Villar de Farfón

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    • Day 4

      Day 40 - Villar de Farfón - 10 km

      October 30, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Wow - day 40 and the nearly the end of the month!
      Weather: 8 - 17 degrees. Cloudy then sunny.
      Clothes: long sleeve merino top today, light wind fleece, trekking pants, and then rain jacket a bit later as it cooled down higher up in the hills - and I’m going slow with lots of stops.

      I’m so happy it stopped raining during the night.
      Three young peregrinos arrived last night; wet, cold, tired and hungry after walking some 35 km. By then it was raining too much for them to go to the Bar over the river so they cobbled together some dinner from the little shop just down the road. A tough night but the sun is out so I think things will get better for them.
      My walk plan: stop every 30 mins to rest the knee.

      The walk
      Flat agricultural land - some with corn and some fallow. There was one section after Olive de Tera where the roadside was planted with alternating apple trees and grape vines. The apple trees had all dropped their fruit - enough to make a lot of cider. I thought about how beneficent these trees are; they reminded me of Latvia - they just keep on giving.
      Just further there were some acres of abandoned vines- I think they were grapes but also some other berry vine that I couldn’t recognise. I wonder what happened.
      I am sitting outside a church quite far from town (stop #2) and had a lovely interaction with a local lady who was walking by. The Spanish quickly recognise pilgrims. It’s been a part of their culture for so many centuries and has been popularised in recent years. When you walk in Spain you feel at least recognised and sometimes honoured but always greeted well.
      The young woman from last night said she had walked in Italy and did not get the same reaction.
      Climbing a bit higher a lake appears and most of the walk is spent skirting the lake and crossing over the dam wall and then walking along the other side. Sadly there is lots of evidence of last summers bushfires. It’s lovely high country and must have been truly beautiful last spring. There are small areas that the fires missed so hopefully the land will regenerate more easily.
      Where I am sitting (resting the knee) has not been completely burnt and there are still birds chirping and flitting through the trees.
      It’s so quiet here that even with the sound of the water passing through the dam’s spillway, I can still hear the flutter of bird wings. We are far away from any motorway now so the silence behind the sounds of nature is complete. The silence of the Self.
      A new thing. I heard the bang of what might be guns. I think this is a long weekend of hunting- I read about it on the Camino Forum from someone on another Camino. Just the odd bang here and there. 🙏

      And then a surprise. 😲
      Just as I was getting a bit tired I came to the next small village. It had so many old and crumbling buildings- it felt quite ancient. It has also been surrounded by fire. I wondered how the residents were managing.
      There was a sign that indicated coffee 200 metres and then coffee 80 metres. That’s where I needed to go. And then just as I got to the end of town the sweetest little albergue came into view. It looked like a pixie house. This was where I would get coffee.
      A man was hobbling down the lane and it turned out he was the hospitalaro- Craig originally from South Africa . He and his family are Christians and have been in various countries (India and Africa) doing good works - in the best sense of the word. They decided to come to Spain and open an albergue. Ten years ago Craig and his wife Dorothea bought a virtually derelict building and made a home for themselves and a refuge for pilgrims. During the fires Craig fell off the roof and broke his leg. His home and pilgrim refuge had been surrounded by fire.
      Anyway I knew this was my stopping point today. I drank two cups of tea (PG tips from the UK sooo good ☕️) and we talked for an over an hour about spirituality and Christianity before Craig showed me to my accomodation, checked me in and left me to the shower and clothes wash routine. Dinner is at 7 - a more manageable time for me. There is no shop in town so I have eaten nearly all the food I had with me. I had wondered why last night I didn’t share anything with the late comers. Now I knew - I needed it all for myself today.
      Now I am sitting in the sun out in the front rock-garden listening to the bees and flies and soaking in the warmth of the sun - and I was just visited by a huge fat bee. 🐝
      It’s so quiet and still here and reminds my of the high country of NSW - country so close to my heart.
      And still the silence continues…….

      How am I?
      My knee is still sore so I was planning to take it easy doing a slow 15 km - which turned into 10 km. The cool autumn weather is pleasant and the clouds are parting to show blue sky. It’s supposed to be sunny in the afternoon.
      I stopped to put my leg up for 5 minutes at a small village some 2.3 km from my starting point. I guess it will be another day of very regular stops to give the knee a chance to keep healing.
      I think I might have used most of the excess resources on my body. 😂. I seem to be getting hungry more quickly, and my one big meal doesn’t satisfy me for as long as it used to. Doesn’t mean I’m skinny though. But I guess as I build more muscle I need more food.
      Today I have eaten - bread, banana, half tub of yogurt, big avocado, tuna, more bread, chocolate - and it’s only 11.00 am and I could still eat. 🥗🥙🍕🍗🥘
      Anyway all is well. I was reflecting that in the early weeks of this Camino the walking was so hard that I couldn’t wait to get to the end of the day. Not only hard because of the landscape and weather but because the body wasn’t fit. Now I am happy to walk. The pack feels fine and of course the weather is much more user friendly particularly as I haven’t experienced any heavy rain to date.

