Walked from: Bodenaya
Walked to: Campiello
When: 14 October 2019
I left the hostel (albergue) reluctantly this morning; it had been such a fun, cozy night and the weather forecast for today didn’t bode well. Luckily, the aforementioned forecast seems as unreliable in the north of Spain as it is at home in England, and I found myself whispering to Lee, a friendly Korean man who I walked with after lunch, that I was grateful for that.
It did rain eventually, making for a wet final 2-3km, but by then I was so buoyed by the sheer bloody brilliance of the day’s scenery and a wonderfully random encounter we’d just had with a farmer that it didn’t matter a jot. Lee listened patiently as I kept exclaiming about the landscape (I even clapped it at one point) and we had the sort of interesting – at least for me – cultural exchange about our respective countries that underlines how important travel is.
About 4km before the end we had just finished a descent along a rocky, moss-lined, stone-walled footpath when we were accosted, in the politest possible way, by a farmer in the hamlet of Villaluz, and asked if we wanted a sello (stamp) for our pilgrim passports. ‘Of course!’, said I. So he plucked a white flower from his garden, placed it on my backpack and led us to a small shack that abutted his cow shed, producing his stamp and ink pad with a flourish. It was a Camino first for me – farmers are usually pretty taciturn, but Jouimo was friendly, spoke some English AND gave me a second flower on the way out of his farm – Lee got a sprig of mint, for a mojito! Sadly, about two minutes later the wind picked up, the rain arrived and my beautiful flowers flew away. Another Camino friend told me she passed them on her way, but for a brief moment in time, I was living the 60s flower power dream, albeit in quick-dry clothes.