We woke up this morning in our high altitude respite to temperatures in the upper 30’s and heavy clouds. It certaintly made us hike briskly to help warm us up. The Galician hillsides and vistas were simply magnificent.
Today’s hike included a big descent into a valley, followed by a couple of nice climbs as we drop out of the foothills. We are in milk cow country. Being cow people ourselves, it kinda made us feel a bit closer to home.
Cows love peregrinos! They see so many folks hiking along their pastures they become curious if you stop. Most every ranch here has these brown cows. Also a German Shepherd. All the dogs along the camino have been well behaved and most live in the barn with the livestock.
There are lots of these on the trail. They are up to 4 inches long. Big snail looking for a shell or leeches? Send me your comments…Inquiring minds want to know!
The way was mostly off of the highway today on thickly vegitated trails. In this part of the world that means cattle and tractor trails. Very beautiful cow trails. As a result of yesterday’s heavy rains, we hiked through a mixture of mud and cow dung on numerous portions of the trail. When we arrived at our pension our boots went immediately outside.
Everything grows big in Galicia. This is the trunk of a tree. A really, really big tree.
The locals use the slate for everything. Thicker stone for sidewalls and thin for their roofs. Slate neatly stacked two wide make their pasture dividers/fences. The architecture here is like something you would see in a fairy tale.
This is what the typical camino looked like today. It was unbelievably beautiful.
Sandy entering the “forest of no return.”
This may be the absolute greenest place on earth.
Just before stopping at our little village for the night we had to cross this old and simple little bridge. Who and how many people have crossed this over the years?
As we stepped out of our pension’s front door, a huge Holstein milk cow was walking by. She stopped and just looked at us for a few seconds. Then she continued walking up the narrow lane. We watched as a ranch woman led and eight other cows followed her up the road. They were followed by her mother, stick in hand spanking the slowest cow lagging behind. It was neat to see the locals go about their daily routine, oblivious of our presence.
Later, a group of horseback riders clip clopped down the camino. It just goes to prove, “You’ll never know what you will see next on the Camino.”
Today’s trek was a long and hard 24.7 km (15.3 miles). Our aching knees are telling us tomorrow will include a very short hike to Sarria where we will spend a rest day. Sarria is a bigger town (13,000 population) and is 100 km from Santiago. It is the closest point one can start the camino and still receive a compostela. Consequently, the camino becomes quite crowded from here on in to Santiago.