Today was full of ups and downs. Not the emotional kind…just physically going up and then down.
Villamartin Grande is situated on top of a hill so began the morning with a fairly steep descent into the valley.
Small farm houses and farms pretty much everywhere you look. On the hills. In the valleys. More dairy cows in this area. Nothing beats the aroma of a good silage pile in the morning.
Once you get to the valley… back up the hill.
Spain must have pretty lax burning laws. See people burning debris in their yards fairly frequently. That is not fog in the valley.
Today’s “Hola” smile comes from this lady who had just been doing some harvesting in her garden.
I always end up smiling myself for several minutes after these encounters. The reaction between men and women is quite different. Most of the ladies are a bit shy about it but go all in once the camera is on. I ask for permission to take pic and only one lady has said no thus far. The men typically look at me like I’m a bit crazy when I ask but none have said no!
After 3 downs and 2 ups we arrived in Mondonedo. The large Cathedral is the centerpiece of town.
There are 2 route options leaving town. The official route or the old Camino. The official route is advertised as 2 miles shorter, more scenic, but more challenging.
I took the official route. Can’t be that hard and why would anyone walk 2 extra miles for less scenery.
I’d like to have a mulligan on that choice, please.
The climb was long and steep. When I’m going up a hill, I try to not stop for a break until the top. I must have stopped at least 2 dozen times on this!
I kept thinking of SSGT Brown, USMC (Marine Drill Instructor…bad ass dude) during my days at Aviation Officer Candidate School. “Get your hands off your knees, boy. Stand up and get your hands off your waist, you pansy.” His language was much more colorful but I think you get the drift!
I was sucking for air and kept thinking I had to be at the top only to go around the bend and…crap!!
This pic doesn’t look that steep but when you’ve been going up like this for an hour and a half straight it is brutal. Especially when you can see the turn at the top and it’s still going up.
What a good feeling to reach the top. The scenery is good. Love the horses. Not sure it was worth 2 fewer miles, though.
What a good feeling to reach the top.
The scenery on the “down” side was actually pretty nice.
I am pretty tired after that climb and just trying to get down the hill to town without injuring myself.
When you’re that tired, your steps get careless. You’re not picking your feet up very high. Easy to trip.
I just want to get down, get a room, take a shower (I was drenched in sweat at the top), have a beer, and get something to eat. Is that too much to ask?
Obviously it is because when I get down I find out there’s a music festival in town. Go to 3 different places. No rooms. Fourth place has one room with 3 beds for $57. “I’ll take it.” Receptionist was shocked.
Got my shower. Now, of course, it’s after 4PM. Kitchens are closed until 8PM. I am not a happy hiker.
Finally found a place with kitchen open all day and a menu in English…and a beer. Just Pete is a happy hiker once again!
I will sleep good tonight!!
Happy trails and buen Camino!