Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rain Day Sun Day

Wednesday was our first RAIN DAY. A full day of walking in the rain in a stylin poncho singing "singing in the rain" and sometimes shouting "I'm melting" like the wicked witch. Then Thursday was an overcast day, cold, damp with bits of rain all day. So when we woke up Friday to a clear blue sky and warmth in the air we were quick to shed our layers and walk comfortably in t-shirts. The day was absolutely beautiful. We spent 3/4 of the day walking up a mountain with mountains and rolling hills on either side of us. Every corner we seemed to meet an even more beautiful view. "When you turn a corner you really don't know what you're going to find" Alex remarked just after we encountered a medievil bar with pumpkin soup and cheese cake. Not having a sandwich/bocadillo on the menu is always a pleasant surprise. Then we came across a great mountain of rocks that was comprised of all the small rocks pilgirams have carried from home. It was such an amazing monument to see. All these rocks from all over the world with words and prayers and quotes all piled onto eachother. Alex and I did not bring rocks from Canada but I'm kind of glad I didn't have to carry yet another thing in my pack. The next corner brought us to a hippie hut. It had signs to so many places and the distances. Manchu pichu, Mexico, Santiago is only 222km away! We just stopped in for a look as everything was by donation but we weren't keen on sleeping in a house with 12 dogs and 6 cats and the day was still too nice to dare and stop. Moments after seeing some cows and being a few meters away and continuing our climb uphill we kept hearing long moo sounds. So we finally turn back and see about 30 cows running from all over a giant pasture to near the farm house where the farmer is laying out fresh food  that looked like hay, it was quite a sight to see. After many breathtaking views we finally start to make a slow descent down the mountain never more keen on finding a kitchen as we've been carrying food to cook for well over 40km. (Alex and I have started using km as a reference, as in: "that was so 15k ago") We stop at the opening of the town in a great little tienda/store and get fresh garlic, onions, tomatos, and vino/wine for our gluten-free pasta and tofu that we've been lugging. Only to find that the hospitilara of the only albergue that has a kitchen has closed the albergue because she's sick!!! We knew that there was another option 4k away so we pick our favorite songs and continue to sing down the mountain. We got to Riego de Ambros in record time and were really taken with the beauty and charm of this little town. Finding this Albergue also closed we went to a Pension where it was 17€ each and we had the whole house to ourselves, an amazing kitchen, and a dining room in which to watch the sunset over the mountains. Our meal was excellent. We had baths and slept in real beds with sheet and heating and windows facing a great view of mountains and the city lights of Ponferrada in the distance.

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