Can we do altitude? We can. Oh yes we can…
There was rarely a time when we were in doubt as to which way we should go, the inhabitants of Asturianos wanted to make damned sure we knew how to leave town:
The bar at the Albergue didn’t open for breakfast so we got our heads down and sloshed (only a bit) to the first village that had an excellent bar / restaurant and a Dia shop (think Spar, but foreign).
The bar was a busy place and not without it’s peculiarities. Slap bang in the middle of the customer area was a display of knives, all for sale. There were big ‘uns, little ‘uns, in-between ‘uns, in fact there was virtually every type of knife available for sale. What I didn’t realise until now, and Matthew certainly hadn’t mentioned this to me, Vanessa had a thing about knives. She seemed to want to keep buying them. In fact it was becoming clear that she couldn’t get enough of them. Perhaps she’s taken out a huge life insurance policy on Matthew – they’ve only been married a few months. You hear about these things…..
So she bought one – how one earth she was going to get it past security at the airport, well heaven knows. I suppose she’d just put it with all the other knives she was carrying.
Another unusual thing about this bar were the large numbers of wasps nests on the ceiling:
Suitably refreshed, and only a little nervous of the knife-wielding Vanessa, we passed the first water source of the day:
Leaving our snug little bar, suitably armed with a variety daggers, swords, stilletos and other dangerously sharp implements, we came across two ladies out for a Sunday morning mushroom collecting jaunt.
It appears that this area (I daren’t tell you where it is, I’ve been sworn to secrecy under pain of something probably quite painful) is a favourite mushroom hunting area for those in the know.
Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.
These ladies sell the product of their Sunday morning forays to restaurants in the posher parts of *******.
Then we came across more mushroom hunters:
This fine lady very kindly gave us the mushroom she’s holding. I’ve no idea of the variety, you’ll have to ask Vanessa – she seemed to know.
A gazillion miles away, and obviously nowhere near where the wonderful mushrooms were being collected, was Remesal de Sanabria. At this place a meeting took place (a very long time ago) between Fernando the Catholic and Felipe the, er, beautiful. That’s the literal translation. They were probably very nice boys.
They must have fallen out / had a bit of a tiff, because just down the road they prepared to beat the living daylights out of each other:
Off we went on out jolly way, the right way as it happens…
….until we came to the village of Otero de Sanabria and it’s parish church:
Wooden carving of seven sinners above the sacristy door
Matthew enjoying the power cables….and the view of the church
What sticks in my mind when I think back to this walk, apart from the history, architecture and so on, is the interest shown by the people I met on the way.
If a car drove by as I walked down a road, the driver would invariably waved and greeting shouted. People would stop to talk when walking through towns and villages, the call ‘Buen Camino’ was often heard. Everyone realised I was walking the Camino. The Camino belonged to them and they were proud of it.
…although this one may be beyond economical repair
A change of scene, the pylons of Puebla de Sanabria come into view…
…and a tractor…
…shortly followed by a musical welcome into the town…
…and then our Albergue:
After an excellent lunch in the restaurant across the road from the Albergue we set off to explore the town….and have a beer or two.
Puebla de Sanabria from the castle
This was my last day of walking El Camino on this trip, I’d walked around 250km from Salamanca. It’s around the same distance again to get to Santiago de Compostela – a good few km more to get to Finistere, where I hope to eventually finish this walk. That will have to wait until next year, there are other trips to do.
Matthew & Vanessa, Frankfurt Frank, Patrice & Christien, and all the other peregrinos I encountered on my walk all contributed hugely to my enjoyment of the trip. I miss their company already!