Monday, 24 October 2016

Camino Day 13 - woodland tracks to Pedrouzo

Our second last day on our Camino de Santiago journey from León to Santiago de Compostela was smooth and largely uneventful - in a good way.

From our lovely municipal albergue in Ribadiso we went steeply up into the big town of Arzúa (3km into the day) where we stopped for coffee. We meandered on the Camino route through the town, out the old part and back on to the woodland tracks.

The weather today has been glorious with a partly cloudy sky and little wind. In next to no time our jackets were off and by noon we were down to our short-sleeved tee layer.

Defined villages along the way today were few - instead there was an interrupted chain of farms mixed with wide forested tracks.

My recollection of the day feels totally out so I just asked mom and Ashala what they remembered.

"That's a tough one," says Ashala.

The photos on our cameras help to trigger the memories.

I petted two horses this morning. I remember it being this afternoon;  the photos show it was this morning just out of Arzúa. Doh!

We stopped for coffee at A Calzada.

We saw a lot more graffiti by "Julius". He was on this section on 3 September 2016 and seems to have put in a lot of mileage, travelling through the night. One marker had a date and "at night",  another had the time as 02h15. Another at 04h45...

We looked online tonight. I'd like to find the guy. If I found him in person I'd use his permanent marker to draw all over his body. We've seen other comments by peregrinos and one in particular had a great suggestion - he should be brought back here and made to clean every one of the route markers and signs that he has defaced.

We liked Boavista, a hamlet that hardly has a label in the book. We peeked inside an old house and saw a man on a scaffold working on the walls. He has done a great job so far.

"Muy bonita," I said. Very pretty.

"Mucho trabajo," he replied. Lots of work.

We finally got to see the inside of the grain storage 'houses' (hórreo) that we've been seeing for days (see photo below). Mielies (corn cobs). The doors on these were open, probably to let the wind blow through to dry them.

I got hold of some sweet green grapes.

We got some delicious, ripe figs for Ashala. The colour of these (I've found two varieties) are different to what she is used to so she hadn't recognised the ripe ones.

Later on today there were some information boards that highlighted a few of the historic sites. One of these was a fuente (drinking water font). The board said it used to have a statue in it. The statue was dates 1600-something (like 1656) and it was stolen in something like 1998. Stupid people.

We also remembered the little cluster of purple flowers that caught our eyes,  'nests' of mushrooms,  pretty flowers, lots of trees, the scent of eucalyptus trees and a magnificent jasmine variety with the sweetest smelling tiny flowers...

The final section into Pedrouzo seemed to take an age. On the book it was listed at 2.7km from the previous village... it felt like it took an age to get here. But, we were spot on target on my prediction and we were at our municipal albergue by 15h00.

I made two phone calls this evening - both in Spanish. I am no way proficiently conversant but I am getting better at 'getting by'.

This albergue is ok. It has absolutely none of the charm of last night's spot, which was one of my favourites of our journey. A couple of our Camino friends are here too and some will be staying at the same place in Santiago tomorrow night.

We'll be out of our albergue here in Pedrouzo (also known as Arca O Pino - satellite town of Santiago) around 8am to start our final stage. We're in for just short of 20 kilometres to the catedral.

Tomorrow's route looks fairly tame. We've got eucalyptus forests to start and then later, as we approach the city, we'll have more tar, crowds and busloads of people. We've got a steep uphill and downhill after midway.

We won't make the 12 noon mass at the catedral but there is one at 19h00. Apparently the cathedral is a sight to behold and there is a lot to see in and around it in the old city.

Buenos noches, mis amigos

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