Day 16. Grijo

I leave a sleeping town behind me passing beneath modern buildings,  unlike most of towns on the Camino so far.

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At the roundabout on the  outskirts of the town there is a monument of the Peninsular War.  That was the time when Napoleon sent his marshals to conquer Spain and Portugal. Including the one familiar to Dalmatians..  Marmont duke of Ragusa (Dubrovnik). All of them have proven to be less successful than the Duke of Wellington. Portugal joined in the last two years of the First World War and skipped the Second one entirely…  so the Peninsular one was a last major war on its soil.

On my way through the suburbs outside the town, I keep seeing old ruined houses right next to new and renovated ones. A bunch of “vende” (for sale) signs as well.

There is also quite a few of those typical barn storages for corn and other foodstuffs, that I remember from the last time in Galicia.

Part of the Way passes through a remarkably preserved Roman road. Its hard to believe its almost two thousand years old, all lovely and straight with just a few mild turns.

The houses along the way frequently have charmingly designed postboxes, shaped like a small house. Quite a few homes have a tiny chapel built into the wall or, even more frequently, a tiled paintings, usually Our Lady of Fatima or St. Anthony of Padua.

I spot a sign saying I’m passing through Rua de Alegria .. the street of joy. An interesting concept of street naming. The monastery walls rise ahead … which means the albergue must be near as well … and so it is  .. but locked and with nobody around.  I am way early so I sat down in the nearby bar to wait. In a few hours I checked again, Nino and Rosana have just arrived and found a neighbour who had the key.

Soon enough a lot more familiar faces turn up. Since there aren’t any restaurants nearby Jorge made tortilla and Rosana made pasta.  Both are excellent cooks.

I chat a bit with Nino and Rosana on how is it to be a hospitalero. Since it appears there is always room for more volunteers it may be an interesting idea to  give it a try for a week or two. In the words of one hospitalero…  I used to travel around the world,  and now the world is travelling to me.

I’m a bit early for an evening mass at the monastery so I take the opportunity to do a bit of sightseeing around the church.  Its interesting how sculptures and paintings of the saints reflect the physiognomy of its authors.

That was day no. 16.