Today was a day that I wish everyone could experience! It wasn’t a great day (we started by having to go back to the albergue after we’d already gone down the first steep descent and started the 10km climb, because we had left the phone behind…..it was raining and colder than we realised……a dog got too friendly and bit Micaiah’s poncho…..we had a hard climb), but we end the day with a sense of accomplishment and having experienced some surreal movie sets – except that they were real life!
Walking up the mountain through misty forests that went on and on and on was quite simply eerie.
(please excuse the photo of picture on the camera!)
Moss covered boulders shone electric green under the canopy of shimmering spring green leaves, and even more moss hugged the trunks of trees that stretched down to the ground seemingly miles beneath us and stretched up so high above us that we could not see their tops. After hours of climbing through this surreal environment we reached a plateau at 911m. Wind stole away the words from our mouths (Micaiah’s line as I tried to talk to him whilst walking along the wide grassy ridge) and blew away a good portion of the mist revealing sun shining on distant mountains, a road far below us in the valley and stone houses dotting nearer hills.
Underfoot, leaf litter swallowed our ankles at times and there was no actual path – just yellow arrows on trees for guidance. One portion was along an ancient Roman road. Boulders, rocks, stones, mown grass, compacted dirt; there was a bit of everything. Other paths were actually trickling streams or mud rivers. Overall it was demanding walking.
Demanding and solitary.
Life lesson: there is power in habit. Until this morning we had charged the phone in the evening and so it had been safe in my bumbag when we set out each morning. Additionally, we have usually been getting to bed early, but last night stayed out talking with the village kids until late.
Cumulative Total: 275km
725km to go
Weather: surely no more than 10*C, drizzle, rain, wind
Dinner: emergency soup ration, emergency peanuts…..shop which was supposed to be open was not. Fellow pilgrims had only six pieces of chocolate so we invited them to join us…..with half a bag of macaroni and a can of asparagus discovered in the kitchen we made a delicious soup, Stone Soup. One of the pilgrims went to the panaderia (bakery) and knocked and knocked until he opened and sold him two loaves of bread! Despite being closed.
Just this morning we had read about sharing with those in need and the kids were very challenged to share our meagre offering (much less than we ate last night – and we had not had any lunch so they were ravenous), but they agreed that we should….and in the end we had a veritable feast!