Saturday, April 12, 2003

October 23, 2001
Triacastela- Ferreiros (cloudy morning/sunny afternoon)
19.4m/31.0km - 405.1m/650.2km

I now know why I wanted to sleep in my sleeping bag last night. I woke up this morning with bug bites all over my legs. Before I put my sleeping bag into my pack I turn it inside out and shake it . Someone said bed bugs stay in the bed so I hope I don't have any in my bag.

The country we are walking through is beautiful and almost as green as Ireland. We enter the town of Sarria and have to climb a steep stairway of stone. By the time we reach the top my legs are shaking. We decide to stop at a bar for lunch. We have reached the point in our walk where it is harder to get going again after we have stopped. I am so tired I have to push myself to keep going.

We are following the Camino out of the city and are walking down a street that curves around a hill. There is a wall on the inside of the road and above it a house and backyard. I hear the sound of a dog barking and whining above us. I look up and see a dog at the end of a long rope that is attached to a clothesline. The dog has his head and half his body thrust through a hole in the chain link fence enclosing the yard. The rope is the only thing keeping him from falling into the street. He is so happy to see us he is wagging his whole body and keeps imploring us to come over to pet him. I want to cry when I see him. This dog is starved for affection. I don't understand people who buy a dog and then keep him tied up in the yard. Dogs are social animals and need to be with other dogs or with their people. J and I go over to him and reach up to pet him. He is so happy he cannot decided which hand to lick so he keeps switching from my hand to J's hand. We give him a good rubdown where we can reach him and then walk on. This dog stays with me a long time.

Later we are walking on a tree lined path on the other side of the village of Barbadelo when I see that the path up ahead is under water. It must have rained here a lot the last two days. The path has a high bank on either side of it and the water stretches from one bank to the other. How are we going to cross it without getting wet? When we get closer the path opens a little and I see that a stone walkway has been built across the water to the left of the path. Things aren't always what you think they are.

We reach Ferreiros later in the day and find the refugio. Back at the beginning of the walk when we were walking through the mountains I stopped to rest under a bush. A woman sat down beside me. She looked tired and kept rubbing her shin. After a bit I got up, said goodbye, and started walking uphill. Coming down the hill was a Spanish woman who asked me in English whether I had seen her mother. I knew she was talking about the woman back under the bush and I told her that her mother was sitting there. She asked if her mother seemed OK and I said yes and she turned around to go back up the hill. Then I remembered and I tell her I think her mother was having trouble with her leg because she was rubbing her shin. She stops and tells me her mother is developing a shin splint but does not want to complain. She starts down the hill again. I met the daughter again in the refugio in O'Cebreiro and asked about her mother and she told me her mother was doing fine.

When we step inside the refugio I am surprised to see the daughter. When she see me she smiles and come over to say hello. I ask her how her mother is doing. She says her mother is lying down in the other room on her bunk. I go find her and say hello and ask how she is doing. She says she is dong fine but I can tell she is very tired. I respect her for still being on the walk. It must be hard but I can tell she intends to finish.

After a shower I sit outside in the sun and relax. It is hard to believe we now have less than 62.5m/100km left to walk.

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