The walk for today offered two paths – one over a mountain and one along the river. A group of us opted for the mountain route. Because, you know, walking 135 miles with a 15 pound pack isn’t hard enough. 😉
The first part of the hike had a severe incline which is probably what scares people off. After the first 30-60 minutes, however, it flattened a bit. The views were spectacular. We saw the sun rise over the mountains behind us. We saw the clouds settle over those mountains. We felt the cool breeze which was a huge blessing since we heated up very quickly going up the mountain.
Later on I heard a couple people comment that it wasn’t a mountain. It was a “bump” or a “foothill.” They can say what they like, but I climbed a mountain today. And, I’m doing it again tomorrow.
Today I was reminded of the importance of paying attention to the little things. I saw a caterpillar hanging from a small weed. We saw a small butterfly traveling along with us. These are things I notice when I’m walking, when I’m not rushing from one point to another, when I’m not in a car.
I also recognized the importance of the unbeaten path. At the top of the mountain there was a fork in the road and yellow arrows pointed in both directions. However, it was only in one direction that we would find food, so obviously we went that way! Second breakfast is a necessary part of the Camino.
As we were walking we started to hear bells ringing – specifically cow bells. Then around the bend we saw cows wearing cow bells! Together they sounded like a wind chime. It was beautiful. The harder path was definitely harder, but it was worth it to see these cows and hear the beauty they create with every movement.
We did make it to a cafe, but it turns out that of the two cafes at the top of this mountain, we chose the one without the menu – instead we had a sandwich. It may not have been as delicious as the other cafe, but we had a lovely interaction with the woman running the place and we enjoyed the bread and chorizo. The harder path was made harder when we had to climb up to this cafe, but the laughs and memories make the harder path worth it.
After going down the mountain (much more challenging, in my opinion) we met back up with the main path along the river. We loved meeting up with part of our group for lunch thinking we only had 2 miles to go. It turns out the harder path was also the longer path… so 2 miles was really 4 miles.
As two of us rounded a corner in a small village we came across a woman with a stick. That’s not too unusual around here, but then we saw this…
We decided to wait until they moved along, which wasn’t long. I didn’t get the “moooo” on video, but I did record them walking down the road!
My feet were ready to rest after today’s walk, but that makes sense due to the fact that I climbed a mountain. 😉