Saturday, 3 December 2011

Through Santiago to the Coast and back again

Reflections-Primitivo part two

With so much time to spare having taken a cheaper later flight from Santiago I started to take my time and smell the flowers on this way, so different to the coastal route,it is so much more defined unlike the Norte which has so many different options-this way only has one high route diversion,as it is called Hospital I took the lesser mountain,still very demanding,but more of that day later.
                 I found myself in a bubble just me on the road,having the 3 euro Alburges all to myself,checking the registration book each night I recognised so many names from the party nights on the coast one and then later 2 nights ahead of me,people from behind caught me up and then left me in their wake but I was in a good place,just walking eating and sleeping one seasoned leg in front of the other on this very hilly way,the weather was also changing, the signs of Autumn all around me,a lot of the walk is through silent woods with just the sound of falling sweet chestnuts hitting the leaf covered path,surprisingly none of them hitting me,just laying there under the leaf's trying to turn my ankle at every step and on the steep slopes down turning the path into a roller park,I grew to hate the chuffing things,after one particular fraughtful day I booked into my bed for the night,the hospitalera welcomed me and pushed a bowl of the bloody things towards me,I politely refused while fantasising how many I could push up his nose!!.
     the rain also came down with a vengeance the minute I stepped into Galicia but before that I had one last perfect day,a very hard walk/climb out of Allande culminating in the highest point on the route.
 because of the dry season there had been many fires on the bracken covered hills,one high section had been closed due to fallen trees and rocks but as the sign looked old and the only alternative was a busy road I ignored it and slogged on even conquering my fear of heights for a while on the narrow path and the peak was reached,I felt like a great mountaineer and half expected Belgium television at the top to record this great feat,I lay down on the grass to view the panorama below me and if I had not forgotten the 6th rule of fight club (always carry spare camera batteries) I could have shared the views,I took pics from below the next day (the not very good ones below with the wind farm on top) but nothing could spoil this perfect day not even the cows with horns on the narrow path down the other side that finally took me through the most tranquil of woods into Penaseita and my bed for the night.
  and so the way continued one day blending into the next on this hard but rewarding route till I hit the CF at Palas de Rei to meet up with more people than I had seen the whole way on this most rewarding of Camino's