Day 15: Cañaveral to Galisteo

October 14, 33km

Oh Galisteo.
Road deviation. And rain.
You’re a welcome sight!

Cafe con leche and my wonderful daily home-made breakfast in the Cañaveral bar for a 7:15 start, and then we were lost on a local path for a while, but then the moon rose, such a gleaming pale sliver curving into its own shadow and I was so happy it gave me tears, as if I could cross any barrenness for as long as it took, if only I could witness this perfect moon. David Whyte’s ‘…faithful, even in its fading from fullness, becoming that last sliver of light before the final darkness.’ And I realised that what for us is the dark moon, is actually the moment when sun and moon, have been reunited in our eyes’ sky view. The intersection of patterns and rhythms, seasons and ripeness.

After a short climb there was the loveliest pine forest and cork trees and spiky evergreen oaks, and such a friendly, soft path after the horrible stony stones of yesterday afternoon. Here is “la Valle de los Muertos” apparently, but the happy dead they must be, ooh, it was a sweet path.

Clouds came, beautifully lit by the sun behind us, then a village too soon for Galisteo, our destination. It’s Riolobos, and a new deviation due to a farmer no longer wanting pilgrims traversing his property. A grim sort of village with nothing open and unnatural too-green irrigated fields around of tobacco, peppers and corn. Then a long road detour under showers of rain and we with tired and sore feet.

Galisteo is a walled village fortified during the reconquista, and is charming, and welcoming. The albergue municipal is new and was full of pilgrims, new faces, two German chicas walking with a dog, mad Edgar who’s been walking for a long time, Spanish cyclist Ovidio, four French pilgrims and Letizia and I, happy as, for hot showers and a generous menú in the restaurant next door. That evening there was a fiesta in the Plaza de España for the whole village and enough food for armies, to celebrate the retirement of some local well-loved person. With Ovidio’s help we procured a warm invitation to join them and ate and ate and ate far too much, even for a pilgrim.

Sometimes it’s like that. Then you go to bed, put in your earplugs, sleep it off with funny dreams of someone playing the didgeridoo which is really someone snoring and wake up and do it all again.

Warmth and love,



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