Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lea.
For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all
Last night we ate like kings. Well ok not quite kings but after the drought of decent food we did eat very well. The hotel was right on the N525 and whilst a bit old school it was very clean and friendly… and the evening dinner was wonderful. And to top off our lovely evening we were treated to a sunset… the sky turned pink then flame orange and we hoped that this meant it was going to be a Shepherds Delight kind of day in the morning.
We overslept! It was 8:15 when I woke… crikey what luxury for a pilgrim. But the mornings are dark and we had a short day planned so who cared…. not us.
We ordered coffee and toast for breakfast… no toast though (shock horror) we made do with a very tasty cake instead before saying goodbye and moving on.
We walked into the little town and headed for the church… it’s usually a safe bet that there’s an arrow nearby… and there was. Indeed there were lots of arrows guiding us. Leading out of this cute little Galician village and into open countryside. The sky was a pale morning blue and whilst there was the odd cloud here and there we felt confident that the ponchos would stay in the bag.
Our first test was a steep decline out of town. It was still wet and covered in damp leaves, chestnuts and cow poo… welcome to Galicia 🙂 at the bottom the path opened up into green green pastures and trees and dry stone walls and a little babbling brook. The sun had made her first appearance… peeping through the canopy creating dappled shade and lighting the dew and turning the grass silver.
We passed sheep and cows. Cows in the fields and cows in barns. We listened to bird song and stopped to just smell the fresh sweet air and feel the sun on our faces. We walked on soft mossy paths and granite blocks led across the wetlands… it was pretty wonderful.
We passed a couple of old ladies collecting chestnuts. I asked if it was for soup but they said puree… I’m hoping that at least a few of them made it into some hot sopa!
The path was marked brilliantly. We didn’t have to look… there was always an arrow. And as we left our green green path our world opened up into Dartmoor… well a Galician version of it. Granite rocks and boulders everywhere. Granite stone walls… Granite giant steps over the streams… and granite topped hills that could pass as a Tor any day of the week.
On the far horizon we could see the alto that we crossed yesterday… a distant memory already.
We stopped to rest our feet and have a drink and a few lemon biscuits (our new favourite snack). We’re climbing again. It’s been up and down all morning but nothing like yesterday… more rolling hills than mountains. Maggie said her shins were feeling it and her knees on the downs. I said my lungs didn’t notice the hills anymore but my bum cheeks were feeling a bit achy today… all that bridge running from yesterday!
We walked up another hill and as we reached almost the top we spotted three dogs. We’d been following sheep poop for a while so we wondered if these were dogs guarding their flock. If they were we would have to be careful… and they were big dogs. We retreated a little. We wanted a better look so I climbed another pile of granite boulders to see if the view was any better. I could see the dogs and they saw me.
I climbed down. We couldn’t go back so we needed a plan. We both took out our brollies (why?)… we picked up a few lumps of rock and we had Maggie’s walking poles. Don’t let them know you’re afraid Maggie says… as if I could just pretend 🙂 In the event I felt remarkably calm… but in the event we never saw the dogs or any sheep… so staying calm was easy. We walked on, checking around to be sure they weren’t following but they were gone… thank goodness… and we continued on through Dartmoor.
As we walked I noticed more and more purple crocus. First just the odd one here and there… then groups and then fields of them. They covered the green in a delicate coat of purple.
I was taking a photo of them and an old lady came to greet us. I apologised and explained I didn’t speak Spanish. Where are you from she asked anyway… Soy Inglesa I replied. I think she asked where we started and we said Sevilla… she smiled and told us we would be fine now as we were walking in Galicia… I said the flowers were beautiful and she nodded and just said Galicia Galicia… she wished us a Buen Camino and we carried on. We had a sneaky suspicion that she might be right though… it was a beautiful walk and a beautiful day.
We walked on to A Gudina. We planned to walk a little further than the first restaurant… but it was lunchtime and it was full to bursting so we thought we should try it for ourselves. It was excellent so we decided to get a bed here and relax and do our washing.
We’ve had a lazy afternoon… Gerry reckons we have 197 kilometres to go… it’s been quite a walk so far… not long to go now!
P.s. thank you so much for messages and comments… it means a lot to know you’re all cheering from the wings xx