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Published: September 26th 2016
I left Los Arcos early this morning with Nicole. David passed us on a march later as he has to be at Burgas by Weds. The albergue didn't provide breakfast and we had it in mind to stop at a bar in Sansol later.
Still in the dark we took a wrong turn. Behind us is a man from British Columbia who followed us in the dark. We return together to get on the right path and walk the next few kms just the 3 of us. Our aim is to reachTorres del Rio and stay there.
The fields are mostly golden with the others red earth. We pick and eat grapes straight from the vine as we pass fields of old grape vines pruned to be trees. The occasional one being esplanaded across wire so that they are all joined together like a paper cut frieze.
As day breaks we turn to see a brief but beautiful sunrise. As the sunrises there is in front of us a clear sky blue background supported by a strata of various shades of and stretches of lilac grey and indigo cloud. Above is a platform of bubbled white cloud which
Standing facing camera, couldn't get dog on as well
reaches out behind us to provide a perfect ledge at its edge for the sun to rest.
We go past fields with row upon row of grapes and walk through and past olive groves.
After a while there is a return to the agricultural landscape of dry brown ploughed fields and then the murky green of dry vegetation stubbled beige. For a brief period the scenery turns to undulating hills.
On arrival in Sansol we are delighted to see a bar immediately on entry, by now pretty hungry, and then disappointed that it is a covered area with vending machines which is quite common.
As we go through the narrow streets it is like a ghost town and we almost give up hope, and getting more ravenous by the minute when we are delighted to find a quaint little bakery supplying all kinds of little bakery treats and a whole shelf of sun hats. We have variously a peach or apple tarte tartin type of puff pastry, 3 euros each. I buy a cheese and ham French stick cob for later. My total was 8 euros 64. Very expensive. A three course dinner on the albergues has been costing us only 10 euros. Nonetheless we tucked into the pastries which were delicious.
Not much further we find a cafe where all the other peregrinos are having breakfast and we sit down for a coffee. We say hello to familiar faces and Eamon comes over to have a chat. He will only be walking till Weds when he is rendezvousing with Isabella before flying home. I will miss him he is a good young soul.
British Columbian continues ahead and Nicole and I get on the road later. After a steep climb in the heat Nicole stops behind to rest and I continue to Sansol where, sitting on a bench to apply feet patches on my sore hips, Carl, a life coach Michelle and I met on the second day from Roncesvalles and passionate aboutvhis work turns up. We have a chat and I move swiftly on leaving him to take his ibuprofen and rest.
Arrival at Torres del Rio at about 12.37.
Strange situation of the day: As I reach the square there is a Spanish man parading around in his underpants. Grey Y fronts. I will spare you further detail but not a pretty sight. Quite a surprise! Two local men are berating him loudly in Spanish. He appears totally unperturbed and continues to strut about virtually naked.Luckily the other way down the street from the Camino. The older Spanish guy looks at me, rolls his eyes and circles his finger at his temple to indicate Grey Y fronts has issues. I would never have guessed.
Quick visit to Banco for ATM, up hill, sit on bench to eat expensive French stick. Its not long before Nicole turns up and we enjoy 10 minutes together. Eamon arrives 5 minutes later and we have a few minutes conversation and a hug before he moves on.
Nicole is a very well informed young lady and as a result of her knowledge I now have a free offline map of the whole of Spain on my phone, on which the Camino is clearly shown and tracked by GPS. Hopefully this will reduce the opportunity for me to go wrong!
Having arrived at Torres del Rio its far too early to stay so we agree to carry on and maybe meet again at Viana.
As I go on my way I came across a very brave sheep like I've never seen before. There was a whole herd of sheep and a ram being herded by two or three very vocal sheepdogs. All the sheep ran together in the direction sent by the dogs other than this particular one who decided to stand it out. Believe it or not , one of the dogs went up to her and barked in her face. Despite, for a fleeting moment looking nervous where she was going to give in, she decided otherwise and stared the dog out before moving on when she was ready. That's spirit for you. My heroine of the day.
Its after Torres that the landscape became golden again. For most of the time on the Camino the mountains are outlined in the distance like gentle giants lying along the skyline in quiet protection.
At about 2.55 I arrive at Viana and get a a place to sleep in the Santa Monica parochial albergue. Dinner b and b for donations. Very basic, bed is a mat on the floor but how wonderfully generous and in the spirit of St James and the pilgrimage. Like last night, its run entirely by volunteers. I will donate what I would normally have paid, of course.
Tomorrow, see how it goes, possibly Navarette.
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