We have just arrived in Sarria after a wonderful 5-hour walk through Yorkshire Dales countryside. We started off in the dark, me with my headlamp leading the way and Marion and Anneliese with their torches following behind. It is quite eerie walking in complete darkness with only starlight to see by. Everything around you takes on different shapes and for a while it felt as though we were walking through a tunnel but our torchlight's showed that it was a corridor of forest trees. This part of Spain is called Galicia and it is very green - mainly because it rains so much here! Fortunately we haven't had any rain for a few days and I hope the sun continues to shine whilst we are walking. Galicia is more rural than the other provinces we have walked through, and poorer than its neighbours. There are many small subsistence farms, which gives it its particular appeal. The hills and dales are very similar to the English countryside, a tapestry of small meadows and fields, now dotted with dandelions and daisies, outlined by bilberry hedges or dry stonewalls. There is an overriding smell of cow shit! We walk through it, hop-scotch around large steaming patties, and one can't escape the sweet-musty smell. If twilight is for nighttime, what does one call the period just before dawn? Dawn-light, perhaps? Well, dawn-light is my favourite time. The bird sound is amazing, trilling, whistling, chirping and even the indignant squawk of magpies disturb by our passing. There was mist in the valleys this morning and when the sun eventually touches the hillsides it makes you want to sing! I was singing that French song "Ce'st si Bon" all the way. Fortunately there are yellow arrows on the sides of barns, on fence posts and large stones just in case you get too carried away in song and tap-dance off the path!
Our first available stop this morning was after a 14km walk. How good that first cup of coffee tastes when you have walked three hours in the fresh air! From there we walked the last 5kms into Sarria and stopped at the Information office on the way in to find out where our hotel was. We arrived here before Finn who will be coming here from Santiago by taxi. I can't wait to see him and to share the next 112kms with him on the camino!
Will mail again soon,
S A M