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Camino de Santiago 2018

Day 33 Arzua to Amenal

SPAIN | Monday, 2 July 2018 | Views [290]

It's cloudy and rainy as we leave Arzua, self-proclaimed land of cheese, honey and philosophy. They had us at cheese! As you saw from yesterday's photos, this is dairy land and the town hosts a cheese festival each March at which over 100,000 cheeses are sold (Dintaman & Landes, 2017).

At the top of the first hill we encounter a local entrepreneur carving some unique hiking sticks. Amazing craftsmenship! These are a popular item for pilgrims who start their Camino in Sarria. Those who walk longer routes tend to have lighter hiking poles, for the most part. We learned in year one, we can't take any sticks or poles in carry on luggage; they must be checked.

This typical trailside cafe is at the entrance to Calzada.

We met Jaren as we near the tiny town of Boavista. Jaren's from Holland and after hiking the Camino del Norte route, he joined the Camino Frances in Arzua. He shared his journey with us for about four miles. Evidently the beauty of the Camino del Norte is there are very few pilgrims on the trail, however there are also very few towns and cafes to make the journey more comfortable. Jaren says one day he saw two pilgrims at the beginning of the day, two farmers along the way and two pilgrims when he stopped for the night. He says initially his days were between 25 and 40 kms, but shin splints and blisters caused him to reevaluate his distances, after which he says he averaged 20 kms per day.

Interesting remains of a building near Salceda. The walls of the rock homes are often 2-3 feet thick, as you can see here.

We cross lots of small streams again today over ancient stone bridges.

We bypass the "beer bottle bar" in Salceda where it appears that copious quanties of the brew is consumed. We see locals sipping wine in the cafes at 9 a.m. and many European and Australian pilgrims enjoying a beer by that time as well.

After a lunch stop in Santa Irene we round the corner and come upon this Guardia Civil patrol vehicle. The policia are inside having lunch, so we were able to snap a few images before they came to run us off. As we mentioned earlier in this journey, some are very willing to let us make photos, some are adamently opposed.

 

We've walked through lots of eucalyptus forests in the past three days. Because they grow so quickly, they are planted primarily for lumber and paper. 

With so much rain today, we essentially washed our clothes while we were wearing them. And with only one day to Santiago, we elect to skip our hand washing and dive right into a hot shower and warm meal of stewed beef, or what we would call pot roast. We can't believe we will be in Santiago tomorrow after a short 12-mile walk!

 

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