Perfect day, at last. We left Ansiao around 11 A.M., after running a few errands. The sun was shining and the temps were near 70 F. For most of the day we walked on dirt paths–so much better than yesterday’s pavement. Along the narrow cart paths were flowers, birds, butterflies with occasional sheep, goats, and chickens, and one snake. No dogs chased us; yesterday a pack of 5 snarly canines tried to attack us. Dennis used his hiking pole and I screamed, which caused a lady to run out and calm the dogs.
It was hot enough today for us to add Gatorade to our water bottles. In Alvorge, we stopped at a cafe to buy ice cream (I love the fact that I can eat about anything I want without putting on weight). The proprietor, Victor Jose Guiomar was delighted with our visiting his establishment. He told us all about the pilgrims who have stopped there, showed us his collection of foreign money, and posed for a picture. We spoke in French. This is the part of the Camino I treasure.
After Alvorge, we climbed up a hill that reminded me of the terrain above the treeline in the White Mountains of NH. There were scrub brush, portulacas, wild flowers, poppies, and stony paths. We rested at the top where it was very peaceful and a cool breeze dried our sweaty bodies. From the top we still had over an hours walk to Rabacal, so we did not stay there too long.
We are amazed at how often we have no idea where we are. We come into small hamlets, even towns, that are not listed on the map. Most have no signs telling us the town’s name. At intersections, the signs don’t give the distances to the next towns, so we can’t judge by those. Of course, the guidebook is of little help because we don’t know where we are. Thank goodness the Via Lusitana has been so thorough in painting the yellow arrows. Without these, we would be really lost.