We were all up by 7, dressed and having a bit of breakfast, enjoying that we could make coffee, especially since I’d had none the day before…. That huge hike day not even caffeine powered! Chris came into the kitchen and we all broke out into a round of happy birthday, as we had learned it was his day. We chatted away taking about the day’s hike that the guidebooks referred to as all downhill and perhaps tough on the knees. Then Steven said, “oh, that means we’ve peaked!” What a reaction that got, considering most of those there are my vintage, with Mandy the youngest.
So offwe went but instead found ourselves walking up and up a paved road leading us up to a ridge with a line of windmills. Finally we began a descent, through a nice, tree lined patch. At one spot we came across Steven, Sepe and Simon. Sepe had hurt his legs sprinting fast too fast on the high route, so he was limping along and Simon was carrying his pack. What a good friend! Steven decided we ought to stand and sing a yodel to the valley below where we were heading. So we all did! Seemed appropriate after earlier he had related a story to us about an Irish pagan rite that’s performed on the summer solstice when the oak, which symbolizes sring and summer has a go round with holly that symbolizes fall and winter. Gotta love the storytelling! He’s full of them.
We finally made it down into the valley where there’s a man made lake from a hydro electric dam. We passed over the dam them up to a hotel overlooking the lake where Tony and Stephanie and Margrette and Karsten, from Denmark, where planning to stay. When Steven, who’s had boot issues – one started splitting at the sole, so he had “punked them up” he said, holding it together with a couple of safety pins. As he took off his boot he had a tag along – a small snail was inside! We had a good laugh then had a bit of a late lunch there with them then proceeded another 6 km up a road walk in the afternoon heat until we finally got some wooded respite before reaching the town of Grandas de Salime. The municipal albergue was fill but luckily we got the last beds in a private one.
We settled in to our spaces, having passed this beautiful hedge of hydrangeas and through a Dutch door and managed to do a quick load of laundry – much needed when you only have two sets of clothes – one to hike in and the other to wear after showering, for going out and sleeping. It’s definitely teaching me to let go of fussing over appearances and to appreciate small things, like the feel of something just washed. We hung things out to dry, but luckily before we went looking for a to place drink and eat we pulled them inside. So fortuitous, as while we were having drinks there came a furious downpour, complete with hail. Luckily it didn’t last too long.