September 7, 2018
Last night I stayed at a pensión, and there were only about 15 of us in the place. I was surprised when I was the only one who chose to leave early and I was out the door by 6:30. It was a chilly 49°, pitch black with a crescent moon, and not only did I start off on country roads but I was quickly into the forest. My headlamp is not working, so luckily my phone cooperated in charging up and I was able to use the flashlight! Otherwise I would not have been able to navigate at all!
I was actually quite nervous in the beginning as I heard coyotes not too distant. I prayed to my Lord and Savior for protection and guidance and honestly, it eased my tension totally. I did come up on some voraciously barking dogs that startled me for a couple of minutes, but luckily they were either behind a fence or on leashes because thankfully, they did not come out to attack me!!
There were still a number of hills to get this day started, and in spite of the chill, I took off my jacket before 7:00! My skin was slightly cold, but I was glad that I had made that change and by 10:00 the sun started filtering through the fog. So many amazing sights as the day developed before my eyes – and the smells!! I was reminded that I did not mention in my blog that the other day when it was raining, that the smell of the fennel was intoxicating! We’ve had fennel all along the way and I grab a bit every once in awhile because I love the aroma!
I also remember now that I did not mention running across the “tortilla lady” yesterday! I had read about how this wizened, nurturing woman would come out from an alleyway adjacent to a cow barn and offer her wares, and So It Was!
And I also forgot to mention how I ran across Hamish two mornings ago shortly after the downpour! I was trudging along and I had not seen anyone for quite a while and came upon a lone pilgrim. As I passed, we both lodged looks of surprise as we recognized one another! We have stayed in a number the same places and about twenty days ago we shared a pilgrim meal together with four other peregrinos. He will be off to university when he returns home to Australia, and plans to meet his brother in Santiago to go on to Finisterre. We enjoyed about 20 minutes together before he stopped up to have some breakfast.
And the cows! I loved walking through all the little villages and hamlets today, and seeing the cows!!! As well the horses, mules, sheep, etc.
My intention was to go 24 kilometers today. I had considered going a bit longer, yet when I looked at the guidebook In my planning ahead, it appeared as if the timeframe after my designated stopping point today was a bit longer without services than I wished to go – “best layed plans”… Once again, I somehow “missed” the last town, and about a half an hour beyond the time that I anticipated stopping, I realized that I must have gone past it… Dang!! And it was hot!! And it was hilly! And boy was I happy when I came across Casa Morgade!!! And not only is it a fabulous, beautiful, awesome ancient building with a restaurant and lush surroundings – I’m in a room with only eight single beds (not bunkbeds), our own bathroom and shower, and the proprietors are kind, funny, caring and accommodating!!! WINNING!!! Besides, now I have cut down the mileage for tomorrow and the next day!!
So today I walked from Tricastela to Morgade, 30.7 kilometers (19.1 miles)!! My hit parade of towns and hamlets includes A Balsa, San Xii, Montán, Furela, Pintin, Calvor, Aguiada, San Mamed, Sarria, Vilei, Barbadelo, Rente, Serra and Peruscallo. It’s looking like I will be walking into Santiago de Compostela in four day’s time!