Upwards and Onwards… or at least that what the map says.
The downside of these full window blinds in Spain is that they block out every ounce of light. To be fair, that is what they are designed to do but… when you sleep in because it’s pitch black in your room, that’s a drag. I listen to the Church bells ring eight times. Oops, time to get up. I pack quickly as I really don’t want to miss the sunrise.
Out the door and just a few feet later I am in front of Gaudi’s Palace with a gorgeous sky behind. I am thankful for a Church bell alarm as I would have been sad to miss this sight.
Right next door the beautiful Church, hardly a consolation prize.
Today the Camino moves uphill pretty much all day. There are a few small villages to enjoy spaced evenly for breaks throughout the day. I stop in the first for my daily habit of cafe con leche. This never gets old. The sun is still out as I leave but the wind has picked up and there is a definite bite in the air today accentuated by the head on direction it is coming.
As I am a kilometre from Santa Catalina I see a bitter sweet rainbow in the sky. Sweet because it is a full rainbow and beautiful by any standard but bitter because where there are rainbows you must find rain.
The next town features an open bar and since it is close to noon I opt for a lengthy break, enjoying some Zuma de naranja with an Aquarius chaser. Don’t try this at home unless you are an experienced Peregrino! On the move again the next two towns are fully cerrado, not a soul to be seen. I wonder if the places are even occupied or if they are all just summer homes for city folk? I do, however, have a great appreciation of their use of vibrant colours.
One thing I have learned is that regardless of how old or decrepit, the Spanish are verrry reluctant to ever tear anything down. This stone fence is unlikely to hold a cow or sheep in but it does make for an interesting photo.
Leaving El Ganso I see that the last couple of hours of my day will be trying. Heavy, dark clouds are headed my way so I find a nice rock on the side of the trail and change into my rain clothes and tuck my camera away.
By some small miracle though, the clouds split and half go to my left and half go to my right. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Not a drop of rain hits me although the wind has increased to a gale force now.
The last stretch of the day to Rabanal del Camino is nice, a trail meandering beside the road lined with gnarly, stunted trees not dissimilar to a particular variety of Oak tree where I am from. These misshapen trees have stubbornly hung on to the leaves through wind, rain and snow proving they are a good match for this hard country.
A few hundred metres up the final hill and I am there, Rabanal del Camino. I find a small tienda and buy some food to cook for dinner, washed down with a Galician beer. Well deserved I think. Tonight I will have a wonderful opportunity to hear the Monks at the local Church performing their Gregorian chanting. What an amazing life I have been given…
Distance walked today: 20.2 kms
Total distance walked: 443.2 kms