A superb day. It started out misty with a long walk on a quiet main road to reach a railway crossing and then we were over a fast flowing river into woodland. Most of the walking was in deciduous and conifer woodland on tracks interspersed with sunny meadows and the occasional vegetable garden. Kale and cabbages.
The lichen and mosses on the trees are amazing, delicate pale-jade filigrees and frills; it must be wet here. I imagine there are low mists for much of the year.
We're in granite country and the farmhouses are built of giant blocks and the field boundaries are large slate slabs set in end- very distinctive of this area. It reminds me a lot of Wales; foxgloves and bracken and numerous streams of fast flowing water. Mist on the uplands obscures the wind turbines, that clears in the afternoon. They sneaked up on me this time.
About midday I pass a house behind a wall with loud music playing. At first I think 'teenagers', but then I look through the gate and discover it's a stone-mason's yard and house. He's working on a huge granite carving for an Albegue garden with the cross of St James and text on the reverse. But I'm more interested with a granite carving of a Celtic looking horned-man with enormous ears and shell-like hands.
He invites me into the house to show me a column holding up the ceiling. It's carved all round with his family tree intertwined like a vine. While I'm looking round he offers to stamp my Credencial- the last space I discover later. He seals it with a cross in red wax - I'm delighted that it's completed with such a flourish. Another meeting with a craftsman-artist. Wood, metal and stone. The Chinese system of elements would include Air and Fire too. Perhaps they'll turn up?
I'm staying at Miraz tonight. The albergue is run by the Co-Fraternity of St James based in Waterloo and has British volunteer hospitaleros/as. It's very comfortable and has a sunny garden and spin dyer which is good news. I meet the two English walkers in the garden; they've come to eat their picnic and get a flavour of Albergue life.
Later Davide and the Italian guy with the dog turn up. As well various other people I've seen before. One if the hospitaleras takes us on a tour of the charming local church.
I have decided to do something ground-breaking tomorrow! For 5€ the Correos (Post Office) will take my backpack to the next hostel! It's a 26km walk tomorrow with a 250m ascent so I've decided to walk with a minimum of weight. It's a fantastic system. You just email them and leave you're money in an envelope attached to your rucksack and they come and collect and deliver it. I wish I'd known before...
Menu del Dia and bed....