Thursday, April 6, 2017

1350m The Pass

During this last week, I could see the mountains between Sanabria and Galicia in the very far distance, with snow in the peaks.
Every day the mountains and huge wind mills, were closer and closer, as I walked.
Today, was the day that the Camino would take me over this pass, at 1350 m

I left Requejo at 8 am after a great café con leche and toast in the village, knowing that it would be a steep, long hot day going over the pass and with high probability of getting lost.
There was a break in the Camino signs and markings, as they are constructing a new AVE line (high speed train line) over this area and the camino markings are gone.
Fortunatelly there is another piligrim that has been walking similar rhythm than I am, from Holland, and today we stayed close to each other. When one of us was wondering where the camino was going, the other would notice something that could help us decide on where to go. We did very well and managed to make our way with very few detours. 
When we arrived at the albergue, everyone else had had difficulties and arrived exausted.
The weather continues yo be very hot during the day, deep blue skies and freezing at night.

Lubian is the last village of the Zamora region and tomorrow we will cross into Galicia.
The houses and terrain are typical of Galicia, always going straight up and steep down. 
You can hear the cow bells from a distance.
I crossed beautiful spring fields and creeks.

Yesterday, I passed Puebla de Sanabria. Puebla is a mediaval village that has a beautiful castle on the top. Just as I entered the village, Andrè, my dutch peregrino friend, appears. We have both already walked 15 km
and we have 10 more to Requejo, our destination tonight.
As we both look at the castle high above, we played a little game and try to guess how many steps there is from the bottom to the top, to reach the castle. My guess 230 steeps, his 300 steeps.
Slowly we climb up the stone large steeps, counting and laughing.
Wow !!! To our surprise there is 235 !! I won a glass of Albariño wine, when we get to Requejo. Albariño is a delicious white Galician wine, that I like very much.
The medieval town around the castle is very well preserved. We wandered through the little streets and admired the timber and stone houses.

An older man is walking down, as slow, as we are walking up. When our steps meet, we all stopped to catch our breath and have a little conversation.
To our surprise he starts reciting a poem. His words are perfect, the intonation and his passion, as he recites, is captivating. His name is Gregirio, born in Sanabria and he tells us that every day he walks around the castle. He recites another poem for us, a poem that he wrote for his wife when he was 21 years old, doing the military service, near Pamplona.

I am in admiration of the beauty of his words and memory. 

Again another gift that the camino has gifted me.

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