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Day 38 - Little Things

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Mon 23rd Oct., Rionegro del Puente to Entrepeñas. Approx 22 klms.


This might sound a bit pretentious (not meant to) or maybe just a bit fluffy, but I think these long distance walks change something in you (me). If you've been reading along so far you'll know that there's been a couple of challenges, but really, in the scheme of things, and certainly in hindsight, nothing of really great consequence. So if I put them aside and cut back to the question of what has this last 5 weeks or so been about, one of the answers I come up with is how relatively easy it is to get by with minimal "stuff". Now sure, we have our lives back home with house and cars and work and commitments, and this little device on which I'm writing this sort of carries my whole life within its electrons, but most of that is "there", not "here". Here we are just like a pair of old tortoises, wandering along with our whole lives on our backs. Some dirty stinky clothes (metaphorically) for day wear, a duplicate (clean) set for night wear, and pretty well that's it. Bars and cafes are our friends to keep us fuelled. A warm, dry (and preferably relatively quiet!) place to sleep tops it off. Not much else needed. And then what I find happens is that I find myself less and less thinking about (and certainly worrying about) the "big" things, and as a result notice more the little things. Today was one of those days.


We left the albergue just after dawn and strolled off into the coldness. Not all that long after it started to rain, and that stayed with us for the next 5 hours. Chilly, damp (obviously), but not all that unpleasant. Strolling along in the rain, looking at the little things.


These next few photos capture some of them:


Dawn over the village


It may not be obvious, but the distance marker shows 286.13 klms to Santiago de Compostela. The first time we've been less than 300 klms from the end. 300 klms is still 300 klms, but it "feels" little, 5 weeks into our journey



The weekend is hunting time in Spain, and gunfire was a fairly constant companion yesterday. But I was surprised to see spent 12-gauge cartridges right on the Camino (top photo), especially within 100 metres or so of a building (bottom photo)


Midday. Mombuey.




A train-track selfie. We both liked the symmetry of the AVE* tracks. Little things.

*Alta Velocidad Española


Janet commented that we'd not seen any cows for some days, and then around the next bend. I thought Cow 8838 was particularly good looking. She seemed to like me. More little things


Fabulously pretty landscape; ancient stone walls


This isn't a particularly good picture, as getting the best angle was nigh on impossible. The Iglesia Parroquial at Cernadilla sits on a high point, and is surrounded on three sides by the cementerio, which in effect makes up the retaining wall for the land on which the church sits


Couldn't help but notice these three identical houses - very flash - at San Salvador de Palazuelo


Loved this, also at San Salvador de Palazuelo . It might be a bit hard to read - the hand painted red sign above the door reads "Se Vende, Buen Precio" - For Sale, Good Price. I bet ...


The ancient steps to the bell tower of Iglesia de La Transfiguración del Señor at San Salvador de Palazuelo. Needless to say I had to climb them, in the process managing to hit my head heavily on the mini entrance at the top.



Magic??



WwwA different type of magic - some of today's walk in the magic forests between Mombuey and Entrepeñas.


Which brings us to now. After two nights we decided to eschew the albergues. We were going to go through to Asturianos tonight, but changed our plans (encouraged somewhat by the less than enticing description of the Asturianos albergue, and also the quite poor behavior of a couple of Korean cyclists who we had to share the dormitory with last night). We were lucky to secure the delightful Casa Rural Azul Sanabria in Entrepeñas. It's a refurbished 100 year old cottage in this quaint (and cold) village, which sits at over 900 metres, close to the highest point in the Camino.




Thanks for the comments yesterday, and particularly to my New Mexico reader for reminding me that the style/material of the traditional houses is adobe. Of course I knew that, but yesterday’s brain didn't recall it. Wiki tells me today that the word adobe is Spanish for "mud brick", and that mud brick constructions here in Spain date back to the 8th century BCE, and also that the people of the Americas and the Andes have been using this for "several thousand years". So there you go ...


The same New Mexico reader asked about wolves. No, we've not seen any, but that would be pretty cool. I did see a wolf book in a bookstore window in Zamora though; can't find/recall its name. Apparently the wolf population here in Spain is still only about 2,500, so it'd be unlikely we'd cross paths. As best as I can tell wolf hunting is now illegal across all of Spain, but there are complexities. This article and this one cover some of the issues.


Today we saw several flocks of what I assume are Roe deer. For the last couple of days I've seen sizeable areas of turf beside the paths we've been on which have been disturbed by some animal. I initially thought that it might be deer, but I think it's more likely that they've been made by feral pigs.


One further thought which I've been contemplating since my chat with Craig Wallace yesterday. His pueblo is an extreme example, but there are lots of small villages which comprise solely of houses, and no other services. Taken to one extreme, one might say that they will all slowly die. But there's a counter point. All (lots?) of these little villages are within a few minutes drive of a larger centre. So they may not have anything in town, but everything is readily available. That's no different to where Janet and I live. We're a 10 minute drive to the nearest town; there's no tienda or cafe around the corner for us - we have no choice other than to hop in the car. And so it is here, I imagine. So the issue isn't necessarily one of the town, but I think it is one for the Camino. Will it mean that this Camino will never be walked by other than a relatively few hardy souls who have an entirely different level of self-sufficiency to those who walk, say, the Camino Frances? And on top of that there's the uniqueness of the VDLP at this time of year, where one starts in potentially dangerously high temperatures and ends in the very cold. So it's a more complex issue than my cursory post yesterday suggested.


Lastly, thanks to all those who commented on Me Gusta Comer. Teo clearly is a Sanabrés institution, and we were delighted that fate took us there.


Short walk tomorrow (~ 18 klms) into Puebla de Sanabria. Will see if I can get an additional warm layer. It's going to be 3-degrees here in Entrepeñas en la mañana 🤪 .


Hasta luego.

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9 comentários


Convidado:
25 de out. de 2023

What happened to day 37

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pac
pac
28 de out. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thanks D.

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Sandra Wolf
Sandra Wolf
24 de out. de 2023

I really do like the photos and commentary. What you are feeling is exactly what I felt on the last two caminos. The need for very little. All the stuff we need and yet we don't. I look at the photos and I feel the cold but I also feel the memories coming back of our caminos and I am very grateful that you are sharing your experience with us. Cheers Bill & Sandra

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Trish Flower
Trish Flower
24 de out. de 2023

I always find that, coming home after months in the caravan. Life is so simple and easy, much more living in the moment without the inherent chores, planning, maintaining. Spontaneity and freedom. Also living in a small space, (or on foot!) makes you connect with the natural world. I saw, heard and smelt the elements so much more than when cocooned in the 'comforts of home' x Trish

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duncan
24 de out. de 2023

Totally agree that you find you can get by with minimal stuff. Also it is very liberating! We had 10 weeks on bikes this year, so could carry more than your backpacks - so perhaps not as stinky :) At the end of that we would have been quite happy to continue. I find it quite odd to come "home" and find a house, car, stuff that we managed quite - no very - happily without. Plus all the complications and responsibilities, a home entails. There is a deep sense of ... peace perhaps ... setting off in the morning with everything you need on your bike/back.

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Convidado:
23 de out. de 2023

You are quite right when you say we can get by with very little. Unfortunately that changes to some degree when we return home. Loved your photos of "the littlethings" along the way.

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