grumble grumble. Cloudy start to the day. It was grey outside and grey in my mind. After only two days on the road, I was already get sick of having to get up when the tour guide said it was time and have to pack my pack again stuffing things into the right bags and the right places. I didn’t want to have to move and go through the whole thing again. Val asked me what I felt like for breakfast before we got to the bar, but how was I to know when you never know what is offer until you there. tostada and jam with it milk, in case you are interested as I just couldn’t stomach Tostada with tomatoes and café con lache (milky coffee). Mum will tell you what happens if I am forced to eat tomato. Grumble grumble.
Off we headed again into the yonder. Val seems to have quite an amazing recall of where to go which is interesting considering she passed though the area only once two years ago. “Just up here on the right there should be…… Ah, yes there it is.” This time she was talking about the peculiar grain houses the villages in this area have. They look kinda like coffins on stilts. She assures me they are not but instead used to store grain in order to keep the rats away. I saw some maize in one and didn’t see any dead bodies stored in there so I guess she was right. They do look like tombs though!
Each little village we have walked through have subtle differences but I couldn’t tell you what they are. Maybe it is the buildings that are slightly different, the layout or what else, I just don’t know. They are just different. I’m sure you will pick it up too just from the photos I have posted.
One thing they do have in common is the bus stop. Just a single seat with the destination painted in the back rest. Some have the luxury of a deluxe seat for those who wait.
We went along a gravel road that val remembered as going on forever. All we could hear was the scrunch scrunch of our shoes along that path.
If you are awaiting the appearance of CLACK CLACK. Sorry to disappoint but not seen nor heard today.
One of the things I haven’t mentioned yet is the animals in the villages. Large number of houses have very large dogs who announce your arrival in their vicinity approximately five minutes before you appear and bark loudly until the last scrunch is heard. These dogs are BIG and would happily munch in a peregrino for a snack and still be looking for more. I wouldn’t approach them for an apt for fear of loosing my fingers. The nice thing is every now and again you come across a friendly one. How do you know which is which – wait and see and if it wags its tail and doesn’t bark, you are probably in with a chance. If you speak to it in English – no chance as these dogs are not bilingual. If you say “Hola” and it comes to you with tail wagging – it’s your lucky day. This lovely fellow was sitting at the entrance of a village and treated as we came in. He walked along side us barking as he wanted more attention and left use when we moved out of his area of patrol. Note this fellow was serving the same person as the old lady yesterday at Albergeria – showing the way.
Now this wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t mention cats. I haven’t seen that many. They also don’t speak English and tend to run at any approach. Today I had my first friendly puss who actually allowed me to pat it. Funnily enough it was in the same village as the dog and when I was patting the cat, the dog barked more almost as it jealous. This one was what Val called a mouldy Siamese and she had lovely pale blue eyes.
Eventually the clouds of my mind lifted and the clouds in the sky. We went over a little slope (well it was compared with yesterday) and there was a lovely vista laid out before us. We figured our stop for the night of Xunquiera de Ambai (imagine how many points you could score with that one on a scrabble board) was the village off in the distance.
It was only a short walk though more ferny glades until we arrived at our destination. Very pleasant. The unpleasant surprise was that after we headed into town to wait for the albergue to open it was almost full. Only five out of 40 beds left. Where did all those people come from. Mr and France are here as is young Mr Poland who has been reunited with his wife and family. Miss ex-flamingo dancer with her young court appointed charge are also here as they have been since the beginning. The others – who knows. No bottom bunks as they were long taken so Herr Clack Clack most unlikely to be here.
Xunqueria is just gorgeous. It’s my favourite of the small towns so far. We sat at this bar and had a drink while we waited for the albergue to open and got a lovely view of the choice steeple beside us.
Another 16 km done. An easy day in many ways.