Wednesday, 18 February 2009
A quiet Valley walk
The bridge and village are not quite what I had imagined. In my minds eye I had seen a steep side valley with the bridge at the bottom, beyond the houses were clinging to the side of the hill. The bridge was the same shape, but not in that place. This was the first fo many changes to what I had expected. The Camino always keeps you guessing. I crossed the bridge. There are few building on the other side and the footpath takes a sharp turn left. After two hundred yards it then takes a sharp right and enters a wide bottomed valley. I was alone. Nobody to be seen. I do not expect the Spanish out at this time. It is the middle of siesta. I did expect pilgrims there were none. The pilgrims who were with me have stopped for the day. Those who were in front are leaving me behind. I have noticed since that day that the quietest time of day is early afternoon. That is the time one can expect to be alone. It is a wonderful walk along the valley. After awhile I notice that the path has been diverted. My instinct is to ignore the changes. Fortunately, I do not. The new path is not easy. It climbs steeply, is narrow and has not had a great deal of use. It shows signs of mechanical earth movers that have pushed the path through where there was none before. The ground has that uncompacted feel about. As I get to the top of the hill I understand why. The motorway has come through here. The original Camino has given place to the car.I have to content myself with walking high on a shoulder about the fast new road.The day comes to close about two hours later. The town of Ciraque is before me. It is a traditional hill top village. The church at the top, the rest of the houses huddling together for support at its' heals. Walking up the hill I notice that everywhere is restored. All the houses have that new paint look. There are not many people about. There is one general store.I cannot find a bar. The albeque is in the centre of the village, by the Church at the top of the hill.