You may have noticed that images of wind generators often appear in the blogs. Not surprising because they are located at the top of the mountain passes that the CP seems to draw a beeline to. They are the easiest access points those spots. Too bad King Alfonso’s scouts can’t collect royalties for having identified some of the best spots for these white towers.
From my hotel in A Fonsagrada, the fog briefly opened up and the sun shown on a long row of wind towers. I thought that here was the first target of our walk. They were 10 miles away. Sure enough in about 3.5 hours, we were climbing up towards them. We had an added show of seeing a dairy farmer move a calf and her mother to another corral.
After cresting the mountain, we came upon a very small chapel. Inside was a statue of St James aka Santiago in the garb of a pilgrim. Periodically, statues of Santiago will appear by the Camino route — large and small. A wonderful reminder of why the Camino started and its enduring attraction to thousands.
We had not encountered our fellow pilgrims en masse on the route. Today, for whatever reason, it happened. The solo photo is of Pieter from the Netherlands. Married with three children, he seems to be constantly on the road. He’s walked nine Caminos. He has walked from his home in Utrecht, Netherlands to Rome on the Via Francigena (VF) and beyond to Sicily. He felt that he has completed the VF because the distance from Utrecht to Rome is equivalent from Canterbury to Rome (more than 2,000 km). He did mention that his wife accompanied him for some segments of these walks.
While taking Pieter’s photo, other Caminoites came along. We have walkers from left to right: Latvia, Chile, US (PA), Germany, US (Utah) and Spain.
At Cafe Meson, a walker’s rest stop was a table of often seen walkers from left to right: Pieter — Netherlands, Ramona — Germany, Mick — US, Yoshiko — Japan, and Ilena — US.
We stopped as well for a coffee break. We met Marianne and H.A. from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. They were on their fifth Camino. H.A. offhandedly told me that he was the oldest person walking the CP. “Really?” said I. “Yes, I’m 72,” said he. “Hum, I’m 75,” said I. I mentioned that Mick from Cincinnati with his back to us wearing a hat was 76. We all had a good laugh.
As an aside, I was told that I was the China guy (pronounced Chee-na generally applied to East Asians) who wore the green cap. Every person is described in shorthand and whether you walked alone, in a pair, or in a group.
After another two hours, we estimated that we were in the final few kilometers of reaching O Cadavo. You can’t see the town in the image below. I wanted you to see what we saw after 18 miles of walking. Remember stay in the present and don’t project what lies ahead. It is hard to do,!Luckily, it was just over the hill and not near the wind generators in the distance. We arrived at 4:30 PM.
You won’t believe the end to this day. After settling into my room, taking my shower, and preparing for the next day, I was awakened from a nap at 7 PM to the sounds of a band playing what seemed to be 50’s Spanish music whatever that really is. In the event space directly below my room, about a dozen couples were celebrating their 50th anniversaries. The sound was deafening and the drum had that low bass thump, thump, thump beat.
I had a voucher to eat the hotel’s menu. I asked if the voucher could be transferred to another restaurant because I like quiet or what passes for quiet in today’s restaurant. No sympathy from the management. So, I went elsewhere for dinner with my walking buddy Gabriel — guy from Chile. Not such a loss given how much dinner costs in this region.
I started with a large plate of peas as my first course. Peas? Yes, peas and they were delicious. Two steaks of grilled hake followed plus potatoes. I ended with strawberry ice cream. I can’t think of when I last had this flavor. Add in a full bottle of white vino (half taken) and there you have it for 12 Euros. Amazing.
Dinner ended at 9:30. I returned to the hotel shortly thereafter hoping that the anniversary event would have ended. No go so I sat with Cristina and Jamie recounting the last few days on the road. By 10:30, they left to return to their albergo while I went upstairs. The last notes were played at 11. I didn’t know that old people could stay up so late. I can’t, for sure. Finally, another day ended.
2 thoughts on “Day 8 (May 13) Pilgrims Afoot — 19 Miles”
I am pleased and relieved that you found so many companions along your journey. Quite a reassuring and confidence building component to your memorable experience. You are a lucky dude.
Another rambling day in the beautiful countryside. The picture of the path is so serene- I can imagine walking and thinking of natures beauty on your trek. Sorry you had to wait til band stopped to enjoy your sleep! But you are enjoying awesome meals!!! Have a great day tomorrow.