This is another one of those days that can be called a “prelude to tomorrow.” Tomorrow we will walk to Santiago de Compostela. Between here (Villamaior) and Santiago, there is a long slog up to Monte Gozo before coming down into Santiago just 8.7 km away.
There was no sunshine, periodic rain, and muddy paths. Are we being weaned off of the Camino? There are many other things we would have preferred to do other than walking in the rain and trying unsuccessfully to avoid the mud while carrying all our belongings in backpacks that sometimes feel like too much of a burden. Warm sandy beaches, blue skies, flip-flops are starting to sound awfully good!
Enough with all the whining! Now that we are looking at the pictures, it doesn’t look like such a bad day after all. At least it was a short one. The walk took us through a dense eucalyptus forest, the village of San Anton, into a river valley, and around the airport. It wasn’t long before we arrived at Lavacolla where medieval pilgrims came to wash and purify themselves before entering the city. Just 1.4 km further on we arrived at Casa de Amancio in Villamaior where we will stay the night.
Here is some interesting trivia! We’ve passed many distinctive man-made structures here in Galicia and wondered what they are. We found out today that they are “horreos,” used to protectively hold and ripen all forms of grain and farm produce. Sweet corn was the most common crop to be stored in them, but they will take just about anything.
They range in size from as little as one metre to in excess of ten metres in length. Some are even two stories in height. Traditionally they are made of granite, elevated on legs with rodent proof soffits, and timber or granite side panels. The roof is usually tiled and there is a small cross at one or both ends. Access is gained by either swing doors at the narrow ends or the removal of the wooden side panels.
The horreos are no longer practical storage units and are not constructed for farming use anymore. That said, they remain as popular as ever and the bonus of having one in a plot of land, associated with a property, is seen as highly desirable. Many property owners will also pay to have an old horreos “made good” or a new one constructed, purely for show.