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About Will Boag
The Galician rain gods did arrive so we waited until they were less angry and left in a sprinkle but they soon once again lost their temper on two occasions. All the lights were out in the sky hidden behind thick and heavy cloud so we walked strongly hoping to avoid too much rain because kensington canada goose red outlet said showers. It is unpredictable, and to save what’s left of my toes I had ditched my weather proof shoes. The sun at times dodged and weaved its way through persistent clouds looking to keep us warm.

Similar beautiful countryside allowed us to walk down its gullied lanes and tree covered pathways showing off its many medieval villages, night-watched by the ubiquitous village guard dog. These dogs sound very ominous but are usually tied up or behind fencing so not a threat. The threat usually comes in the form of a terrier type dog and waving a pole in front of kensington canada goose red outlet usually dissuades these poorly trained canines.

Not such a social day today except for two occasions. Firstly when Corrie attempted a pied piper act without the pipe; and just four kilometers out from our next Albergue we ran into our Canadian friends who walked us to the front door of our room in a field, in the village of Ribadiso where we found our new neighbours were the two Aussies we met last night.

The would be pied piper

Images of a medieval village

We moved out past the beautiful misty lake, some clouds hovering before the rising sun, then up along a umbrella tree pathway keeping only isolated raindrops from us. Walkers were madly putting on rain clothes (which like ours that we left home with) were not needed although one eye at the sky and one ear to the forecast would seem otherwise

Owing to the possibility of rain I did not wear my Parkinsons jacket and felt very different. There were no ‘good for you’ statements; no ‘Parkinsons, what a great cause’ comments; no personal disclosures; no murmurings once they think you are out of earshot; no more ‘is she the wife’? The sign is an invitation that is taken up regularly usually by the many people who have relatives

The country side is always pleasant to look at, pockets of pines or poplars dot the flatland, pine forests line the hillsides, while oaks and birch some young, some old follow the footpath. Even from the main roads that we spent a lot of time on today we still have the same scenery. No village for ten 10kms so breakfast tasted better than normal. The last 15kms were filled with farming and grazing based villages which like most are closing down while accommodation and food for pilgrims keeps the ‘open for business’ sign up

Light rain teased us as we walked the last 1km to our new home and very large bedroom. An after dinner chat with a couple from Brisbane ended our day and left us with a warm and fuzzy feeling as we watched a couple in their sixties in an eight month old relationship holding hands and talking about their love for each other I […]

Unusually we had breakfast before leaving so no need to hope for a bar along the way. We said goodbye to our host thankful for his kindness. I have the flu so he did not charge me for my half eaten dinner, gave me medication, and gave me a special tea mix for sleeping. Walking from our first farm stay we continued on through tree covered walkways looking out on to a patchwork of farming land sloping down from village dairies, with a handful of sheep and Alsation farm dogs.

The Seattle man joined us again and we talked about a book called ‘The sixth extinction” by Elizabeth somebody, sounded interesting. We walked on again through ‘Hobbit like’ old forests until we came to a statue where people had been placing pictures and notes etc. when I felt a hand rubbing my back which has my Parkinsons’ sign on. In broken English this teary French woman said: (as she kept rubbing my back and crying) “It is difficult, and for you too Madam…” as she looked at Corrie, “ ‘usband ‘as it”. The three of us hugged and cried as others placed more adornments or just kept going, then we talked a little before exchanging “hasta luegos” knowing we will meet again.

On to rolling hills of farmland on our famous Camino white gravel path when a woman, having heard of this Parkinson fellow, started talking with me and ‘rubbing my back’. After saying some lovely words to me, she informed me that she was a physiotherapist working with Parkinsons’ people. A couple of Australians joined us along with the Seattle man and the French woman, more tears, then photos and goodbyes. We came around a bend to […]

