Vilar do Barrio to Xunqueira de Ambía to Ourense

June 10 – Well, even without a blanket, that was one of the best nights we’ve had in an albergue.  There were only two other people in our dorm, a bicycling couple from the Netherlands, so we got adjoining lower bunks and slept easy.  

Nine miles today.  We walked out of town along with some freshly shorn sheep on their way to pasture.

Are the hydrangeas blooming at home?  My favorite flower:

Our first few miles were totally flat farm track, reminding us of the beginning of our journey.

Here’s a stork out for a morning stroll.  We haven’t seen one in quite a while.

The farm track ended and we were back to the shady woods.  Love the ferns and the mossy green rocks that line the path.

At a little town, we saw a raised grain storage building.  We remembered seeing many on our last Camiño.

We liked the juxtaposition of the old structure sheltering modern cars.

And more sheep!

Jim made some new friends as we climbed up and up some more.

As we descended toward town, Jim saw some beehives, and decided to get a close up.  I don’t have to tell you what happened…

Then down, down and into town.

Time for our next lesson in Galego.  We are now in the town of Xunqueira de Ambía.  In Galego, the letter replaces the letter J, which we all know has the sound of H in Spanish.  Claro?  It’s a good sized town with two supermarkets and our choice of restaurants for a midday meal.  We are staying at Casa do Souto, and have the whole house to ourselves, including the washing machine. So nice to have really clean clothes!  The birds are singing outside our window, and we are enjoying another wonderful view.  85 miles to go.

June 11 – Happy birthday to Peter, my firstborn.  He doesn’t read my blog, so somebody please tell him I’m sending love his way!

Nine miles today as we head toward Ourense, our last big city before Santiago.  It’s gray and overcast this morning, for the first time in quite a while.  We stopped checking the weather forecast, because it was so nice every day!

Haven’t shown you a church in a while.  Walking out of Xunqueira.

The arrow shows the way.  The shell is the sign of St. James.  The water gourd is the mark of the pilgrim.  We think the stars are for the European Union.

Here we are!

We walk on the road, past farmers’ fields.  The grapes are starting to grow!

Our guidebook warned that today was all roadwalk, and it was right.  As the farms turned into suburbs, we were given a sidewalk.

More hydrangeas!

We passed a restaurant with some metal peregrinos:

Getting bored now.  Do you think this sign means we have to yield to trumpet players?

I used to think this sign meant Fat Man Sleeping.  Now I know it means speed bump.

Still walking.

We saw signs that it is much warmer here than where we’ve recently been.  Cacti, palm trees, and red tile roofs.

The suburbs become an industrial area about five miles from the city.  

Our book warned that this was a long, bleak stretch, and all the pavement walking hurts our feet, so we decided yesterday to stop at a travelers hotel three miles out, and walk the final leg into the city of Ourense tomorrow.  The hotel is highly rated with a great restaurant.  We’ll do the rest of the bleak walk tomorrow. 

Here’s the map of our remaining miles.  100 kilometers is all that is required to say that you have completed a Camino.  We expect the trails to get more crowded from this point on.

76 miles to go.

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