      PS. The time changed. I gained an hour today but that means pilgrim dinner is at 6 pm. Yummy bean soup plus vino - of course.
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    • Day 5

      Day 41 - Mombuey - 15.1 km

      October 31, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

      Weather: 6 - 14 degrees. Rain forecast all day.
      Clothes: long sleeve merino , light wind fleece, rain jacket, trekking pants, rain poncho
      Body: The knee is better every day. I am happy that I stopped early yesterday. Today it’s been fine on the flat and up hill, but down hill I need to take it slowly.
      I tried out my rain poncho for the first time today. It’s a bit short but then doesn’t flap around my legs which is good. I zipped the legs off my pants - skin is easier to dry than fabric. I felt snug as a bug in a rug. It hardly rained at all for the first 5 km and then it was light rain with gusty wind for a lot of the next 10 km

      The walk
      An online Camino amigo said today’s walk is beautiful and it has been - initially like walking through a fairy forest. I’m out of the bushfire impacted area and can see what it used to look like. The trees are short and many are covered with interesting moss. And a deer crossed my path - she leaped over the road and I saw her white tail disappear through the trees.
      I wanted to stop after 5 km - at Rionegra - for a longer rest and maybe a coffee but it’s Monday and all the bars are closed. So I was going to sit in the shelter of the albergue porch - when lo and behold- a woman came over to see if I wanted accomodation. I said I was just resting my knee so she unlocked the door and let me in. This is another great albergue in which I had planned to stay before the pixie house caught my eye. Anyway a 30 minute rest on the couch was perfect before I set off for the next 10 km to Mombuey.
      I am so glad I rested. The next 10 km was over interesting flat open land with tussocks and marshy bits. It was a bit rainy with quite a bit of wind once I left the shelter of the trees. It was hard going and the elements made it harder to appreciate the landscape.
      I stopped a number of times just to stand and stare - particularly when the wind died down. It was quite beautiful and reminded me a bit of the high country around Kiandra.
      But I had to be careful the whole time because there was a lot of water on the trail.
      Anyway I sort of stumbled into Mombuey and stopped at the first bar I saw.
      Even though they advertised a pilgrim meal they wouldn’t do one - not sure why. Not having Spanish leaves me guessing a lot of the time. Anyway I had chips with ham, bacon and three cheeses on top. Filled up the empty spots and brought me to my senses. Now that I could think more clearly I found the albergue, found house #9 to knock on the door for a key (the nine looked more like a four) and arrived at another small albergue- great bathroom, fridge and microwave, and heater!!!
      By the way the clocks changed yesterday so sunrise will be a bit earlier from now on.
      As I move into the final month of my trip I need to be a bit more frugal. So I got my dinner at the supermarket- lentil soup I can heat in the microwave- and some fruit and food for the road tomorrow.
      Again it seems I am solo. I don’t think there will be any late comers as it’s almost 6 pm.
      The weather forecast looks good for tomorrow - yeah. 🌞🌞🌞

      Buen Camino.

      PS. Never say never. A Spanish man just arrived at 6.56 pm.
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    • Day 34

      Grace before dinner

      May 25, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      A beautiful municipal albergue last night, at Santa Marta de Tera, clean, modern and well designed. We saw and admired it last year. It only takes 12 pilgrims but I set out yesterday at first light and without too much effort was at my destination in time to be among the lucky ones. It is also next to a lovely Romanesque church that boast the oldest known statue of Santiago. A good place to light a few candles.

      After breakfast at the local bar, obligingly opened early by the owner, I set out alone but was shortly joined by two other pilgrims who walked at my pace. James, a 70 year old athlete who has walked from Gibraltar! James has also travelled extensively in Australia - probably seen more of it than me. And Annette, a young judge from Germany. With plenty to talk about among the three of us the 24 kilometres slipped by easily.

      Tonight we are staying in a tiny four person albergue. It is run by an evangelical family, a South African couple who were missionaries in India and Namibia before they came here. They have spent 8 years renovating and restoring this wonderful adobe farmhouse complex - doing all the work themselves. An interesting evening with plenty of religious discussion.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Villar de Farfón, Villar de Farfon

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