Last night we attended a concert. An orchestra made up of children from a nearby village entertained us with Phantom of the Opera. The next morning venturing out of Los Arcos (after a breakfast of coffee, toast, cake, fruit and fruit juice at our Albergue), into wide spacious fields, we were reminded that we were still travelling in the right direction when our backs became very warm. The sun had already risen but was behind a hill and we had just begun a steep incline, so instead of a gradual warming we got a sudden blast. Just prior to this risen sun, I took a picture of two pilgrims framed against the eerie light as they wandered between lush green fields of wheat  juxtaposed with ordered grape vines, showing off their late spring leaves, with promises of summer grapes to come.

Light hearted banter with three young singing Spanish women took us into Viana, a small, storybook village with its very narrow streets where pilgrims were tiredly meandering between locals oozing out of the full bars;  a Spanish fiesta was very much alive. Mostly, small villages give us a certain sense of peace and belonging. Over a pilgrim’s meal at lunchtime we came across a woman from Taiwan who had translated for me back in the French Pyrenees in a challenging situation. Lunch or dinner is a ‘pilgrim’s meal’ consisting roughly of a choice between soup, salad and paella for entree;  chicken, fish, pork or pasta for main; then cake, ice cream or fruit salad;  all with wine, water and bread. If not this meal, a good option is a ‘plato combinado’ of salad, chicken and chips, sometimes fried eggs, with bread and wine. In between we have coffee, hot chocolate, croissants and fruit. Trying to keep fat on our fading bodies.

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