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Day 21 Cacabelos – La Faba 33km

I have just passed some cows in a field, beautiful terracotta coloured cows with their calves sleeping in the sunshine. I wonder what cows think about... The following is a diary entry for a calf (imagine it shaking its floppy ears about and lolling on the grass like a kitten):

“I like the meadow soooo much because it is big and green and you can eat it. Today it is hot so mama and I are laying down in the sun which is not something cows do very often. Whenever mama eats grass, I eat grass. Whenever mama flicks her tail, I flick my tail. I am a most excellentist copier. I like being a cow. It's much better than being a horse. The horses in the next field are so snotty, they wont talk to me at all even though I'm beautifully cute and everybody says so even the farmer. I have big brown eyes and really, really long eyelashes and I like being a cow. I can go mooo and drink lots and lots of milk yummm... I ask mama why she doesn't drink milk and she says it's because she can't reach so I try to spit some into her mouth but she doesn't like this and tells me to piss off to the other side of the meadow. This means I have to sit near the horses who stare at me in a really mean way. I have a really long tongue. Did you know it's so long I can touch the end of my nose with it? Watch... I like it. I like being a cow. Grass is nice and soft. When I grow up I want to make lots and lots of milk, but mama says I can't because I am a boy cow. She says when I'm old enough I'll go to the abbatoir and learn more about being a cow. I am looking forward to it a whole lot! “Yawn” I get so sleepy being a cow, and the sunshine is so warm and the grass is so soft I think I'm going to...”

No more cow diary entries, I promise. I'm walking along this afternoon minding my own Camino business when an old farmer, replete with cow and German Shepherd, stops me. He starts speaking Spanish in an extremely fast and enthusiastic way.
“Perdon, no ablos Espagnol!” I try to slip away and keep on walking, but he's persistent and blocks the path quite successfully with the cow the dog and himself.
“Todo solo?” He asks me, “Porque no companiero?” Why are you all alone?
“Si, solo”
I shrug my shoulders, you tell me I think.
“Camino! ... El Camino estas Camino d'amour … que juanita … ” I'm not entirely sure what he's saying, but it's along the lines of; the Camino is the Camino of love, you must have someone to walk with you, you are very beautiful, why don't you have anyone to walk with you...” I really don't know what this farmer wants me to say so I just shrug my shoulders a couple-hundred more times and scramble up the hill the next chance I get.

Before La Faba you might see HELL STARTS HERE scrawled across the path in large chalk letters, but it's crazy! This climb is beautiful, shady and not so steep. La Faba itself is such a cute little village and so scenic that it's arguably paradise, and not hell at all, as my hospitaleros point out. Still, my legs ache at the end of the day and it's so difficult to nap or sleep. They ache in no particular place, just all over everywhere my muscles twitch and hurt after my shower until they cool down and finally relax.

There are two excellent options for albergues in La Faba. The veggie refugio is chilled and hippie-ish with a communal meal, and the municipal albergue is run by lovely German people. I head to the bar to relax and read, but the Spanish men decide to play a really fun game of buying me wine until I am incapable of dense-furniture-navigation. I don't get much reading done and eventually have to escape back to the hostel. It's so difficult to refuse food and drink here! They are very persistent, so persistent that one of my friends who had been a vegan for four years diverted to a carnivore because people were too offended every time he refused the meat they tried to feed him.

Posted by CharliePepper 09:54 Archived in Spain Tagged friends spain fun santiago hike de camino pamplona roncesvalles albergues refugios saint-jean pied-de-port

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