Happy in the valleys and mountains!

Hi All

I am presently in the town of A Gudina in Galicia finally. The last three days have been thru the valleys and moutains and it is a tiring but exhilirating (sp?) experience. Up a steep slope for several hours and then a steep slope into the next valley. The vistas are superb and the narrow paths and abundant foliage are wonderful.

Yesterday was the most challenging day climbing over 1,000feet ofpass called Portela de Canda. The path was straight up, very rocky with mud and streams running across and sometimes down the path. I loved it but was a tad tired at the summit.

Then going down the other side was a challenge too because the pitch was the same and so was the surface conditions. But the weather has been wonderful with sun and some clouds. This would be very tough if there was rain. On the down slope from Canda I was glad that I was watching my feet closely because I almost stepped on a thick black snack sunning itself on a rock. I jumped so high and yelled so loud that it slid away into the bushes. My eyes are really trained now.

Laurie, ad others looking at a camino soon. Here are my experiences for your record. I stayed in Requejo three nights ago I think at the Casa Cervino and it was wonderful. Only two of us there – other was Lizbuth, Peter, and yes I continued your tradition of taking care of her. She is now walking the cyclist route on the highway instead of the camino path because of a sore foot. This means that she crosses the valleys via huge high overpasses and goes thru the mountains by tunnels instead of over them.

And Laurie like you said the charming hospiteleros in Requejo sent me to to the Hostal Tu Casa up the road where I had one of the best meals of the camino for 6 Euro, the cheapest I have paid.

In contrast when I arrive in Lubian it was the festa of the Virgen de Pilar and the last day of the 4 day Spanish long weekend. So the Casa Pachaca was closed while the senora was away on holiday. And the bars were also closed so no meals out. So I was forced to stay at Casa Irene which provides dinner. As warned the senora is quite a bit rough along the edges and serves a less than acceptable meal. The good news is that the room she provided was very comfortable and clean. More details on demand for those who may need it.

I had a very interesting experience today. On my way along a truly delightful valley path I came upon a tiny village and stopped at the church sitting on the porch praying and reading my daily missal. A lady came along and asked me about my camino experience and when I told her that I was travelling alone she became concerned and said I shouldn´t do that because if I became ill or injured there would be nobody to help me. I told her that I wasn´t really alone because God was with me. This mollified her somewhat but there was a large PÈRO (BUT) as she walked away. 30 seconds later I heard her talking to someone and ten seconds later she cam back around the corner with my friend Willem Bakker in tow. I haven´t seen Willem in three weeks because he came down with horrible blisters and had to stop for awhile. Senora was very happy at our reunion and delighted to tell me “No solo ahora” you are not alone now. And even stranger still Willem said that for the previous half hour walking he had been thinking about me and wondering if and when he would see me again.

Weather reports for the area for the next few days are for sun and clouds, no rain. This should make the valley and mountain experience continuing delightful. There are many more peaks and slopes ahead before I reach Santiago in about 10 days.

Here is a strange thing. Although it is true that I on the whole I haven´t met many pilgrims on this camino it is still amazing to me that all except one have been from the European Union. The only exception was Michica from Japon. Where are all the North and South Americans, the Aussies and Kiwis who were so numerous of the Camino Frances two years ago?

Also, for the strange but true file there are tens of millions of oak trees everywhere along the camino. Why?

Love to my family and friends for whom I walk the camino and all the best to the camino followers of this post. I hope that you are learning something from the brief information I am providing.

Bill Beahen

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6 Responses to Happy in the valleys and mountains!

  1. Brenda Zanin says:

    Hi Bill! I’ve really enjoyed all your blogs so far – I’m still amazed at the number of kilometers you are covering each day. Equally inspiring are the many times you have been brushed by angels’ wings, guiding your path to the mass you wanted to attend, to the friend you hadn’t seen in weeks, away from the snake you almost stepped on, to the one place where you could get a nourishing meal. Val and I went on a walk on Thanksgiving Monday (which, compared to yours would be like saying a fleck of dust and a heap of earth were both ‘soil’) in Ottawa’s Arboretum, which was dressed to the nines in all the autumn colours and fragrant with moist leaves underfoot. We ran into Nathan Hoedeman and his wife – haven’t seen him since LEAD days! He’s on secondment from OPS, working for a year at the Ottawa Community Housing office. Brought back old times. May your journey continue to be a safe one, Bill. Cheers, BZ

  2. Carole Harrison says:

    Lovely, thanks Bill. Brings back memories of our 2006 walk and can’t wait until we are on the Vdlp next year. Strange there are no Aussies . . . . maybe we are all going next year. Buen camino. Carole

  3. Laurie says:

    Hi, Bill,
    Wow, how quickly time flies — I can’t believe you’re in A Gudina already! I love reading about your experiences because it brings back lots of my own memories (like that 6 euro meal in Hotel Tu Casa!).

    I am not much of an arborist, but I too was impressed by the huge numbers of oaks along the way, especially in Galicia. It was explained to me that the Vdlp, unlike the Camino Frances, tends to go through parts of Galicia where the original growth has not been replaced by the voracious invading eucalyptus trees. I have to admit I am not a big eucalyptus fan and thoroughly enjoyed walking through so many beautiful forests of oaks and other native species I can’t identify — and you have many more to come in the next few days.

    Thanks again so much for keeping in touch and sharing your wonderful experiences, Laurie

  4. Sandra O'Connell says:

    Hi Bill,
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your blogs. When you miss a few days, I worry that you are okay ! This Aussie hopes to walk the VDLP next year—– I wasn’t too impressed with the black snake !! I have met a few when walking in the bush here.
    Thanks for all the info you give and the description of the terrain you are walking through. Take care , and I look forward to more of your sharing.
    Sandra.

  5. Katie B says:

    Watch out for snakes dad!! This is why the Senora and I worry about you walking alone! Glad to hear that you are well and I’m glad the journey is going so well.

    Love,
    Katie

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