Posted by: knitknigel | June 3, 2009

Day 1 of a New Camino

What a wonderful day it has been. I got up without an alarm clock to annoy me, took awhile to dress my feet for success, (what useless bandages I´ve bought!) and was out the door by 7:15. But then I saw the café on the corner was open so I stopped for my first café con leche of the day. I had a huge coffee, the biggest I´ve ever seen in Spain. And it cost about 20 centimós more than the normal size.

I made a big mistake at the beginning – although it was not a bad mistake. I took the path up the hill, into the old town and the Camino route, instead of obeying the sign that said cars should go to the right, while walkers went uphill. No, I´m not a car, but if I´d taken the car route I wouldn´t have had to climb the hill and then climb back down again to the very road I´d avoided. Oh well, a little extra hill-walking didn´t kill me.

This is Galicia, and the landscape is gorgeous. Yes, there are hills – today there was lots of up and down, but none of it was over mountains, so it was ok to walk. And unlike other days, I took lots of photos. I figure with only 6 days to walk, I had better show the scenery to make the reading and viewing more interesting for you. Here´s the first bridge I walked over.

Lovely bridge over a little stream

Lovely bridge over a little stream

And this beautiful path through the country side.

And a country road

And a country road

In Galicia the Camino is waymarked at every 1/2 kilometer, so one is reminded how slow one is going. And not only that the markers are about 9 kilometers out, so in fact when you have reached the famous 100 km marker, you are really 109 km away from Santiago. But here I am at the marker anyway, with my knitting.

Me and my sock at km 100

Me and my sock at km 100

Along the way one sees lots of plant life, wildflowers of every description and even some animals although they are not wild ones. Herewith a few more photos to entertain you.

Sedums on a stone wall, my walking stick for comparison

Sedums on a stone wall, my walking stick for comparison

An horreo for storing fodder for animals

An horreo for storing fodder for animals

Slate roofs and sedums

Slate roofs and sedums

Socks on the hoof

Socks on the hoof

Galician milk on the hoof too

Galician milk on the hoof too

I think that these photos will give you some of the flavour of the Camino today. I enjoyed myself as usual, even though there were many more pilgrims than there were two weeks ago. Some of them were without backpacks, or very small ones, so I think they are letting some vehicle carry them. I considered doing it too, but 7 euros a day is too much!

I did have a lovely surprise today though. I met some of my old friends on the Camino. First was a Swiss woman that I said goodbye to when I left Castrojeriz to head back to Burgos. Madrid and Torremolinos. Then at the Albergue here in Portomarin, I ran into the French people whom I´d said goodbye to in Burgos. And finally, as I was walking down the street to this internet shop, I met Rita, one of the two Spanish women I walked with. I am going to have a glass of wine with them tonight under the portales next to the huge church that was moved from the village which now lies under the waters of the dammed lake below.

So I´m back, the Camino is just as wonderful as it was, my feet are a little tender, but tomorrow a nice short walk and maybe a stay at a private albergue instead of the not too charming public one I´m in today – top bunk, cheek to cheek with a guy from Hungary!

¡Ultreia, my friends! Onward!

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Responses

  1. That’s what we wanted Nigel…. photos of what you see!! I just loved the little bridge/pathway.
    I am heading out the door right now to tend to your balcony, (lanai!!!!!). It’s hot here, and I am sure the plants are in need of a drink.
    Take care of your feet mister….
    xxoo

  2. Lovely pics! but I still want to see the walking stick up close.

    JJ

  3. It looks charming, Nigel.

  4. Beautiful pics! You are looking great…apart from your feet. lol Enjoy yourself! And pass our love on to Geordie.

  5. Glad to see you’ve made it back to your pilgrimage. What a nice surprise to meet up with old friends. Love the pics too!

  6. Hi Nigel, Thanks for posting the pics. They are wonderful… what a gorgeous, pastoral setting for a nice, long walk! o:) You must enjoy meeting up with people on the trail that you have walked with before. I suppose after a while, it seems like a little community… Take care, and baby those blisters! Hugs…


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