Goodbye to theTierra de Pan Two routes to Santiago.

24.5 Thursday. Granja de Moreruela to Tabara.
Granja is the point where the Camino to Santiago splits, the Via de la Plata continues north to join the Camino Francais at Astorga, our route goes to Galicia via Ourense. There are multiple signs showing the two ways in
the village and in the morning, in spite of our heroic efforts yesterday we are once more on the road by 5.30. The weather is currently average for the time of year, but even at 700m it is too hot to walk (for us northern europeans) by 12or1300hrs.
At first over more grain fields but quickly into more interesting country around the last arm of the Embalese de Ricobayo and over the bridge across the Rio Esla the top of the reservoir. We stop for breakfast a red kite is out early looking for his as well. Briefly we go south down the bank next to the water and then up steeply out of the drowned river valley and up to some great views.
We are now heading west and are nearly north of the portugese border, the country is again mixed with oak pasture and grainfields and with occasional deciduous oak. We reach Faramontanos a small village with old unused bodegas(wine stores) on the way in, the central square has a bar, but at 9.50 it is closed we rest in the shade outside the church, Betsy inquires hopefully of locals for another, the coffee need is desperate. Before we start Tony checks again it has opened!! Inside one local had got there first and the sign to the toilets points back into the street, but outside there is no loo. Finally driven to ask Betsy is conducted outside 15ft down the street is an unmarked unsigned blue door, looks like the door to a neglected barn. The barman proudly opens it and points to the door of the servicios which is accessed by picking your way amongst disused bar paraphernalia. Still, all in perfect working order so no complaints.
We travel slowly yesterdays excesses still taking a toll but reach Tabara by before midday. The albergue here is out of town centre and locked, Tony manfully returns to the ajuntamiento in the town centre for the key. We have it to ourselves for a while but it fills up late afternoon. On the walk back to town for lunch a man rides a donkey slowly to the water fountain it has a good drink and departs. Betsy has wanted a working donkey since we started this walk.
28km 6.30hrs