I wasn’t to know but today was the Day of Camino and Friends! Woo hoo………
So Silly Me woke up early in Lalin, got up and waited outside the bar/cafe/hostal on the street for the taxi with these 2 horses.
We drove back to the bar at wherever it was and fortunately it was all closed up and empty so no one saw this twit retracing her steps. I set off at a pace and got back onto the ancient Roman path. I was excited then and I’m so excited now that my hands are shaking as I type this – to be getting so close!!!!!!!!!! I’d been alone all this time (47 days and little did I know that I was soon to meet the best and brightest angel of them all AND she spoke English to boot!!!!!!!
This road took me over the hills and through a sweet little village where these old swings reminded me of my own childhood. But by then, being so close to my goal, I was willing to be charmed by anything.
This must have been the village of A Laxe – and it was very pretty but fairly empty. Now I’ve been thinking about how deserted these villages seemed at the time but now, in my own street even a year later, I notice that if I were maybe a Spanish pilgrim walking down this street, that it would seem deserted too – you just don’t see people out and about these days. So it doesn’t follow that there aren’t loads of villagers living in all those lovely houses – I just didn’t see them. And it would have been more comfortable for me all round if I’d learnt the language.
Hint: Learn the lingo! It’ll make life easier and more friendly if you do.
I didn’t and it was a bit of a chore communicating. Anyhoo…………
This was a stunning day’s walk looking at the pix I took. I hadn’t written anything in my journal since Ourense so I can’t really tell you my thoughts from back then. But the pix do serve to jolt the physical memory and the beauty of the surrounds was immense.
More dogs, swings and a road through a village where I sat for a snack. A female French pilgrim joined me and I nearly bolted – I was completely over French pilgrims by then – they seemed to invite disaster in me, that I think I was inexplicably abrupt with her and exited stage left with the briefest of smiles. Eeeek! Muchos desolado! (bad spanish for many apologies!)
So having taken the quickest of breaks, and passing a couple of female pilgrims sitting outside, I ambled along the busy road and soon rejoined the quiet that is the ancient Camino road. I noticed a little family of mushrooms on the side of the road and I squatted down, complete with rucksack, and got as low down as I could to take this photo.
And this is how Vicki found me. Squatting by the side of the road – I’m sure she must have thought I was having a whizz in full view! And to make it more interesting, once I’d gotten down so close I had a huge amount of difficulty getting back up. I could NOT stand up! Try as I might, with or without my sticks, my legs wouldn’t straighten and here was this other pilgrim right up close and personal.
Eventually after hours of trying to stand, I did (at least it felt like hours!) Vicki was a tall, spry Englishwoman and she’d been one of the ladies I’d passed sitting outside a cafe enjoying a coffee.
Naturally my first reaction was that it would all go wrong, the getting chatty with another pilgrim would turn to mud like in previous times, but here I couldn’t have been more wrong. We hit it off like a house on fire! Our senses of humour matched perfectly – we understood each other’s jokes and Vicki even slowed down for me. She matched her stride with mine. We became instant friends.
She is a very quick walker and she’d met the slowest pilgrim in the village but thank gods, she felt it was time to take a break and just sort of amble and smell the roses since Santiago was within spitting distance. (One more sleep to go!)
So we both strode along together, me tap tapping with my 2 sticks and she with her single stick.
And we even caught up with Gus whom I’d last left talking with the Bible Basher in Villar de Farfon.
We had such a merry evening that night. I hadn’t realised just how hungry I was for some good company and how READY I was for it. Truly, Vicki was my reward on the Camino. We had another day – our last day’s walking tomorrow and I was blessed with the best of companions for the day. She was grateful too because she’d been worried that she might have had to walk into Santiago alone.
But it was not to be. We had each other and the Sound of Music was just over the horizon!