Sunday, September 8, 2013

Detours, Dangers, and Details

Leon to Piedrafita de Cebreiro by Bus
Piedrafita de Cebreiro to O'Cebrero by Taxi
O'Cebreiro to Fonfria, 11.5 km

What it looked like when I arrived in O'Cebreiro from the boot room.  Most places require you to leave your boots on a rack outside, because they smell so bad... I guess because they get so much inclement weather, they built a room for them!

I am currently taking a bit of a break in Hospital de la Condesa in this little bar with a loom by the bathrooms.  So far this morning has been a little rough on the feet, but having my backpack off and my feet up should help me get the rest of the way to Fonfria.  I am hating the snail's pace I am setting, but in the process, I am noticing some really pretty things on the trail, in spite of the fog.

I saw this on the trail this morning as I was walking.  The spider seems to have found shelter from the fog, though!

Of course, I got lost leaving O'Cebreiro, and ended up walking about 3 km on the side of the road instead of on the actual trail.  I went wrong by listening to other pilgrims saying that the only thing that the yellow arrows went to was the albergue!  I am getting better at listening to the inner promptings within my spirit, but I am not there yet, and every time I don't listen, I either end up lost or walking further than I need to.  I kept seeing signs telling me how far it is to Triacastela, so I knew I could pick up the Camino there, but was worried that there would be no place to stop until then.  There is no way I could walk 21km!

My view as I walked on the highway.  When I reached Linares, I saw a pilgrim on the proper trail, and I was incredibly thankful when I finally saw this:
I have been taking pictures of funny graffiti, and this definitely qualifies, even if it is potty humor!  Other than the hand-drawn enhancements, this is the official sign for the walking trail of the Camino, and always a welcome sight!

Here is a better example, although the arrows are usually yellow.

There was a beautiful Romanesque church in Linares, and I took a bit of a break there, finishing my Rosary, and taking off my pack.  There was a nice statue of Santiago Peregrino, and the village just left it open for anyone.  I guess rural Spain is a lot like the rural US--no locked doors!  

My first view of the outside of the church in Linares.  There was fog until about 10:30 this morning when I either got below it or it burned off, I'm not sure which.

I actually had a rather pleasant walk this morning once I found the Camino, in spite of, or maybe because of the fog, since it felt like I had the trail to myself.  Well, except for the two times I had to cross the highway in order to stick to the Camino.  It was a bit of a heart stopper to try to cross the highway when you can't see whether cars are coming or not.  I am beginning to understand why Spain has a law saying that you ned to have reflective gear if you are walking/biking on any motorway.

So that you have an idea of the visibility this morning.

Now that I am in Fonfria at my stopping place for the night, I have to say that it is rather strange to be almost done with my Laundry, washed up, and the first person to check in for the night... It is only about 2:30 pm, and I got here right about noon.  The girl at the desk had to ask to make sure that they had finished cleaning!  I do like being able to have my choice of beds, though.  I am also iced, medicated, and enjoying my second cup of tea with honey in a real mug! If I have one complaint about my Camino, it is that Spain is stingy with the size of their cups of tea, and I have only encountered honey in 3 places including this one so far.  I actually took a picture of the Honey when I encountered it in Moratinos!  

This is a normal sized cup of Tea in Spain.  The water bottle is a point of reference--the bottle is 500 mL, which is just a tiny bit smaller than a 16 oz bottle.  This is also only the second time I have encountered disposable cups on my whole Camino (I was in the bus station in Leon). Everywhere else, they only have real cups and glasses, and you are expected to eat it there.  I like that, as it means the culture expects you to actually enjoy your food by sitting down to eat/drink it.

O'Cebreiro was wonderful and beautiful, especially spending time before the Eucharistic Miracle. However, while I know the Lord did something in my heart while there, the experience feels much like the night of my Confirmation--too hard to put into words, and too private to explain if I could.  I have a feeling that, like my Confirmation, it will be years before I fully fathom all that He did for me while I was there in His presence.

One of the many taverns and buildings in O'Cebreiro.  The fog meant that I didn't take too many pictures, but every building I saw there was made of stone and with either thatch or slate roofs.  From what I understand, this town has celtic roots, and a couple of the inhabitants were playing a drum and bagpipes in one of the taverns last night.

The loom in Hospital de la Condesa.  Muy Bonito!

Only 145 km to Santiago, and a typical yellow arrow way marker in the background! In cities and town, you have to keep an eye out for them, as they could be on a sign post, on the curb, on a building, or even in the middle of the street (and why I have gotten lost several times)! They also tend to be anywhere there is a fork in the road, but not always.  That is when you either wait for a pilgrim in the know or you choose and pray it is the right choice!  Last night, one of my fellow pilgrims chose wrong and ended up walking an extra 5 km!

My first glimpse of Fonfria.  The blue and yellow sign in front is the marker for the Camino on all motorways.  Most of the time, the walking path is separate and may or may not parallel the motorway--about half the time bicyclists must take the motorway, so these signs are pretty common.