DAY 29 Tuesday June 23 2015 Arzua to Rua ( 18km)

Galicians say today is a typical June day—-overcast, with a mist of rain and 17C. We started out wearing our rain gear, but the mist felt so nice we soon packed it away. This was perfect walking weather. The path was described as “undulating” which translates to “hilly” which further translates to “steep”. There were a few inclines but nothing to veteran “caminantes”which being less than 40 km from Santiago we are:-)
Again, we walked through villages both derelict and well tended. Everywhere there were hydrangea in bloom in colours we had not seen— indigo blues, pure white and deep purples. Not quite as pretty were the rusting soda machines—- another one of the side stories of the Camino. Along the Camino, sometimes even historians have difficulty separating fact from fiction. During the Middle Ages the Camino was a noted pilgrimage, but by the 16th century, the Black Death, the Protestant Reformation and political unrest in Europe staunched the flow of pilgrims for several hundred years.. Then in the 1970’s a pair of historians walked the Camino with some college students and wrote about it. The priest at O Cebreiro did his doctoral thesis on the Camino de Santiago and spent the rest of his life literally marking the route with yellow arrows. Being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Cultural Site increased interest in the pilgrimage greatly. Two visits by Pope John II in 1989 and 1993 were major influences as well. The small villages along the Camino prepared for the influx of pilgrims. They spruced things up, added many scallop shells and yellow directional signs, opened eateries and hostels and even installed soft drink machines outside their houses.. Pilgrims came in droves those years but the without the Pope and a holy year, understandably, the numbers dropped in the following years. The soft drink machines were no longer needed and so they lean, looking out of place and time.
We were happy to pass and be passed by our Aussie group today. We tend to pace ourselves by them and it turns out they pace themselves by us. Several of the Aussies are here celebrating 50th birthdays and they will be doing this tomorrow in Santiago. For some reason, we have become their “inspiration” and they want us to meet up with them in Santiago, which we will try to do. It seems we have been voted the tidiest and most well coordinated ( dress wise) walkers, which we find pretty funny. We think it must be Delana’s purple shoes. Whatever, it is a dubious distinction on a pilgrimage.
We also walked with two lovely Irish women ( one a nurse, the other a teacher of Gaelic).They are doing the 100 km but what a pace they set! While chatting with them, suddenly 8km had whizzed by.
We arrived at our most rural of casa rurals mid afternoon. With the skies overhead grey, the place looked dull and a wee bit derelict. We were hoping we were not the only guests. Our focus for tonight and tomorrow was to rest and do our laundry before Santiago. The young woman who welcomed us was discouraging about whether our clothes would dry in 36 hours. Mmmm……obviously, no electric dryer. Well, we are walking the Camino, a pathway of faith. We should at least believe our clothes will be dry enough to wear.( Slightly damp will be OK except we will risk losing our “tidiest and well coordinated” award). So, faithfully, we washed our clothes.

Where we stayed last night. A view of the main building  - the oldest piece on the property, the manor is a wonderful retreat for good food and tranquility.
Where we stayed last night. A view of the main building – the oldest piece on the property, the manor is a wonderful retreat for good food and tranquility.
So we have told you how the horreries were designed centuries ago  to allow corn, grains and even meat to dry, safe from hungry and scavenging animals. So how come Toto sits here looking like the perverbial Cheshire cat ??
So we have told you how the horreries were designed centuries ago to allow corn, grains and even meat to dry, safe from hungry and scavenging animals. So how come Toto sits here looking like the proverbial Cheshire cat ??
Put this in just because it is so typical of houses in this area. Imagine what it could be turned into?
Put this in just because it is so typical of houses in this area. Imagine what it could be turned into?
” Peregrina ” ( pilgrim ) beer. An enterprising bar owner has labeled his own beer. He would have a gold mine were he to market it from the beginning of the Camino. There is no doubt that there are many money making opportunities, 225,000 pilgrims registered for some portion of it last year. Having said that, we hope it doesn’t change; the real meaning of the Camino is characterized by its being so noncommercial, amazingly clear of litter and with a sense of trusting innocence at every turn.
In a country of brunettes this is called a  'Galician  blonde!'
In a country of brunettes this is called a ‘Galician Blonde!’
Pollarded plane trees forming a beautiful canopied pathway.  This is so common in Spain.
Pollarded plane trees forming a beautiful canopied pathway. This is so common in Spain.
Not pollarded but once again, such a common sight along the Camino trail.  So many of the paths are sheltered by a line of trees to offer shade.
Not pollarded but once again, such a welcome sight along the Camino trail. The paths sheltered by a line of trees offer blessed shade.
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3 thoughts on “DAY 29 Tuesday June 23 2015 Arzua to Rua ( 18km)

    1. Really enjoying your blog, almost like being there with you (without the sore feet). If this reaches you, thought you would like to know that Bob Udahl and Ken Weeks died this past week. Have appreciated the great pics etc. See you soon, unless you have another trip planned?

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  1. Loved following you……big funeral for Ken Weeks today…..Bob Udahl’s was Sat.
    Maxine did a great job at both. See you soon?
    XO Marg

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