Sept 29 and 30
Every now and then your age catches up with you. It has happened to me and to B on this walk.
I am just on one side of 70 and B is just on the other. We have joined the ranks of the “formerly young ” and it had taken its toll on our feet, our hips and our backs to name a few of the more sensitive spots.
This camino route is beautiful but it is also very rigorous. I think of all the routes we have travelled this is the most strenuous.
In two weeks we have walked 217.57 miles and gone up the equivalent of 1,286 flights of stairs. Time for a correction.
The question was whether to slog on in misery or find a way to make this incredible walk as enjoyable as possible.
The solution was simple. Have our bags moved from one place to the next and walk carrying only the bare necessities in a day pack.
One phone call to the only taxi in town and our bags plus one of a friend are lined up and ready to go. If we had known how easy it was to do this we would have done it earlier.
Without the weight of the bags our walking speed nearly doubles. We now have the time to enjoy everything Spain has to offer.
And so we do.
The Caves of Altamira in Santanilla Del Mar are one of our stops. This museum is a replica of a cave found in the late 1800s by an amateur archeologist.
He and his daughter found a cave filled with artifacts and painting of what we now know go back at least 20,000 years.
At the time he reported his discovery he was accused by the scientific community of being a fraud. Only after his death was the validity of his find acknowledged.
Although the actual caves themselves are closed to the public, the replica cave is excellent and the copies of the original paintings done with ochre, charcoal and hematite are amazing .
In San Vincent de Barquera – St Vincent of the Boatman- we have time to enjoy a bit of their seafood festival.
Not only do we have a fine lunch of mussels, anchovies and octopus,we spend some time watching traditional Spanish dancers and listening to their music .
IWe have time to comparetheir fancy shoes and beautiful clothes with our “walking clothes”. Note the wooden clogs designed to keep you above the mud.
In recent years the priceless art work of small churches has been collected and displayed in Diocesean Museums. This is a practical solution for the parish and the diocese and the “tourist”. The treasures are in a safe place and access to them is much easier.
Here are a few of the treasures I have seen.
Madonna and child with Saint Anne
Thus enlightened in more ways than one we continue on to Santiago de Compostela.
A good decision and we are old enough to know it !