Hello St. James,
It's Wed Sept 13th, I'm in A' Gudina, but I want to catch you up on the last couple of days. Monday morning I took my time, I was in no hurry. I had a 14.5k walk to Puebla de Sanabria. The largest town since I left Zamora. I booked a room for two nights there, so I was pretty content. It was a really pretty walk to Sanabria. A part of it was on a paved road, a highway of sorts, which can be confusing. Then you see the yellow arrow painted on a sign, or railing, or rock, and knowledge you're ok. There were a couple more of those tiny villages. In one of them, two ladies were rooting around on the ground, they called me over, and handed me some walnuts. Then they proceeded to show me how to break them with their shoes. I still have 2 of them (for emergency).
Walking into Sanabria reminded me why I love coming here. Once again, a main road, but more urban this time, walking past the Albergue, some bars and shops. This time, however, you go around a bend, onto a bridge over the river, and straight up is a13th cent Church and Castle, built on top of the small mountain. After you wind your way up and around, you step into what looks like movie set; stone buildings little shops, bakeries, AND ATMS (no always easy to get money). I was so thrilled to be there. I was just walking around, exploring, still with my pack on, starting to wonder where my Hostal was ( I did know it was up here in the Town Center, not down there). I was starting to get up enough nerve to ask somebody where my place was, I was getting tired of walking around, I walked right past an elderly man with a tremendous beard, sitting on a bench. He called me over to ask about my walking stick. He was amused that I was from N.Y. I started to walk away, then turned back and asked him, he pointed, it was right around the corner.
As I walked up to the place, the owner was right behind. None of this is usually this smooth. The place was perfect, I had 2 nights (and I slept straight through both of them). The room was all stone, small but comfortable, AND, my own bathroom. I have a couple of good stories I'll save for the next message, but I will follow this with pictures to show you around. Coming up: Sanabria, parte dos... Peace, Fr. Bob