Sunday, 28 August 2016

Camino walking 4 days

Our overnight in Melide was punctuated by lots of noise until well into the early hours of the morning. Loud voices was a feature. As the room was not airconditioned we had opened the window to cool it down so we had a choice hot or noise. We choose noise. When you are tired enough noise becomes irrelevant and we both ended up asleep.

When we awoke for the 4th day of our walk all was quiet.

The early morning sky (7ish) as seen from our window

The street (as seen from our window) in the quiet of the morning
The Camino promised a number of streams and the rio iso as well as a number of medieval villages and churches. It did keep up its side of the bargain.

Here are some of teh churches from todays walk:

The church in the main square at Melide

The interior of the Chapel of St Anthony, Melide

Note the crow od people in front of the church (bottom left)

Chapel Magdalena, Arzua

Chapel Sata Maria, Arzua
The earliest of the churches/chapels dated back to the 13th century. Neither of the chapels in Arzua were open which was a pity.

much of the walk today was through farmland. This is diarying copuntry and there were lots of farms with cows. None of the herd were big - a dozen cows appeared to be the maximum. The cows are mostly barned. The lucky ones get to go out into the fields and the fresh air.

This was the biggest herd tthat we saw. Note the bell on the cow nearest the (electric) fence

we came across a couple of chaps taking four cows out. They were about to cross a road. at this stage they were all on leads.

We came across the same group a short time later. They were off their leads withno vehicles to contend with - only pilgrims

This herd consisted of black and white cows ... and there were five all told.
As we walked along we were confronted by a persistantly ringing bell. We finally came across the source which turned out to be a stroppy cow who was constantly shaking her head. I don't think she was happy about wearing the bell.

We have come across quite a few dogs over the past four days. Some were wandering around the towns, villages and hmalets. Others were on leads. Some were on the pilgrimage with their masters. However, dogs following pilgrims is obviously a problem as the following sign attests:

We came across one chap who travels with a donkey. apparently they have done quite a few prilgrimages together. The donkey and his master even rate a stamp for pilgrim passports.

I had better explain about the pilgrim passports. People travelling along the various Camino trails, there are four or five all told that end up in Santiago de Compostela, carry a special passport. At many places along the routes who can get stamps that confirm where you have been. These are important as they establish the pilgrims bona fide to claim a Compostela pilgrim certificate from the Pilgrim Office at the end of your journey provided you have completed a minimum distance. The required distance is different for walkers and those on bikes. Yes, there are oddles of people who do the Camino on bikes.

The surface of the trails vary considerably. Here are some from today.

Jen standing on one of the gravelly surfaces we walked on

Areas paved with rocks were hard on our feet
There were a number of stream and river crossings today. Here is one the had large stepping stones.

The River Iso was more like a creek than a river ... perhaps it does carry a lot more water than this some of the time.

Some of our fellow pilgrims took a paddle in the Rio Iso ... a great way to relieve tired feet.

We arrived in Arzua in time for lunch. Jen and I found a place in a shaded plaza:

We both had paella for lunch as this is not usually included on the Menu of the Day and our dinners since we have started walking have been included in our package and are the menu of the day.

Some of our fellow pilgrims took advantage of the cool, shaded plaza. Note the dog between the two prone bodies.

As we walked around Arzua we noticed that the sides (not the fronts) of many buildings were clad in corrugated iron. We ended up figuring that this was a temporary measure just in case another building springs up and abuts the wall.

There were some delightful vistas today, once the low cloud cleared away althought this also meant that the temperature shot up and walking became a much hotter business.

Todays statistics.

According to our trip notes the distance we were to walk should have been 13kms. This was pretty close to the mark. We did an additional 400m at teh start of the day as we doubled back to the plaza to take photos of the church and chapel.

Supposedly the elevation gain should have been a mere 40m with a loss of 180m. Now, that was a laugh! In all we gained 381m and had a loss of 452m!!!! There was a lot of ups and down.

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