15 May 2016
The Bears', of little brain, philosophy on a human's life and the Camino.
On the 10 May we returned by bus to Tabara where we now found the Albergue full and so had to return to the El Roble Hotel which was also full. Four Irishmen were also looking for accommodation and so the landlord phoned someone. We were told to wait and then a man came and collected all of us in a van and took us to an apartment which had four bedrooms. As luck would have it our BBF chose the one room which had the ensuite bathroom!
The next day we set off for Santa Croya de Tera some 21 kilometres away. The day was grey and it threatened to rain, but fortunately did not. The way was generally well drained and today we found that there were many more pilgrims on the route and we were passed by some of them. We were able to stop in a bar along the way and have a belated breakfast and then when we got to Santa Croya de Tera, found we were among the first in the Albergue. It filled up fairly quickly though. That night the Irish had a sing song to celebrate the end of their walk for that season, as they were returning to Irleand the next day. We were in a dormitory next door together with some Spanish pilgrims and they were not able to differentiate between English and Irish so the English got the blame for not respecting the sleep of other pilgrims!!
Leaving Santa Croya de Tera we now found ourselves walking in a Westerly direction at last, as we had what little sun there was, on our backs.
Villar de Farfon was our next destination and we beat the rain to get there.
The way took us across some nice wild country and our BBF chose to go through the bush directly up the hill to the top of the hydroelectric dam. In the picture we came from beyond the church you see in the top left, to the track you can just see on the top right and from there through the bush to the dam.
We found just a couple of these way markers in the bush to indicate we were on the right track.
We crossed over the dam and then followed the lake round to a small village where we found our small little Albergue.
It was run by a couple of South African missionaries and would have been a delightful place to stop were it not for the cold and rain. The warmest place was in bed so were were all in bed early. Alan was not alone here, an Australian pilgrim, called Richard also stopped here.
The next morning after a cup of tea we set off in the rain, which fortunately stopped later and then the sun came out. We got within 25 yards of a deer just before the rain stopped, which was the highlight of this section.
Generally though the way was waterlogged and we had to try and find the dryest route through.
The Rio Negro here in full flood. In Rionegro del Puente we were able to stop in a bar for breakfast and here we found a Spanish pilgrim and Richard also caught us up.
In Mombuey we stopped at the Albergue.
It was very primitive here, perhaps the most we have encountered. It soon filled up though with some Spanish and other pilgrims who were the worst snorers too.
We were glad to get out the next day and set off early for Puebla de Sanabria.
The AVE is a new high speed rail link being built and this crossed our path. Our BBF now decided to use it as it was a beautiful path. We had it to ourselves, apart from the deer and we saw lots of them along the way.
The views across the country was lovely when the sun shone.
We got off the AVE at this tunnel and walked then on the road into Puebla de Sanabria.
This morning, Sunday 15 May we were out the door early and had to walk up steps to the walled town, some 215 in all.
The views compensated us for the effort of climbing the stairs.
The rest of the day was spent in steadily climbing up hill to the highest point on the Camino so far.
When we got here we found the Albergue was full so we went to the nearest Casa Rural and were lucky to get a room to ourselves.
Alan left us here to go and find a meal and then on the way back found the church open and was able to spend some time there in prayer. As there was Gregorian Chant playing he did not sing.
Last year on the Camino we had a real purpose in walking, we were not sure if our BBF had a real purpose in walking this one though!
He has said he is walking now to redeem his own soul. He carries with him a stone as large as a plum, which he says represents all his sins of commission and omission from his life before Hanna! He also has two smaller stones which we understand represents four hearts he has broken and who's lives were changed for ever as a consequence. We have no idea who's hearts, since we two were not with him then. Only Pippa and Squeak the matriach and patriarch of our Bear family would know, They after all have been with him for ever and are as old as Methusila and know everything. We can say that these hearts are not his two former wives. The two heart stones he picked up from outside the Station officer's mess in Hohne and the other from outside his former office in Hohne.
The Camino is like life itself. Each person on it, walks his own path. No one can say that that path is the wrong one. Some pilgrims, take a bus part of the way. Others take a short cut as our BBF has done. Some are fast, others slow. Sometimes the path is steep and often it can be so muddy that each step is a trial as the feet get so heavy with the mud collected. Often humans carry far too much baggage and this weighs them down too. Sometimes humans go on the wrong path and must somehow find their way back. The people you meet on the Camino are often are not always as nice as one would like. Some are to be avoided, snorers in particular, Alan says.
A person is best measured, not by their wealth or power, but by they quality of the friends they surround themselves with. On this Camino we have not been so fortunate as to find BFs, as on Hanna's Camino last year. Alan has made some new Facebook friends, but that is about all.
He has also found that he has walked alone all the way. It is not that he minds that so much. But he found when sailing around the world alone, that only when he was in Hanna's company did he have contact to local people. A man alone is always a bit suspicious. Women too have their own way of looking at the world and at life. He would wish to travel to far away places again, but does not want to do so alone, for it will never be as enjoyable as in company with a woman.
Alan has said that this Camino is at least good training for walking the old East German Border later in the year, for he will always be alone on that long walk. But with us as company, he is never really alone is he?