Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

May 3

May 6th, 2016

May 3

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Ponferrada To Villefranca 28 km. Moving through new climates, flora, fauna, and architecture. The first, most noticeable shift was in the trees, gone are the olives (more or less) replaced by apple and cherry. Atop every bell tower and electric pole are huge stork nests. The birds stand above them, glowering down at walkers, while small songbirds flit in and out of holes cut in the bottom of those huge piles of sticks. And the roofs are now black slate. Back in serious wine country so stopped at Moncloa, an ancient vinyard and set of stone buildings housing a restaurant with a perfect courtyard, vines climbing to form a fragrant roof with great food and Galician music. All in all, it felt like being on a movie set. Dinner in an old Spanish restaurant (not frequented by pilgrims) — trout and octopus.

T. Hugh Crawford

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