Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Day 43: Another Dull Day on the Trail

Oct 29: I woke up and hit the trail at a respectable 9:00 in the morning. It was another beautiful albeit warm morning.

The trail was uneventful. It went up hills, then down the other side. It curved left, then curved right, then went straight and curved some more.

Another beautiful sunrise!
I chatted with several pilgrims today at cafes and walked with them for a bit along the trail. Josie was a Canadian and planned to be in Europe for several months. One thing led to another, and I soon realized that Josie thought that she was allowed to be in each country in Europe for up to 90 days without a visa. “No….” I told her. “That 90-day limit applies to pretty much all of Europe.”

And she admitted that maybe she had misunderstood the rules. It made sense, though, since there were no passport checks between countries. How would they know she was in Spain for 90 days when there’s nothing in her passport showing when she crossed the border from France into Spain. She’d have to double check that, though.

(As a side note, on the trail from Santiago to Finisterre, most of the people I met had just arrived after completing the Camino Frances, so they had walked from France to this location. I was only a small minority of people who had walked in from Portugal. It also meant that I knew pretty much nobody from my earlier walking and everyone I met was a new face.)

“You could stay longer than 90 days,” I told her. “Unless you’re stopped and checked by a random police officer or something, I’m not sure how they’d catch you. Where they’ll catch you is when you try to leave the European Union and see that you’ve been here for more than 90 days.”

I didn’t know what the penalties were if someone overstayed the limit. It seems counter-intuitive to throw you in jail. “You’ve been in the country too long, so we’re going to lock you up so now you can’t leave!” Seems more logical that they’d let you fly home but ban future visits. In any case, I certainly don’t want to find out what the penalties were, and Josie probably wouldn’t either!

But she said if that were the case, she’d just fly to Ireland for a few days then return.

I shook my head. “I don’t think that will work. Once you’ve used your 90 days, you can’t come back for another 90 days. And anyhow, I think Ireland is part of the agreement that limits stays in the Europe to 90 days. You’d have to fly to Africa or Russia or something and then not return for 90 days.”

She didn’t much like that response, which is understandable. If I was correct, it was going to put a severe dent in her travel plans. She wasn’t mad at me—I was just the messenger—but not happy that her travel plans might have been derailed by my news.

“But,” I said, “I’m American. Maybe the rules are different for Canadians.” I doubted it, but it wasn’t implausible either. “But in any case, it might be a good idea to look into that.”

I stopped in Logoso for the night. Initially, I planned to stay at a hostel another 1 kilometer up the trail, but I was told that that hostel was located about 1 kilometer off the trail so it actually wouldn’t get me any closer to the finish line. So why bother? The next hostel was quite a ways off and I’d have no hope of reaching it before sunset, so Logoso was my stopping point.

And tonight, I was told, the time would change. We would gain one hour due to the time change. Sunrise would be near 8:00 now, so hopefully that meant I would never be kicked out of a hostel before sunrise again. =) It did seem unfair that I had to suffer through a time change, then fly back to the United States just in time to suffer another time change because the time wouldn’t change there for another week or two. Totally unfair…. *nodding*

My home for the night! =) It doesn't look very big, but there's an alburgue hidden behind (and under) the restaurant.


Karolina said...

Ahhh.... Some of these sights look familiar! :-)))

Ryan said...

You stayed at that same alburgue! That's where we parted ways until we met in Fisterra a couple of days later! =)

-- Ryan