Nothing but blue skies…. And mud

After a somewhat restless sleep we arose to a breakfast of goodies we purchased the evening before at the local grocery. Can’t remember when I had such a good time going through a supermarket looking for good stuff that was packable and would sustain us. We lucked out that even on an early Sunday morning a local place was open for a cup of Joe. The wonderfulness of that cannot be overstated. Most albergues do not have coffee or have it in vending machines. Thus far I haven’t stooped to that, but I have had to hike several miles some mornings before coffee was in the picture. For someone who’s accustomed to drinking at least half a pot full first thing in the morning, it’s been a bit of an adjustment. On the good side, their cafe con leche, while small (even in their”grande” size) is delicious. So there we sat, sipping away when Diana and Kelsey came sauntering back after they had already started out. Apparently as Diana was carrying a mug of tea she felt all was right in the world and hadn’t realized that she had left her poles behind. Luckily she discovered it early.

The day began and ended with nothing but gorgeous weather – sunny blue skies and perfect hiking temperatures.  Lots of hills to climb, with a predominance of wild blackberry bushes (berries no riper than at home) and nettles along the edges off the paths. Early on we met a great couple from Ireland, Tony and Stephanie. They amused us from the start. I had stopped to take a picture of a cairn highlighted in the sun when Tony stated “you can’t get a view of my nice behind from way back there!” It only got more amusing as the day progressed, as one tends to sort of pass hikers, then be passed by them, Syu We had ample opportunities forb Tony comments. We also finally meet the three Austrian gentlemen we’d heard about who started hiking the Camino from Zurich 12 years ago, hiking for two weeks each year, then resuming the next year where they left off. Mind you they range in age from 58-75!

As we hiked we trod through many sections that were covered with trees, which made it beautiful but not necessarily the best hiking. You’d think it’d be great along that sort of path especially in flat sections but they were quite problematic – always nothing but deep, squishy mud. I was just congratulating myself on how well I was navigating around all the mud, sticking to the narrow edges where it was a bit more solid when, squish! Into the mud went both my feet, up to the top of my shoes, all because I was trying not to bump into the barbed wire of the cattle fields. Yuck! Actually, I allowed myself one profanity then managed to push myself out if it with my poles. Best of all I didn’t get my backside or pack muddy. Yay!

We made our way into the city if Tineo, a lovely city perched on the edge of hillsides with a fabulous vista of the surrounding mountains. On the way into town as we were debating about where to stay we saw Diana and Kelsey and hailed then. Diana and I had to laugh at ourselves because she had done the exact same mud slip routine as me and her shoes looked equally bad.

Once settled in to the nicest albergue we’ve stayed in yet, we met the usual suspects from the day, plus a young man named Leo from Switzerland for drinks and dinner.

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