Today’s casa rural is a lovely stone manor sitting on a water driven mill built long ago to grind corn. The hydraulic source is the Rio Mera which runs through the property powering the mill and providing irrigation by way of a series of aqueducts. The whole lower level of the large old stone house is a museum with artifacts some very old and some newer ( 60 year old radios) – all in need of a curator who could make the collection something very special.
Our room is comfortable and last night’s dinner was a feast. So often we have found the casa rurals and pensions being run by multi tasking persons, often only one with a part time helper.They work very hard and their hours are long. This place is no different. It seems the young woman is the concierge, clerk, chef, server, maid, gardener and on and on. She is cheerful and does an amazing job. We almost feel guilty for not weeding the garden.
The day began grey and misty. We spent a restful time, planning for our time in Santiago, doing some admin things and walking around the property. Later when the sun came out, we crossed over the road to the local bar for coffee. Every hamlet, even if there is not a store, seems to have a bar. We liken these to the English pub—a neighbourhood tavern. Spanish bars serve all sorts of beverages but most also serve food. Many pilgrims eat their breakfast at a local bar or buy “bocadillos” ( sandwiches ) for the road. Men do gather in the bars, but women and children are often there as well. In good weather, outside seating is popular and people may linger as long as they wish. The bars are a vital part of the social structure in these rural village. Pilgrims are very grateful for them, too.
With the advent of the sun— our laundry dried!! Hallelujah!
There has been an interesting phenomenon along the Camino the past few days. During the walk we have noted taxi company numbers posted on kiosks, trees, and such. We were glad for these, as a pilgrim never knows if or when they may need a ride. However, as the end of the Camino nears pilgrims are weary, in pain and some are behind schedule for various reasons. Now the taxis are very visible at junctions and wherever pilgrims must cross a road. It is like the taxis are circling for vulnerable prey. The drivers even call out their prices as they pass by.
Tomorrow will be our last few kilometres on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. These days of walking the Camino have truly been a life within our lives. It has been a wondrous journey.