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Day 52 - "With Wings"

Mon 6th Nov., Silleda to Vedra (Santa Cruz de Ribadulla), ~22klms, 30/31,000 steps

When I wrote my first real-time travel blog back in 2015, One Million Steps, I used to start the day with a theme, as I've being doing here, and also with a famous quote, or a title of or line from a song, or a line of poetry. I tried always to tie the quote/song etc back into the theme. (This time I've not bothered with the quotes, just relying on the theme.)

One of the side benefits of that little routine all those years back was that I discovered a few quotes which really speak to me. One of them is attributed to the famous mediaeval Persian poet Saadi Shīrāzī (1210-1291/2). Many will be familiar with this quote - "a traveler without observation is a bird without wings". It's clever in the obvious metaphor it employs, and more than that for me it is a reminder as to why I travel - to observe, and so to think and learn. I like to consider that in that regard I am like a bird with wings.

And as this trip rather quickly closes off, I spent much of the day asking myself the somewhat hypothetical question "what did I observe/learn?" I hope that my scribblings over the last 7 weeks have gone some way to answer that question, however beyond that I'm not going to further attempt to address it today; to do it justice it requires considerably more time to contemplate and then document than my daily blog posting routine affords me. But I will answer it over coming days/weeks, and record it here.

So having publicly set myself that task, let me do a recap of today. (And I'm not going to start - and hopefully not even incorporate - a weather report. I figure that enough's enough on that front, and in any case you can deduce it from the photos.)

So here's today's snaps ...

Odd town, Silleda, but this mural, sitting alongside the old cart, was lovely

Only 20 minutes or so into the day

Under 40 to go. We actually thought that today and tomorrow would be a total of 37klms, but either I erred or the space/time continuum warped again, as it seems that the total is/was nearer 42. Can't quite figure it out, but as "they" say, it is what it is ...

I loved the order and symmetry of this recently harvested field

Freeway selfie (again)

It's a bit hard to see, but on top of the house chimney is a white stork. In all my visits here, I think it's the first stork I've ever seen in a nest (we've seen squillions of empty nests before, and the occasional stork, but never the two together). Loved the old horreo on the left

Cows, house, church ...

L to R. Janet, Janet, Jill, some scruffy bloke, Sarah. Short story - Janet's a Pom; Jill and Sarah live in Blackheath. They know Barbara Hall ( and I think knew Lincoln) - what an amazingly interconnected world, as I've said previously. All being well we'll catch up with them for a farewell drink/meal in SdC on Wed/Thur.

Shadows? Huh??

I loved the colours

We saw many of this nut/berry/fruit. No idea what it is.

Near Loimil. A semi hollow tree with all manner of religious/spiritual artefacts attached. Sort of like the Sanabrés version of the Cruz de Ferro

Couldn't figure out what was going on here. Hectares and hectares of seemingly poisoned bracken. There's no way this could have been done by ground machine or by hand, which led me to think it was an aerial spraying job.

A fellow wanderer

The above two need to be looked at together. The first sign says "walk your horse down there, don't ride him/her". The next one says it's a 10-degree slope (which is very steep), and "precaución ciclistas" (and you don't need Google Translate to work that one out)

This was part of the steep path, but also see the 6 metre high embankment on Janet's left

The high speed (200 kph) train viaduct over the Rio Ulla.

Rio Ulla selfie in the bright sunshine

Rio Ulla with viaduct in the background

And one more

We're now safely ensconced at bar/pension Victoria, our last night on the road. We're sharing a lovely bottle of Crianza tempranillo, and as is almost always the case, quietly enjoying the surroundings and each other's company. We've almost been joined at the hip for the last seven weeks, and despite the occasional external drama, we're as good mates now as we were at the beginning; there's barely been a cross word, not that that should particularly be a surprise, but it's nice all the same.

Last day tomorrow. I think it's a 19 klm walk, so we should get there early afternoon. Until then ...

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