April 14, 2018
Day 9 on The Camino
We left our albergue at 7:00 a.m. It was so foggy, we ended up walking around the block(s) a couple of times until we found the way markers showing us the way out of town. The fog (and cold temperatures) continued throughout the morning.
Padroń, the first town we walked through, was governed by the Knights of St. John until 1874 (in case you are interested). Padroń has a small 18th century church.
Once again today, we had many hills and many portions of mud and rivers to ford.
Frankly, it’s getting very old… also, it was quite chilly and foggy until about 2:00. AND THEN THE SUN CAME OUT!!!! It was so glorious, and wonderful, and special, and uplifting, and amazing!! Thank you Jesus!!!!We had a surprisingly steep section (as in I really wanted to quit and cry) yet apparently we are pretty much done with the significant stretch of higher elevation walking. My pictures do not really reflect the grandeur, yet we could look across several vistas to see an amazing mountain range. One of my photos show some picnic tables which apparently afford an amazing view, but it was so foggy, that we did not actually see anything
The Wayfinding Academy students in our group walked ahead, but Katarina and I had an enjoyable time walking with our Brazilian friend, Octavio.
Here’s the list of towns on our hit parade today: Vilardongo, Montouto, Paradavella (The knights St John of Porto Marín once owned the town), A Lastra, Fontaneira and Cádavo Baleira, where another legend abounds having King Alfonso II, “The Chaste” battling a Muslim army here in defense of the Pilgrim Road. Excavations of the area have found extensive amounts of armor, swords and tombs. We parted ways with Octavio here and hope to see him in Lugo or at the culmination in Santiago de Compostela. We continued through Alto da Vacariza (with its steep 300m drop in less than 3 km) into Castroverde to our modern (new last year) albergue.
We took an alternative route but had we gone the other way: In Villabade, according to our guidebook, “established as a Franciscan community for pilgrims in the 15th century, the Church of Santa María built in 1457 and restored in the 17th century by the archbishop and Diego Osorio Escabar, Viceroy to Mexico, is a national historic-artistic monument. A Gothic masterpiece, it features a ribbed vault and a Baroque retablo dominated by an impressive Santiago Matamoros. Next door is the Casa Grande de Vilabade, a 17th century pazo (manor house) built for Viceroy Escabar.”
Castroverde, our stopping point for the day, was first mentioned in 897 AD, becoming a religious center in the late Middle Ages.
We walked five hours today before we were able to find an open place to get food. Today is Saturday – tomorrow, Sunday, we know that things will be closed, so once we got into our final destination town, we hit the super mercado for supplies for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. Today we walked 20 miles in 10 hours, 1 1/2 of those a snack & lunch break. It does not sound like we made very good time, but if you saw the hills… you would be impressed with the time that we made. I am doing surprisingly well and I give all the glory to God and I’m so happy to be feeling so good!!! We walked another quarter mile to the market, and then back, and soon we will go out to dinner as well.