The journey is still full of joy!

Hi All

I am now in a place with the called of Xunqueira de Ambia. Wrap that around your tongue a couple of times.

Since I last posted I left Laza on Sunday crossing over the first ground frost I have seen on the journey. But it warmed up to cool by the afternoon. I hardly noticed cool since I was engaged in climbing the 500 metres over 5.2 kms to the top of the next pass. This was tough work and at kept me sweating from every pore. At the steepest points you really have to lean into the hill to keep from falling backwards from the weight of the pack. But as Peter OCarroll has told me Poli, Poli or slowly, slowly which is what the guides told him when he and Finn were climbing Mount Kilamanjaro.

Near the summit there is tiny bar in a tiny village where the owner keeps a record of all of his customers by having them sign cockel shells which he hangs on the walls. There are hundreds going back years. When I entered he was playing Suzanne by Leonard Cohen on his CD, my favourite song by one of my favourite musical artists.  I  smartly said  Leonard Cohen to him and he said  Si  with a puzzled  look. When I signed the shell and marked my country the light dawned and he said Cohen Si Canada!

I stopped there for a can of coke and ate two petites madelaines to best remember this moment as I listened to the rest of the CD.

My next stop was Vilar do Barrio a delightful little town. Again I was wasted by dayś exertions and was rewarded by having some guy send  me four extra kms in a futile walk to an inappropriate albergue in a railway station far from town.

When somebody finally turned me around I went to a brand new albergue in the centre of the town only opened a few months ago which was delightful. Even more enriching was the company of two German peregrinos Lisa and Ludger Robben,  a brother and sister who are  walking the  camino as  devout  Catholics because it is the Holy Year. Ludger is police officer for the German national  force presently posted to Crime Prevention and loving it. It was Sunday and our options for dinner were very limited but our very friendly hospitalera sent us across the street to a private home, no. 17 where a wonderful elderly lady prepared us a very good dinner.

Put Vilar on your list of places to stay.

I have just been informed that I will be automatically kicked off the computer in the library in 3 minutes so must go.

Mass for pilgrims, maybe only me, at 7:30 then dinner at the restaurant run by the ladies, Laurie.

Bill

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