Camino Diary Entry #32
#32 Emails home from the Camino
Day 23 (O Cebriero to Triacastela 21 kms 5 hours)
Today’s altitude map had us pretty excited with just a little upwards bump followed by the remaining 19 kms downhill. Hmmmph! We have concluded they draw the low altitude diagrams in hope that pilgrims will sleep better if they have less anxiety about the coming day! The only comfort was thinking that the cycling Croatian boys must have had one heck of a battle into the wind late yesterday for 40 kms!
The climbs actually worry us less now – it’s more a chance to get the heart thumping and the joints limbered up. In fact, we no longer worry about how far we have gone, how far we have yet to travel or how long anything is taking. We simply don’t care because there is no point! You just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other and ‘hey presto’ 6 or 7 or 8 hours later you are suddenly looking for your hotel!
We made yet more new friends today! Two girls from Finland.They go like the clappers then stop frequently – we last saw them cooling their feet in a stream trickling down the hillside. Ana from Germany joined us for dinner tonight.
Once we made it to the top it was a long meander along the summit. The track was not unlike a high country farm track and there were brambles and hedgerows and lots of wild flowers. We even came across foxgloves, bluebells and Grannies bonnet! Who would have thought they’ d all be growing here? (Clearly not us anyway!)
By the middle of the day we found ourselves in the heart of hilltop dairy farms. We have finally located the livestock! Rather a lot of them. Earlier in the day they were gradually being released from their night time sheds. We can’t begin to imagine how any family can hope to sleep upstairs while a herd of very large cows wearing clanging bells lives beneath them!
They were beautiful big golden beasts. Having wandered through endless, remote, one-farm, one-building, villages and picked our way through well-trampled cow dung we just know MAF are going to have a field day with us on our return!
Even though we think this was a Saturday, it was quite the busiest we have seen the local farmers. Never mind how many cars they don’t have, they obviously make up for it with a very high ratio of tractors per capita!
The map book finally got the time estimates right and we were just as slow coming down some very steep inclines, as we had been going up! Thank goodness for hikers poles! Those combined with some particularly lurid green fingerless bike gloves I invested in while shopping in Leon make it all considerably easier!
The sun was vicious again today. We are both sporting fetching red noses having been so busy on our day off yesterday that we forgot the sunscreen. Our feet however continue in fine fettle. We shall not become complacent with these most precious appendages! Not for us the scent of Chanel or Eau de Toilette – no we waft about in the soothing aroma of tiger balm and Rawleighs and a bit of natural wool for comfort ! So we got to watch another half game of football – Spain vs France and now it is bedtime!
If you are pausing to wonder what we might be doing it is a simple choice depending on the hour! We will either be walking, sleeping, eating or sipping a wine! Not too stressful really!