January 28, 2011–from Portmarin to Palais de Rei   Leave a comment

Traveling through Galicia is a joy…meeting up with peregrinos we have met is an added joy….and peeking into life in the villages and towns gladdens my ethnographic heart! We walked all morning and arrived at Erexe (Airexe) and had lunch with pilgrims we had met before: Estevao and Leticia from Brazil, Jose from Madrid.

Jose walked with us to Palais de Rei.

It was a día festivo in Palais–San Tirso, the patron saint’s day–so everything was closed. An elderly woman who told us why everything was closed bemoaned the fact that it was not “como antes, con fiestas el mero día,” now the fiesta will be on Saturday and Sunday; at least they have the decency to close most businesses, she told us. At a bar we were able to check e-mail on the internet. dinner at Restaurant La Cabaña was only 4.20 Euros…but breakfast was 7.10! After dinner, we talked and reminisced with Jose who told us about his life in Cantabria. He “threw” the Tarot cards for us. Mine were enigmatic: stay and write. Creativity kept coming up. I am feeling pressured to finish all my projects–novels, academic books, anthologies, etc.

The albergue where we stay is Os Chacotes right outside of Palas de Rei. The walk over mud and rocks often alongside a highway tired my knees and fee

House with grannery

t. A few stories: Estevao’s about the granneries made us laugh: when he last walked the Camino some villager told him that the granneries held the bones of the deceased and he was to stomp the ground three times and say a prayer each time he saw one. So he did. When he shared the story with a priest a few towns later, he found out it was not true, that the coffin-like structures are really to store grain!

We walked with them as we passed through a town where Carlos V and Felipe II came through. The plaque attests to the fact that here it where they rested–the dilapidated structure does not seem fit for a king or an Emperor .

The bird songs Becky taped  reminded me of home. As we walked through a tiny village the bell tolled announcing a death. For over 15 minutes we heard the tolling…Becky taped it.

I loved the sun and partly cloudy sky. A sliver of a moon at sunset. but not like the one in Ferreiros. The cold I can handle just fine; it’s the rain and snow I fear. I begin to fret over things at home, a student’s dissertation, about my siblings and Mom’s upcoming b’day, about all my projects that lie unfinished. But, I meditate and know that it is not for now–I am to let go and enjoy the present.

As I fall asleep I give thanks for the walk, for the tiredness of my bones and for the company of all who walk with us…

Meditation: Let go of worry. Be in the present. Like the birds and the plants, exist and allow the universe to guide and protect you.

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Posted March 18, 2012 by normacantu in Uncategorized

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