We saw Sandy off home to the Alsace and although we met many people on the Camino and became friends with some, it’s great to have a good friend along; he was fit, funny and full of adventure. We had breakfast with two lovely American women who were seasoned hikers but were also walking for spiritual reasons. We swapped photo shots along the way when one of them told me of five friends with Parkinsons whom we chatted a little about. She will give them my blog address and they may be in touch and we might catch up again with them in Santiago. Leaving town in the light was hard to get used to, and having clouds was a new experience as we climbed up under the rain forest branches curving over us to tantalise the little stream that would jump up to greet its shiny bright green leaves, the uneven path greeting us with yet another walking challenge. The long path down the other side was just as rough but a gentler slope, and with a branched archway covering us in case the sun broke the clouds and pierced the fog Passing animals in sets of two had us thinking of ‘the Ark’, but looking at the sky we knew this was not possible today so we put kensington canada goose red outlet down to coincidence. We crossed what probably was not an ancient bridge (a few slats of wood) to enter what is an ancient forest. The trees were full of gnarled faces which slowed us right down as we looked into their ancient eyes, As we emerged from this state of wonder an American from Seattle joined us saying (among many things) that he […]

After breakfast with an older German couple and a Japanese mother and daughter we left town under the moon and street lights with that little creek flowing with us down past the horse paddocks. We crossed over it and began a long ascent up a rocky but continually shaded pathway looking out at smaller green hillsides stepping up to larger ones and then distant mountains, views were spectacular. After a brief rest we continued down gravelly paths and up possibly the steepest hill of the whole journey and then down and down through bushy paths into the very quaint busy village of Triacastella

The day continued its mild and sunny attitude which we really appreciated knowing that we are now in the provence of Galicia personified by rain. We caught up with a Dutchwoman from our first day, a Kiwi, and an Aussie who was walking for the eighth year and had heard about his guy walking for Parkinsons so the awareness is slowly moving into conversations which is great and a tour guide is looking at my blog and talking about it. This eight year man also confirmed wet Galicia

Starting out

I woke my sleeping wife at 5.30 raring to go but she must have dreamt that our poles were missing. I remembered that I had put them to bed in an outside cafe and forgot to wake them up. We found them at 7.3oam where they were taken in by an empathic cafe boss, so a late start had us slowing right down as we spoke to a young New Yorker who was suffering from a sprained ankle so a lot of the enjoyment had been lost

We still had a moon when we left but the sun had now become the most dominant light in the sky. We left via yesterday’s photo of the bridge and walked up a highway, the bitumen being softened by the continual rumblings of the pretty Rio Valcarce as it criss crossed the highway in small streams, wide expanses and rocky waterfalls shaded by a configuration of shaded trees to climb a steep mountain, the views below softening any pains we may have been suffering. The three of us travelled alone moving from walker to walker as speed and time permitted. I talked with a young Korean couple who taught me how to say Buen Camino in their language. A man from L A donated money to Parkinsons and will check my blog out. A French couple found something we had dropped and we spent time with the. All these conversations offered us a new experience from our more reclusive moonlight excursions

We stopped to talk to some locals who informed us that the shapely dark leafed trees covering the steep slopes were chestnuts, his two finger rubbing indicating they are very lucrative. Back down the just as steep mountainside […]

Out into the Plaza and along a lantern lit street, down some steps into a long unsettling graffiti plastered street, through a dark park and out onto suburban streets and soon into a good rhythm with Sandy taking magic pictures as we go. Past some storks (chicks are now big) and our second best field of Poppies. Along highways but soon into the country again through undulating manicured fields, up long hill paths, over streams and vineyards with workers now in the field and Poplars once again, standing like Knights Templars watching over the pilgrims.

I overtook a singing pilgrim and heard that familiar American phrase “good for you” in response to my back saying “Walking for Parkinsons”. We started talking, beginning with her Aunty of 73 who may write to me to chat about life. My singing friend with her many physical challenges is walking the Camino because ‘she can’ and is writing a blog that I forget and hopefully she’ll remind me when she sees this. It is about architecture along the camino and is called ‘ruins……com’. She was moving with haste so I said goodbye and stopped to wait for Corrie to quench her thirst.

We wound down a long and quiet bitumen road to the river hollow of Villafranca. A walk around town took us through trimmed maze like parks, narrow lanterned streets along a wide, sometimes intimate rocky, rumbling river that could have been the Ganges at Rishikesh or the river in the Black Forest, crossed by high and then low medieval bridges. We climbed the stairs of one level to reach the middle level of this multi terraced village in a valley on the Camino.

Heading out

Graffiti lane

Poplars again

Working the vines

House […]

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