Dee and I prepare for the day which is basically how to pack me light and get me the next 24km to Portomarin. We head off to the bus station to make sure Dee can find her way there. We part company, Dee for the hotel and me for the hills. Literally, I walk to the highest point in Sarria only to find a quick, steep descent back out of town. Galicea is beautiful in every direction. The cloud has rolled in, the wind is bordering on cold, I walk at a brisk pace over the Roman bridge through corn fields only to be confronted by 20 Germans on a supported day walk. We hit a 45 degree ascent, I put on the gas, passing Germans, cyclists and assorted peregrinos. Without Dee I am in no mood for a social walk in the country. At the summit, sweating and breathless, the plateau opens ahead, rain threatens, the kms pass quickly. A winding maze of tracks and roads pass through and everchanging verdent landscape. The colours of Galicea are green and slate with an infrequent primary door or window.
Oak, chestnut and apple in every direction. Green with slashes of grey dappled stone walls. I don’t want to stop. I wonder if Dee was not going to be in Portomarin would I ever want to leave this amazing place. It is as what I imagine Ireland looks like. Walking over the undulating tracks that sparkle with what I think is iron pyrites, I find an inner quiet different to anything I have felt before. Alive and yet so peacefully quiet. It is as though the landscape and the celtic music that is sometimes heard are wakening some miniscule particle of celtic gene material and my ancestry,my origins, my heart is tuned in to every shade of green, every blast of cool wind, every slant of sunlight through oak. I wish Dee were here to share this time, however, the solitary walk gives rise to reflection, an acute awareness of the environment and th joy of finding that special peace within.
Better watch out or I’ll burst forth with “The hills are alive with………” , but isn’t that Switzerland? Enough of the girly gushing and I arrive at Perdello where an aubergue has risen from the fractured remains of an ancient stone dwelling. This place is simply fantastic. Hope you see the little video. Beer, tortilla, tomato, bread, water and ibuprofen for lunch. Meet up with a yank couple we have seen off and on. Back to business. Quick descent to Portomarin, across the footbridge and over what should be a deep reservoir covering the ancient town. Spain has a water crisis and this reservoir is so low you can see the footings of the ancient city. Up the stairs and ascend to the centre of town (why do they build these towns on steep hills, no consideration for people who have walked miles to get there that’s for sure), Dee is walking down, impeccable timing as usual.
Dee ushers me back to the hotel room where there is a large bath and reservoir views. We have a soak, wash clothes, head out for refreshments, supplies and possible Wifi. Meet the yanks again at drinks and head back for our Peregrino dinner.
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