Camino de la Plata – Day One, Ancient Roads and Vespers

Spain, Via de la Plata

Ourense to Oseira – 20 miles, 2-23-17

We walked from Cordoba to Granada then on to Almeria, following the Route of the Caliphate and the Camino Mozarabe but had not made it to the end point of all the Caminos, Santiago de Compostela.  We are going to start studying Spanish in Salamanca March 1st so decided to walk the last four days of the Via Plata into Santiago for Carnaval.

I’m really glad we did this as the Galician path is as inspiring and gorgeous as the walk through Andalucia but in a different way. In the south was sun, Arabic history, snow capped mountains and olives, here are lush green fields, stone houses, cows and deep moss covered paths trod for centuries.

We left Ourense and were soon in forests and stone. We had lunch with a retired trucker named Cesar, who opens his house and now travels via guests, then slept in a monastery where we attended vespers with the monks.

The monastery was built in 1137 and the passage of history struck me here as in few other places. The blend of poetry and sound during vespers left me with tears streaming down my face and many questions about faith and vocation.

Elves could be here.

Tidy gardens of roots and greens.

Shells are appearing more as way signs.

Water is everywhere and it’s stored and directed in stone.

Cats over the wall.

Our albergue for the chilly night. The monks make chocolate and an herbal liqueur so we ate this with fire baked bread from nearby Cea.

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