Over the misty mountain down the rushy glen.

30.5 Wednesday. A Gudina to Laza.
The names of places and things get odder now we are in Galicia X’s and Q’s abound, as well as strange squiggles over letters that only Betsy knows how to pronounce. Even Juan a young man from Valencia we have been meeting frequently along The Way, confesses himself a Stranger in a Strange Land.
We start walking at 0510 hrs, widely regarded as insane by all spaniards who are happy walking after midday. So in the dark we crack a few km up the road onto the tops of a route that is the old route into the heartland of Galicia. Tiny hamlets along the way whose reason for existence was as coaching inns on the road from Madrid are called Venta de (whoever ran the inn) there are several including Venta da Capella, a place larger but more deserted than the rest. The day breaks as we arrive to get a glimpse, through the mist, of the railway line that was the reason for the place’s boom years. Built as late as 1958 the railway opened up Galicia to the rest of spain via 100 or so tunnels. We see little else but dark Galician mist for an hour or two until the sun is up and clearing the clouds lying in the valleys that appear around us.
The views are suberb, we are mostly at 1000-1100m with valley bottoms 250-400m below us, the upper slopes a covered with pink and purple heather and a yellow flower that should be gorse or broom but isn’t. Lower down oak woods with occasional chestnuts and the dwarf white broom we are familiar with are above valley bottom pastureland. We get coffee in the only sizeable village on the way and climb again to another that has a small area with tables and picnic benches where we eat our oranges. Butterflies mostly fritillaries and whites are more common and one swallowtail is spotted but we see no deer or wolves! It is getting hot now as we slowly descend into the valley of the Rio Cabras a small quiet stream in a green valley to Laza and a modern equipped albergue. Probably custom built for 1996 when “Papa” John Paul visited Santiago, there are still around, logos of the bizarre micky mouse style that was used to push the camino into major increases in numbers.
It is getting hotter early starts are still needed but the stages are shorter. Tomorrow we should see the first horreos.
34km 7.30hrs

Link to where we are on Google Maps