We passed the village, farms, a cow yard, streams. Sat down at a cross ways for bread and cheese. Kept walking, the scenery less dense than yesterday, less under-story, more low and stony. Stopped or paused, still standing, my feet sore and swollen. Sat down near a food van, saw D— and we talked about blisters with some other walkers. She said the way symbolises at different points different things, like death and rebirth. She said My dogs are barking, which means My feet hurt. I said my dogs are barking too. I ate sardines and cheese with bread and an apple in the hostel kitchen. But when I was tending my blisters on a bench the Australian lady came and talked to me, and said she knows how I feel. I lay on my bunk and thought about things and decided I shouldn’t have done it, but anyway I did.
I didn’t want to but at 6 am I got up and got ready, and started walking. I walked with B— from B—, who has self-published a book. I walked pretty quickly with him, through farmland and denser woodland. I took a lower route and was drained and wan by P—. The last part was through lush, green verges, wild roses and decrepit, mouldering farm buildings, in the rain. My feet felt bound, swollen. I hobbled into town with two C— ladies, who are gung-ho and give me guidance. Washed my clothes and sat on my bunk. Hobbled out in my thongs to buy poles, stamps, baked beans, bread and fruit. A man who gave me directions gave me a tour in Spanish of the architecture. Had dinner alongside the C— ladies. Stretched for a few minutes before the radiator.
At the first hill I needed the bathroom so went to a local bar that smelt of cigarette smoke and bought a coffee. Ahead were wind turbines along a ridge. The path went through canola and grain fields, the grasses rippled with wind. I had lunch in the grass and walked down the hill, which was very stony. I walked with a C— guy who said you can double knot your shoe laces and do them up to the top. There was another two towns, sleepy. I sat on a bench that looked over a valley to a church on a ridgeline and thought I don’t have to know what happens next. Two Spanish speaking men came along. One said Tired?! to me. I said Yes. He said We are too. In town two mares had foals by their side. I asked a K— guy where he was staying and a guy told us about a 5 euro hostel.
The scenery was grape vines and olive trees. A quietly spoken, considered Australian came and walked with me. Stopped at a church, the brochure describes the building as plain but beautiful. The lady attending the stamp kindly and shakily lettered the dates on both stamps I have had today, though she’d only made the one. I followed a Dutch lady to a hermitage, through an olive grove. Inside was bare aside from a stone altar and ledges piled with letters and stones. A funeral program for a boy child had written at the top something like Wish you could be here, Nana and Pop. The lady said There seem to be a lot of goodbyes. I got the second last bed at the parish hostel, staffed by two volunteer C—s. Went to the library for hours to plan my trip. The C— ladies were extremely sweet and polite with one another and guests. As I prepared my snack one of them interestedly exclaimed Oh, I never thought of putting sardines in my bocadillo before!
Right now I’m on hiatus in P— where I have all the day before me. Yesterday I walked down to the harbour, light and dry and warm.