October 17

Albergue La Escuela to Triacastela 24km

I waited today for daylight before setting out. Not today the dark stumble up the wet path. It wasn’t going to be a long days walk so an early star was not important. 

Looking back as I climbed up to the pass:The smoky gloom of yesterday has gone and the air has cleared. Just the smell of my t-shirt reminds me of yesterday. I never got round to washing it!

Once over the pass and on the windward side of the mountains there was extensive mist. This is the view at 9.30am:

This is the view at 12.00:

There wasn’t much to see apart from the odd things that loomed out of the mist – a sculpture on top of another pass:A pilgrim, of course. 

Once I started to descend I dropped below the mist and discovered a different countryside. Rolling hills, green fields, wind and cloud, cool temperatures. It could so easily be Wales. It reminded me strongly of that lovely country. There were even autumnal paths
Filled with chestnuts and acorns

My destination came in sight, nestling in the valley:And some sunshine. I dried out my umbrella on the walk into the village. 

I am in a new province now. I have left Castilla y Leon and I am now in Galicia. This region has its own language. My guidebook says it is a poor region of Spain. Many people have emigrated from here over the years. There are 300,000 Galicians, living abroad now, who are eligible to vote. It has a Celtic heritage- I’m looking forward to hearing bagpipes somewhere along the way…

Now I am in another province the signs have changed. The Camino signs now look like this:

With the distance left to Santiago on each one:But does it have to be so accurate- down to the nearest metre? And placed every 500metres? The numbers don’t seem to reduce very much in the course of a day. This one says it is 143km to Santiago. Do you remember back to July 22nd when I saw this one?

The numbers are getting smaller!

I don’t understand the cemeteries here:

It seems that instead of digging down they pile them high??

I must explore this a bit more. 

Tomorrow I reach Sarria. Sarria is where a lot of pilgrims start because it is 100km from Santiago and if you walk 100km you are entitled to the Compostella – the certificate. It will be interesting to see how things change. 

I am expecting a large increase in the number of pilgrims. I have planned to do this section fairly quickly, to “get it over with”. I am not a great fan of walking with lots of other pilgrims. I think I have one day left of fairly solitary walking before Santiago. 

Tonight’s Location 42.7541, -7.2329