|In the early morning these trees looked|
mysterious and beautiful, but the camera
has washed out the early morning light a bit
Another superb and beautiful walk even if a little confusing with the new rail road construction, but not as bad as we have had! There are pros and cons to walking in May. The plus sides are the stunning spring flowers and amazing bird song that fills the air around us. There are many more peregrinos so it really feels like the Camino and it can be sociable, and this in turn also means there is more accommodation available and food is easy to come by. The daylight hours are longer, so for those who don't mind traveling in the evening or starting early, quite a number of km can be covered.
|The trees have so much flock falling from|
them it looks like frost or snow as we walk.
Later on the route I could wade through it
in some places, just like snow.
|An actual apology for the inconvenience!|
|Looking back towards Tábara from the new diversion|
on the Camino. The way is open and flat from here
for some distance, but pretty and lovely in the cool
of the morning air.
|Yume accompanied me from|
Tábara to our next meeting point
|The dogs chill out while waiting for me to join them for|
my doughnuts and coffee
|Better not collect those mushrooms|
|The field on the left is the mushroom field! Beautiful|
walking - very tranquil
|Akina on the track leading to the restaurant sign!|
|Restaurant and rest stop sign|
also offering to stamp credentials
The day was heating up and in fact, it became so warm that as I approached a plethora of signs, I stopped to change into my shorts!! The first time I had walked in shorts since the early days of the Camino back in Valencia. I was now drinking from my Camelbak regularly and was getting a bit concerned about the lack of water for Akina. The stretch seemed much longer than I had anticipated and despite the time of year the streams were already just muddy ditches in most places. Akina is much more able to cope with heat than Kaishi though and is very much a "Ridgeback" that can cope better than most dogs in hotter weather. She did not seem at all bothered and was hardly panting.
|Yes! Legs! Finally carrying the shorts in my|
backpack paid off and I got the chance
to wear them!
|The crossroads of signs. I turn right here and the Sanabres|
goes straight on
|Sanabres Mozarabe direction markers and sign for restaurant with|
accommodation - complete with pamphlet holders!
|Akina on a bridge - each little pillar|
has stones placed by peregrinos
The view as we headed down the hill on our final stretch of the day's walk was lovely. In the distance, I could see the hills we were due to climb in a few days - and this reminded me of how I had seen the hills ahead the last time we had made a trip on the Camino back in the autumn when I headed over hills behind Cebreros. These are not so high, but imposing all the same.
The day started to get tiring. Although not far to go the heat (and for some reason "day 4") always give me a low energy point. I could see the car marked on the GPS and knew lunch awaited me, but it just didn't ever seem to get any closer! One step at a time! One foot in front of the other - that's all you can do. And so we made it.
Michael and the other dogs had walked out to meet us and it was lovely to be reunited. It lifted the spirits and the energy levels and we got to the car which then took us to a quiet and cool picnic spot under some trees, shedding their snowflake flock. However, just as we were about to make our own cheese and tomato bocadillos, up popped an old gentleman who decided he would chat to us... and chat to us... and chat to us! Plenty of Spanish practice today I thought (and more later on when we reached the bar in town where I stayed)... but my brain needed food. It's impossible not to chat though when someone is so enthusiastic and friendly and wants to share their time and companionship along with their love of their home land. It's what makes the Camino and the people of Spain a delight.
|The church at Rio Negro|
|Room at the hostal belonging to Bar Palacio. Book in|
at the bar who serve good home cooked food - in particular ask for
the lentils - they are delicious!! 15 Euros for the night.
The lady who seemed to really run the place a real "madre" was Esther. We found her in Bar Palacio where the bookings are taken, sellos are issued and food is served. She was the most warm and welcoming lady and she too captured our attention, chatting to us alongside her friend about how hard work in the fields and good home grown and home cooked food was the success for longevity and health. Also, not partaking of alcohol! She explained that it gets very cold here and that the Rio Negro is so called because it freezes in winter and you can skae on it. It was hard to believe sitting outside with a cold beer in 28 degrees, but the road signs displaying snowflakes back up the fact that in winter this is a very different place! Esther too proudly announced that she was 81... a day for the octogenarians I think! She showed me to her hostal, which was an old farmhouse in the middle of town with a beautifully kept courtyard where she even offered us for the dogs to stay. They would have been a bit isolated and worried in a totally strange place outside, so we thanked her but declined. The rooms were comfortable and simple, and it felt like I was stepping back in time.
|With Esther at the Bar Palacio - Rio Negro|
|The overnight camp spot for Michael and the dogs - a|
beautiful location by the river
With everyone discussing their age and it being Michael's birthday tomorrow, we ended up saying that we were going to stay at the cabins for a week and then I would walk a different section each day with the dogs but we could have some "holiday" time together between times. Everyone congratulated him and we said to Esther that we would return in a couple of days when I finally walked into Rio Negro officially and would have lentejas for lunch! She was delighted and promised to stamp my credential when I walked in on foot the next time we met.
|The dogs enjoying a good run and play at their overnight camp spot on the Rio Negro itself!|