Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 30

Saturday October 16, 2010
Day 30 on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
Samos to Barbadello
Dear Blog Readers,

Have to tell you I went a little crazy taking photos yesterday at the Samos Monastery.  Walls all the way around the second storey is filled with jaw dropping frescos.  Today is only supposed to be a short day, so leave Samos about 9 a.m. to head out - low mist fills the valley and the pilgrims trek into the misty forests.  The province of Galicia is filled with tales of fairies, elves and dragons - seems if you look at the stones and trees you are bound to see a mystical character.  However, no time to look for elves as it is soon evident this is not going to be an easy trek.
The Camino moves from one side of the roadway to the other, or in and out of forests with a lot of ups and downs the mountains.  Some trails are better than others - forests are filled with giant chestnut and oak trees - some so old you can see what the locals talk about with mystical shapes and faces.
Pilgrims travel in and out of hamlets - lots of cows and sheep again - in one hamlet we come upon a feisty black dog herding a flock of sheep and goats up a path to a meadow - he is on the job as one ´hard´ taskmaster, when one goat decides to hop a stone fence for a morsel to eat - he barks and nudges until the flock get the message and continue up the path. 
On the approach to Barbadello, where we will spend the night, fire crackers burst overhead - wow, says Rick, this is a quite a welcome for us - as we approach the church, where the fire crackers are being set off - we see a large tent and lots of people.  I ask if it is a wedding - no - just another local festival - this one is to ´celebrate´ food!!
We can see the sign for the Casa Rural where we are staying but all we see are giant chestnut trees - no building - nothing.  Weary from all the climbing I phone to ask - please tell me where your Casa is?? Wait right there I´m told and in about 2 minutes a car with two sisters arrives to collect us.  We drive around the mountain top and come out on the other side and there is a large, beautiful farmhouse and a view of the valley and mountains (where we’ve come from).  The two women are sisters, Teresa and Julia - the farm is the family home and the room where we’re staying date back to the 16th Century - humbling to say the least. 
The sisters leave a platter of salami, bread, cheese and cold beers and head down the mountain to the food festival.  They ask what time would we like dinner and we say since we´ve not had lunch would 6 p.m. be okay - okay they say - wow, first time I can eat on Canadian time - not Spanish time.  This is a gem of a place and when the ladies return actually ask what I would like for dinner - and I asked for anything from Galicia.  Their farm produces lamb - I´m in heaven - I ask if I can have rice instead of fries with the lamb - yes, it will be there pleasure - yeah!  If I die during the night I´ll be in heaven - lamb with rice - they make a wonderful salad and peach custard for dinner - they say ´mi casa es su casa´- so after dinner, the brother-in-law light the fireplace and we watch television.  We’re in bed by 8:30 p.m.
Trek - 20 kms, but it feels like 25 kms - and takes almost 5 hours - how I wish for the Mesetas, where I could trek 5 kms in an hour. There are 107 kms to go to Santiago.

Blessings from the Camino,
My personal thoughts for today -Those who set out the markers on the Camino have a wicked sense of humour - after trekking for many kms. you get to a town of Sarria and to continue on the pilgrims must climb 8 sets of stairs - each have 6 or 8 or 10 steps with the final one set at 14 steps straight up - to the church, of course - this so tires the pilgrim they don´t even stop at the church - instead they just head for the nearest cafĂ© or bar before continuing on the way.

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