The bright yellow spotted lizard lay on the path, looking like a child’s toy. But it was real, and unexpected. later I saw another one, its gold colour matching exactly the chestnut leaves which fell around me in the woods.
Each time I stopped for a rest there would be a blue butterfly, or the first autumn crocus, or a long tailed magpie to watch. Lovely surprises, and some not so lovely.
I did not like the spider as big as our old 50c piece, which looked at me out of the toilet bowl in a cafe l- I know the pilgrimage is a spiritual journey but it was hard to stay calm about this event. I mimed it to the bar keeper, and got the gallic shrug- very zen.
However, another bar owner served me a huge piece of apple cake with my cafe solo, no charge, which set me up for a peaceful walk thrugh damp pine woods , past water mills, over streams and into collections of farm builngs, all with dogs on duty who like to bark till I was out of sight.
As I neared Padron, the guide book promised me the the hamlets of Pedreira, Cadelo and Condide, and the unfortunately named Infesta. Often the villages have no names on the pilgrim path, only on proper roads, so I would come to some buildings and have to work out what they could be. Often I just kept going, with no real idea of my whereabouts. Around Padron, villages were named, which made up for the lack of the yellow arrows I had been relying on.
It is such a horrible feeling to stand where several roads meetand wonder where to go- usually I chose down hill and north. This was to bring me a bit of trouble soon enough , but today I arrived into a very french looking boulevard in Padron, with a double row of plane trees along a majestic river front, great place for fish, frites and a beer.