Baamonde to Roxica – 13.6 Miles/31,950 Steps
Reading about the Camino last night we learned that in addition to the indulgences that could be earned in the Middle Ages for making the pilgrimage to Santiago, if one were to die en route, they would be granted total remission of sin. We decided to test that this morning as we started out in the dark. On a busy highway. Wearing only black.
Fortunately I am traveling with someone who has a basic modicum of wisdom. She suggested turning back until daylight. After nearly earning our total remission of sins with the help of a passing lumber truck she insisted upon turning back (and we really had only gone a few hundred yards past the truck stop where we had spent the night) I relented. I would also like the record to show that I pouted and fussed as well.
We had another cup of coffee and read Morning Prayer until we were a bit more visible on the road.
Our guidebooks had indicated that this stretch had few services to offer pilgrims. I was convinced that starvation was waiting for us around the corner and death by lumber truck may be a less painful option. To prevent the onset of starvation we had loaded our packs with what now seems like a seven or eight day supply of food.
When we walk in fear and not in faith we suffer needlessly. A couple hours into our journey we saw signs for a cafe. The place was surrounded by piles of friendly kittens and we had our first Tarta de Santiago – a delicious almond baked treat.
Before long we had made it to our intended destination for the day. There was room in the alburgue, but not the double room we wanted. We decided to have lunch and ponder whether to continue. Here in the midst of this stretch without food, I had one of the best meals of the trip – a couple of pieces of baked chicken, potatoes and actual vegetables which seem to have been banned by the 1978 Spanish Constitution. No wonder Catalonia wants to break away. We were treated to ice cream and a second piece of Tarta de Santiago for dessert.
We called ahead to a private alburgue about 10 kilometers ahead. If our Spanish was right, they had a room and some food, so we decided to go on. Leaving the town of Miraz where we lunched, the landscape changed immediately. We climbed over bare rock that reminded me of Yosemite and low scrub bushes spread from the path.
We arrived in Roxica after a couple of hours and were greeted by the dogs that guarded the alburgue. We signed in and realized we were in a hostal on a working farm. It was fabulous, except we couldn’t get dinner until the cows came home.
At 6:30 or so our host family, armed with a couple of short sticks, guided a small herd of mothers and calves into the pasture right behind where we were staying. The youngest in the crowd was just four days old.
And then, I had my second best meal of the trip – tuna empanadas (there also seems to be a provision in the Spanish Constitution requiring the daily consumption of canned tuna) a giant fresh salad, pork chops and the third piece of Tarta de Santiago for the day. It was a small alburgue that we shared with a 60 year-old German couple who met and fell in love last week on the Camino and a young woman who graduated in 2011 from Connecticut College who was on her way to grad school at Duke after two-plus months on the Camino.
It was a great day. I forgot to trust in God (and Sonia who clearly works for God) as much as I should. My fears of starvation – like most of our fears – was unfounded. The day was filled with blessings at every turn. Tomorrow I will try to do better – sometimes that is all God asks.
73°F Mostly Sunny
27220, Friol, Galicia, Spain