From Ventas de Naron to Palas de Rei

Giant mushrooms, giant ants and Luba:

The next morning after a brief photo of the group we struck out under the bright Spanish sun. Once again we went up. The camino path runs alongside the C-535, a barely used, two-lane road that connects several small hamlets. A couple of km up this road put us over our highest point in the trip at 722km, and then down to Ligonde where the camino takes a shortcut down a walled path, barely wide enough for two at some points, but best trekked by one.

Very large and green-gilled mushrooms for sale

At Ligonde we picked up a sello at the Conde de Waldemar bar. Outside they had a great BBQ setup-just not for breakfast sadly. What someone did have for sale though were these wonderful, very large mushrooms, some with caps as large as two hands spread together with curious green gills. Sadly I can only imagine the taste as we had no way to cook or transport them. Oh, the missed culinary experiences! It’s enough to want to come back for.

Giant ants!

On the road again, we continued down C-535 to the Casa A Calzada bar. As we approached we were greeted by three giant ant sculptures dominated the landscape around the bar. How curious and delightful! We stopped there for picnic supplies for an out of the way detour to Vilar de Duio, to see the church, a couple of km to the north of us. At the church a young Spanish woman guided us through, pointing out the murals and filling in the history. She told us of the local order of knights, some who were buried there who were dedicated to protecting Galicia from the Moors, although I did not get the name of which order that it was.  She spoke only Spanish, but between the group’s Spanish we were able to translate most of what she said. She was particularly delighted when I revealed that my older sister taught art history and was interested in this style of church. After our visit we went out back and sat on a low stone wall behind the church for a picnic lunch with what we had brought with us.

Sarcophagus for one of the knights in the church.

On our way out of town we stopped at a nearby small cemetery with a stone chapel and a large cross. We then headed back to the giant ants to continue our journey to Palas de Rei, and our stopping point for the day the Hostel Buon Camino. That night we met Luba Lubinsky who was to walk with us for the next couple of days before heading to her home in Canada. She had met Jon and Jim in St Jean Pied de Port at the beginning of the camino. Their paths had crossed several times and they had walked together but their pace was geared to our arrival and she left to go on ahead. But they had stayed in communication so she knew that we would be at the Buon Camino on this night. That night at dinner with a sweet smile and an open  heart, she was soon engaging everyone as if they were old friends and we were to regret her departure and miss her as soon as we saw her onto the bus in Arzua a couple of days later. Dear Luba, we hope your journey was uneventful and that you are well.


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