Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Amigos on Camino -- Day 6 Ventas de Naron to Palas de Rei

Day 6 and we were halfway into our Camino.  Time flies when you're on the road.  Today, the walk would take us from Ventas de Naron all the way to Palas de Rei -- a total of eleven kilometres in all.  

For pilgrims passing through Ventas de Naron, this little stone chapel is a place to get their credentiales stamped -- however, we were a bit early and the door was still closed.

Hola,  my kindred spirit!  Consider the slug -- taking advantage of the cool early morning air, it slowly inches its way across the road.  Along the Camino, the slug was my spirit animal -- slowly but surely, we would both get to our destination.

One of the many familiar symbols of the Camino (along with the yellow arrows or "flechas" and the many stone markers or "mogote") is the stone cross or cruceiro. 
They usually have carvings of Christ crucified but this particular one in Ligonde had a lovely stone effigy of a Madonna and Child on one side and the crucifix on the other -- very moving and affecting.   
This cross dates back to the 16th century and is said to be the most famous cross along the Camino.

I had read quite a few warnings about dogs along the Camino but for the most part they were well behaved --  let's just say, I let sleeping dogs lie.

We passed by an albergue in the hamlet of Ligonde, run by friendly young volunteers.  This sign on the wall sums up the calling of the Camino -- "I am the way, the truth and the life".

It was a lovely day for for a walk.   I would see many kinds of wildflowers like these pretty little white blossoms. They would appear like small bursts of beauty and always helped restore my spirits.

This narrow downhill rocky path was the way out of Ligonde -- the path was good for just one person at a time.  I was  lucky there was no one behind me so I was able to take my time.

The walk continued through country roads, passing through the little village of Eirexe.

Aside from walking the Camino, there are many who take their bikes.  Sometimes, we shared the paths with these "bicigrinos" --  it was always good to keep an ear out for cyclists so you could step aside and get out of their way.

Eirexe's roads were mostly empty except for a few cars and delivery vans -- it was a pleasure to walk through her tree shaded lanes.

At the junction of A Cruces, I saw this pilgrim lying by the road --  perhaps he was just enjoying the breezy, sunny morning.  The walk would continue  through paved roads with a beautiful view of the surrounding hillsides.

My inner slug and I finally caught up with the rest of the Amigos at a very interesting albergue in the village of Portos. 

Large metal ant sculptures were all over the yard -- ants are not Camino fixtures so I wondered what they were doing there.

They certainly weren't going to get into my delicious slice of empanada!  

Inside the albergue, there was a large map where pilgrims signed their names alongside the country where they came from.

The Philippines was well represented -- with pilgrims from Manila and Cebu.

 Right after Portos, there is a sign that points towards Vilar de Donas.  I had read about this 13th century monastery that is a National Monument and the burial ground of the Knights of Santiago.  Unfortunately,  the monastery was closed today, a Monday.   I am sure it would have been well worth the three kilometre detour.

I passed by another Romanesque stone church with the double church bells that had come to be a common sight along the Camino.

The  68 on the marker meant that I had walked for nine kilometres from Ventas de Naron -- hardly noticeable as it had been an easy and pleasant walk on a gorgeous day.  I just had two kilometres 
to go!

At O Chacotes, one kilometre before Palas de Rei, we came upon this stone platform -- raise those walking sticks high -- we had made it yet again!

Time to mug with a mug of ice cold Mahou!  Day 7 beckons tomorrow -- ultreia, et suseia!
Onward and further upwards on the Camino (but not literally upwards, I hope!)

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