DAY 68. 14JULY. NEGREIRA TO SANTA MARIÑA

 She was Belgian... 

She was Belgian... 

I left rather late, but it was still cool with a breeze; at least for a few hours. I stopped for breakfast in a bar on the edge of town and asked the barman to make me a sandwich for lunch. The bread was  delicious; a huge, very handmade wholemeal circular loaf, slightly burnt on top with Serrano ham and tomato. I watched him carefully machine-slice the ham and assemble it on the plate and present it with pride. These moments are such gifts; the "fierce-attention" as the poet David Whyte calls it, that transforms the 'everyday' into revelation. I'm falling in love with Spain - I'm sure it has faults but there's something both humble and proud about its people.

 Sudden meadows amongst woods

Sudden meadows amongst woods

So I set off late on Tarmac and then dusty tracks through woods, meadows and now extensive fields of maize. It's still hilly, but not as steep as yesterday; there are numerous arrays of shining white wind-turbines on the ridges. I love the slow elegance of turbines; patiently making electricity out of the air. 

 Hundreds of lovely wind turbines

Hundreds of lovely wind turbines

About midday I come across a Pilgrim Shop in a wood in the middle of nowhere, where I buy a can of lemon and a peach. There sitting under a shady pine are the Italian family and the little boy. I congratulate him on how well he's doing on his "little legs" and he smiles proudly; these hills are no mean achievement. They are stopping in the next village as 12 km is their limit.

 The Camino generates revenue along its route.  

The Camino generates revenue along its route.  

I meet a Belgian woman on the next stretch, she walks fast and is a good pace-setter for getting up a long dusty track. It's her first Camino and she walking the Camino Finisterra for a week. We walk together to Santa Mariña where I'm planning to stop for the night. She is walking without her pack and is being picked up and taken to her pension.

The way is dotted with very small villages but we eventually reach Santa Mariña about 2pm in the full heat of the day.

 Typical woodland path

Typical woodland path

Just in time for a cold beer and an agua con gaz. Casa Pepe is a private albergue that costs 12€, but it's very nice and definitely a step up from a Municipal. I get a  bed again which is a real treat after so many bunks.

I spend the afternoon doing washing, sitting in the shade of the vines on the terrace and eat my sandwich in a meadow up the road.

 Albergue with a bar. Great mixture.  

Albergue with a bar. Great mixture.  

Supper is the Menu del Dia; not the greatest but ok. Mixte Salade and lentil stew followed by an orange; I couldn't cope with the huge plates of fried bacon, eggs and chips that emerged from the kitchen. There are three American women, a German woman and several Spaniards staying here tonight.

 Just across the road from an Angel perch.   

Just across the road from an Angel perch.