lemons, we made some pretty damn good lemonade. Perhaps the Camino is offering us some new life skills?

We’ve had mostly sweet experiences as we’ve continued on our journey. I’ll write about them soon. But as we’ve been reminded, even sour experiences can be a gift, or at the very least, an occasion for growth. And we’re reminded again and again that travel, especially international travel, is always fraught with bumps in the road. Which is half the fun, if you’re up for a little adventure now and again.

Anyway, we made our way back to the Camino with a story to tell. Consider it told.    

*a Spanish phrase we learned right away, and have used very often during these past few days.     


  1. I’m so impressed!!!! The dogs would have freaked me out and of course, as you know, they would have swarmed me! Keep trecking.

    • They were the only angry dogs we saw the entire way. Almost all dogs are behind very high fences and/or leashed, unless they’re walking the trail with their owners. The only reason we had an issue was because we went off trail. Another lesson learned—-going off-trail can be fun but be prepared for surprises!

  2. Lessons well learned Perro Padiwan! Calm and Confident wins every time! Woof.

    • We’ve met some great dogs on the trail, too. Including a very hyper cocker spaniel covered in mud and looking like he’d died and gone to doggie heaven!

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