The albergue and its residents stir early in the morning, often 4 or 5 am. This is partly because of the light and partly because peregrinos often want to travel before it gets too hot. It is difficult with the level of early light activity to have a lie in and most albergues have an exit time of 8 am , though it doesn't seem strictly enforced.
I wrestle with my sleeping bag and after three attempts manage to get it back into its holdall.
I notice I have a friction burn on the ball of my foot. It comes from wearing new socks that are not trained in. Tender is my sole.
The walk out of Lourenza takes us behind the town .It is a rough stone path, shrouded by trees and has a Roman feel to it and I imagine the legions wending their way on wards, grateful for the shade.
It is also ever upwards into the mountains. Today's walk is 24 K but with an ascent of 740 metres. I try to take comfort in the fact that the Brecon ascent I did two weekends ago was 886 K so this will be a piece of cake.This comfort is short lived however as the icing on this cake is that the temperature rises to 28 degrees,very quickly.
The view over Lourenza, with its 10th century Benedictine monastery.
The scenery is delightful,beautiful and with fantastic views.
What Light through yonder foliage breaks
This is the exasperated "you're only allowed 5 photos a day "look.
Yes, we are going over that "hill" in the distance
In the heat of the day this travelers well was much appreciated.
Near the well we found this almost Celtic cross and laid another Connemara shell.
This is the view from the other side and yes, we did come over that hill in the distance.
The heat was intense and I don't remember ever losing that much perspiration.My camel bag of water was soon empty and I was grateful for the two mountain fountains on the way. It reminded me of how precious water is and how we take it so much for granted.
Always make sure there is water to hand . Lesson 4
The albergue is another modern one in the centre of the town and a grateful sight in the mid afternoon. With the breaks, today has been 6 hours walking. My foot is smarting and sore, like the irritated friction burn it is. Nysha tells me there is a mountain stream behind the albergue and once settled in and sock and t-shirts washed, I head down to soak my feet. It is very cold. It is also bliss for the sole.
As I sit and soak, mountain swallows swarm and swoop on the river below, swirling and cascading with coordinated rhythm in an aerial dance of feather precision.
Mountain stream therapy for sore feet.
In the evening we gather for a peregrinos meal at a local restaurant. Some cafes, bars and restaurants along the way offer "Peregrinos meals". This is part of the tradition of providing food and at times shelter for pilgrims. They are usually cheap and substantial. This one was 8 euros and typically consisted of a starter of an excellent lentil stew ( don't ask me what was in it but I had two helpings), main course consisted of salad, chips and ( vegetarians look away now) chicken/pork slices and horse meat .And a choice of two deserts - a chocolate cake something and an ice cream something- I was too busy thinking about the horse meat to notice.
I have always thought that if one is carnivorous, one must be prepared to transform and dispatch the required end product personally in order to facilitate one's dietary taste and preferences onto the dining room plate. This is relatively easy to accommodate with fish, chicken, poultry, hare, duck etc but when it comes to a horse !! where do you start ?? I did taste it and that was it.. Back to the lentils.
Crazy people on the Way.