I would like to say that I left my luxury suite in Puebla de Sanabria well-rested and in good shape. The reality is that I have caught a cold. I imagine it is from the accumulated changes in temperatures.
Around Easter Week, temperatures were in the high twenties – low thirties in the whole of Spain. This is usually typical of June temperatures. After reaching Salamanca, first thing in the mornings were quite cool. And for the last five days, I have worn a fleece jacket. When it’s windy, it gets quite cool. When the wind dies, it gets quite hot – so don’t put the fleece away but carry it around your waist.
I started my 31.2 km walk out of Puebla de Sanabria at 7.30 a.m. Wooded pathways in the semi-dark give an electrical energy to the nervous system. Then, beyond Requejo the last community with a tienda (store) that doubles as a cafe (but does neither service well coupled with indifferent service) the road climbs. Poor research on my part, it is a small mountain rather than a hill. Trouble is most of the usual path has been temporarily taken over for cement processing, large Mercedes truck covering one with a cloud of white dust. One is climbing on arterial road ways, walking on the curb side of a viaduct bridge followed by a kilometre-long tunnel. Beyond the curve is another curve and no apparent end in sight.
The landscape improves for the final 10 kilometres, but by that time I have lost patience for the journey because I am feeling drained. It’s not the distance but the combination of walking terrain and my cold, which has now added a headache to it’s list of symptoms.
The final straw was a rather large protective dog that circles round me and tries to attack me from behind. Walking with walking poles have their advantages beyond helping to keep one upright on eneven and muddy terrain.
Today’s walk has been absolutely glorious. The whole day was along pathways, but the contrast in scenery has been fantastic. It has been a combination of field and fountain, moor and mountain. What more could one ask for? I was walking slowly for the 23.5 km journey because that is how I like to walk. I almost don’t want the day to end. I’m still coughing, but treating myself at the end of the day with frequent Euchaliptus compresses.