15.06.2011 - 15.06.2011
I head out early from Manjarin after a lovely breakfast with everyone. I'm walking with a Polish girl who tells me that in Poland, if they don't want to wash for a day, they say “I'm having a child's day” and everybody knows what it means – you can't be bothered showering. I see the sunrise today, pink light as though on a projection screen appearing behind the big blue shadows of far away mountains. The flame coloured butterflies ignite and extinguish around me all morning and I walk slowly along watching the landscapes and the towns change. We are now heading into Galecia, a tropical soup on the other side of this mountain range, where the plants are larger, greener, and they have more fruit. One town today is almost Swiss or German in design with little country houses and a big river. And, I must apologise to the old lady in the town after Manjarin – I'm sorry for squashing the roses in your window box. I didn't mean to drop my bag on them...
Pulpo (or squid) is one of the specialities of this region and you have to try it while you're here. There are so many towns on the route today, many places to stop for lunch or a break. There is a great little Artesan bread shop and in Ponferrada there is a castle to go and see. I decide to stop in Cacabelos which beats Ponferrada castle or no castle. Cacabelos has a rio pico (little river) you can swim in and an old cobblestone bridge. It's just so pretty and full of bikelgrinos (pellegrinos on bikes). On my way into this town a family of rabbits with rabbit kittens hop about on the path back and forth with a blatant disregard for cars and pilgrims.
Another useful Spanish word I've learnt is claro; claro means “it's clear” or “ok” and Spaniards use it all the time. I've decided that a direct translation of the word “kilometres” isn't possible in Spanish, or at least it must be a very complex notion, because every single signpost has a different definition – to the point where 2km could mean anywhere from ten seconds down the road to 3hrs further on.