Footprints

Puebla de Sanabria Travel Blog

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Proof !

Note: Photos have been added on return frm Spain

In Castellano a footprint is called a ´huella´. Since the 2rd of June I have made more footprints than I could count. I have explored 3 regions of Spain (Andalucía, Extremedura and Castilla y Léon) and will enter the final fourth (Galicia) tomorrow. All along this wonderful camino I have been telling my tales, words falling onto the page like footprints from my memory as it replays the last few day´s events.

As I walked this morning I was thinking about a particular photo I was taking. Why I have not included any photos in this diary yet? It would be easy to work out the technology and post some pictures. My conclusion was - if I do this, my words would not have the same emotional power.

Organic gardening

If ´a picture is worth a thousand words´, what would my words be worth if they were replaced with photos? On this Camino I have come to realise that without the stimulus of television and the bombardment of advertising every day, I have started to use my imagination again. I watched the smoke escape from a tiny slate chimney this morning, smelling the sweet aroma of burning wood, and I was completely transported to another place and time. A photo could not evoke that for you. If I posted a photo of the little cottage, nestling in the lush forest, cosy and complete, you would not create from my words your own unique vision. So let my words be footprints to your imagination and let yourself go!

This morning was the coldest I have experienced so far in Spain.

Typical house near Puebla de Sanabria
I think it would have been colder than Melbourne as I was breathing mist for at least 2 hours and also spied crisp frosty tussock in some places. I am now in the mountains as I near Galicia. All the little pueblos nestle in hillside nooks and crannies, sheltering from the cold and the winds. Houses are no longer adobe but made of slate. The oldest consist of 2 storeys, the lower was originally for keeping the animals and the upper for the family (naturally warmed by their livestock sheltering below). They have precarious external slate stairways leading to the upper level, often with a pretty overhanging wooden terrace at the ´front´door. Many are now in ruin with only the slate parts remaining but still so beautiful in their structure.
My friend the burro
It feels like I have left Spain and found some new land as the menus now offer´truche´(trout) and the drink of choice is ´cidre´(cider).

It was a quick transition from 2 days ago, when I left Anita and Domingo´s paradise and the land of Bodegas behind. I had 2 lovely days walking and stayed in one of the largest Albergues yet in one of the smallest Pueblos called Rionegro del Puente. The Albergue was 2-storeyed with a large dorm downstairs and a lovely sunny one upstairs. I was lucky to catch the Biblioteca open for a short time to catch up on replying to emails. I had received a lovely one from Juan but he had decided to write it completely in Castillano! I spent s fun afternoon with my dictionary and plenty of coffee translating it. Payback is coming.

Walking to Cernadilla, a fleeting meetinig

During paseo (afternoon walk) I found a cute burro (mule) tethered in a field and went to give it a hug. It had a long shaggy mane and I decided to help it out by plaiting it so it was away from the eyes. I had visions of the owner returning and wondering how the mule plaited its own hair (cartoon style). Just my stupid sense of humour at the moment but let youself go!

Only Antonio and I were in residence that evening. We ate at one of the 2 bars, Bar Palacio (not really an example of it´s name). The matron of the establishment, Manuela, prepared wonderful food for us from the moment we arrived.  Yesterday, Sunday, I was treated to chicken and seafood Paella with salad - all of the vegetables were from the family garden plot. It was very special.

Inside the tiniest Albergue at Cernadilla

Sunday is always family day and even though I was alone, I felt like a part of something bigger. In Spain everyone (EVERYONE) says hello when they walk into a store or pass someone on the street. You do not enter a bar or shop without saying hello. I just love it and look forward to my ´hola, buen dia´ or ´hola, buenas tarde´at different times of the day. When did we stop being so polite?

Sunday also heralds big sporting events and yesterday was another Formula 1 in UK (Alonso) and Wimbledon men´s final. Rafael Nadal was playing so all of Spain was glued to the match. It also meant that Antonio and I waited until late in the afternoon to walk (5.00pm) so we could enjoy the start of the match. I think I am turning Spanish ´vamos, Rafa, vamos!!´(come on, Rafa, come on!) I cheered with the rest of them. I used to be a Federer fan.

The late afternoon walk was only 18 km and brought us to a tiny place called Cernadilla. There are not many regugios from now on so you really just stay where there is a bed. It was a total surprise to arrive here at 8.45pm and be greeted by a few locals who quickly found the person with the Albergue key. It was just on the edge of the pueblo and in a little wood. Behind it were a few old adobe buildings that once would have housed the horses. What a treat - the Albergue itself was a tiny stone cottage with 4 sleeping mats on little platforms on the floor, a teeny kitchen area and a modern bathroom with hot(!) water. The building itself was several hundred years old but very cosy and protected from the cold evening air.

I had to get my sleeping bag out for only the third time (and many more to come in Galicia I suspect). It was a bocadillo for dinner, using up the last of my cheese and jamon. What a contrast to the previous night in Rionegro with crumbling adobe buildings, warmth and a huge Albergue!

So, here I am (alone again) in Puebla de Sanabria at the local library before it closes at 2.00pm. I am off to make some more footprints and find somewhere to sleep tonight. I hope these footprints (words) I have left for you today take you to somewhere other than where you were 10 minutes ago!

Vamos, Gracee, vamos !

MermaidLilli says:
Funny how one can walk and not see anyone. While sitting in front of the castle in Puebla a Belgian man when he saw me was surprised as I was the first pilgrim he had seen in over a week. Many others were there too. Marketa was there with a man from Holland I believe? The 4 of us had a great dinner together.
Posted on: Nov 17, 2008
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Proof !
Proof !
Organic gardening
Organic gardening
Typical house near Puebla de Sanab…
Typical house near Puebla de Sana…
My friend the burro
My friend the burro
Walking to Cernadilla, a fleeting …
Walking to Cernadilla, a fleeting…
Inside the tiniest Albergue at Cer…
Inside the tiniest Albergue at Ce…
Puebla de Sanabria
photo by: Gracethepilgrim