Today began with a little hesitation as we had stayed just on the edge of town and it was not really on the Camino, so we had a bit of difficulty finding the starting point. The app and guidebook had suggested starting in the town square where there would be two scallop shell symbols but we couldn’t find it. We must have been looking particularly pathetic because a police car drove up beside us and a very nice policeman showed us on the phone where to go. Where would we be without the smart phones? Up shit creek, I think! I have no sense of direction and my best friend is my phone!
Anyway, we found our way to the trail and began our day’s walk – uphill. This was not what we expected. Again, the guidebook and app made it look a little ‘bumpy’ but we soon found out this was not quite accurate. We seemed to be walking uphill all day today! A long, slow, steady climb. Up, up and more up! We saw a beautiful sunrise, and with the promise of 22 degrees and sunshine, we were wearing lighter clothes.
We walked jauntily for the first few kms, looking at the enormous mountains ahead of us, and joking about how glad we were that we were not going up there. However, our worst fears were realised and we found ourselves eventually at the top of the world with 360 degree views of spectacular proportions. Breathless, with aching legs and feet, we stopped for a snack at one point, and all of a sudden two handsome young men appeared. I could almost hear the angels singing ….The first pilgrims we have seen in days. They introduced themselves and yes, their names were Jesus and Christopher. We joked about the Jesus/Christ thing and we learned that Jesus walked this part of the trail everyday with pilgrims. He walks from town to town which is about 9kms and then jogs back home. Chris is German and is walking for two weeks. He had roasted some chestnuts at the albergue last night and gave us some for a snack. Yum!
We walked through tiny, almost deserted villages, past pigs, dogs and cats. We saw lizards, mice, butterflies, praying mantises and lots of wolf poo. I am somewhat of an expert on this, as the South African missionary a few days back, told us how to recognise it. Apparently we are now walking through an area that has the largest wolf population in Europe! I have been a little nervous about this, wondering how many pairs of eyes are watching me from behind the bushes. We also saw a few hunters out with their guns and shotguns today. I had my bright orange pack cover on for visibility!
So, today’s scenery was just breath taking. Even though we climbed all day, we loved it. We loved it until we had to come down that is….the path was super rocky, slippery and STEEP….almost vertical in fact. My knees and feet are really feeling it and apparently there is more of the same tomorrow. Joy oh joy!
We have just come back from the bar. Mumma cooked us a magnificent hearty meal. We had cheese and ham, lentil and vegetable broth, roast chicken, pork ribs, omelette and fresh tomato from her garden. Dessert was a baked apple.
Showered, washed clothes, full tummy and ready for bed. Another great day!😀