Autumn follows

Mists and Fruit – such an Autumn theme and everywhere today .

Leaving Campolongo as the early workers share my – start early / finish early routine.

The hardworking couple who run O Crucerio have really looked after me , the lights from their bar illuminate the path. They have even planned for guests re-joining the Camino in the dark – a 3k detour ,so they painted dozens of their own Camino arrows on the road all the way !

Any help with direction is welcome as I rejoin the Camino itself – seeing my first marker post of the day is a relief after strange roads and narrow woodland paths .

Thankfully I packed a head torch otherwise navigation would not have been possible this morning ,

The fog created crystals in the air , perfect multi-sided shapes that reflected off my torch beam – a really unusual floating sensation – in the pre-dawn silence . Exactly the type of experience I value when traveling in unusual situations .

No more so than seeing fellow pelegrinos start to follow me with greetings of “Buen Camino” . Simple steps taking on an importance of their own when seen in this dawn back-light .

Sunlight didn’t reach the day until mid-morning today as mists persist – but it’s warm too – so comfortable for a long hike .

A chance encounter with a fellow traveller gives me one of those fascinating insights into the type of people who walk these ways . Meet Galia – from Russia – but not just any part – she’s from a part of that vast country that’s closer to Japan or Alaska. Her city is Magadan near Kamchatka. But nothing is near really this small part of her country is larger than France .

A fascinating conversation- with a lot of Google translate 😆 – Galia positions her city with the chilling line – ” you remember books by Alexander Solzhenitsyn? , about the Gulags ?” – ” Well Magadan is capital of Gulags” .

Amazing to meet such people – and another Camino Moment .

Her attitude to work and life there is engaging – but so is her attitude to any potential food growing near the road . On this one day we ate Oranges (bitter) , Grapes 🍇 (reasonable ) and Walnuts ( perfect ) . As we crushed over rotting fruit and sweet chestnuts , passing old fountains and village community clothes washing pools .

The colours of autumn in the tiny hamlets really bring home the end of summer in this green and fertile corner of Spain.

We were surprised by this free roaming friend who came to see what we were doing ……….

And stood intensely staring as we left – the one horse in a one horse town .

– all this without sun , muffled by mists and the lack of any signs of life as I pass though this chain of distant hamlets .

Creativity of a different type brings the 21st century crashing back . I rather think this is a good use of the vast concrete canvas created by an EU road reconstruction program.

As we visit this church dedicated to the Camino and the road slopes steeply into Betanzos

Crossing the bridge – amazed that the journey passed so quickly – well it does when you have good company and fascination conversation . Turns out Galia’s a mining engineer in a Gold mine 300k from Magadan – a monthly commute and frontier stuff !

I meet up with two friends of Galia’s – John and Beverly from Seattle and head to a well earned Cervesa as we explore the Betanzos Alberque for the nights stay – very nice it is too compared to some . ( The one in Pontedeumé was not so good 😊)

An afternoon ahead to recover and explore . All meeting up for dinner tonight – so until tomorrow………..

Xxxxxxxxx

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