We were forewarned that this leg of the Camino would be the longest for us, though as I look through our guidebook many of the legs are only 1 km shorter than this one. Ignacio also said that we would start our walk on a steep grade–that was the understatement of the century! I kept thinking, “This path has to flatten out at some point,” but it didn’t for quite some time. Much of our walking today was on paths that had a steep upward grade.
Our first check in point was slightly more than half-way through our walk. Today we did not
encounter many bicyclists, which as a big relief. Kris and I ran across a pilgrim who passed up a couple of times. Her walking technique was to keep her head down and drive forward; she was always polite, but she reminded me of a defensive lineman in her approach.
I noticed that I had fixed my eyes so much on the path, that I was neglecting to look up and gaze at the wonderful Gallician scenery. We were in farming country today, and having grown up on a farm, a flood of memories came back to me.
This was especially true as we passed several fields of freshly cut hay that was awaiting baling.
Besides the hay, we kept encountering farmers moving their cows across the road to graze in a field. Many times the farmers have German Shepherd type dogs that help with the herding. We also saw several sheep in a pasture near the end of our second checkpoint.
We finally arrived at our last checkpoint, ate a very nice lunch and then headed to The Church of Vilar de Donas, an 11th Century Church that was used as the headquarters of the Knights of St. James; a group of knights who guarded the pilgrims on their journey. The church is a mixtures of many elements: Gothic, Celtic, Mozarabic, and Christian. In the last century they discovered these 14th century frescoes underneath the painted walls and removed the paint obscuring them.
The weather has been exceptionally beautiful, though it’s been a bit on the cool side. Makes me wish that I had bought one of those long-sleeved T-shirts or fleece sweatshirts on our first day out.
Our lodging for the next two evenings is a country manor, Pazo de Ludiero. Check it out on Trip Advisor. Buen Camino!