This village spread out on to two major streets, the houses being made of multi coloured, multi sized stones, forming thick walls with large wooden doorways, many once used to house the horses and horse drawn vehicles of earlier times, the only evidence left of their past presence. We said goodbyes to our Canadian friends after dinner and prepared for the next day. This village is on a vast open low scrub flat, a narrow white gravel pathway stretching kilometers ahead flanked by yellow broom, lavender and white flowered bushes

The flowers stayed with us as we ate at Santa Catalina de Somoza, a one street oasis that seemed to be just another adornment to this forever stretching pathway. It widened and narrowed as we passed a young pine forest and became drawn into a u-shaped mountain range in the distance as we navigated inclined rocky paths being passed by a group of Koreans of whom there are many on this journey

Through the delightfully quaint village of El Ganso where we stopped at a local store run by an equally delightful woman who was run by eight friendly El Gatos and a miniature El Perra called Petunia. We left town as the Ciguena dad was flying back to his bell-tower home with breakfast for his children. The path way continued to move us from flat to gradually rising rocky roads on towards our mansion at Rabanal

On entering town we joined with a lovely Canadian woman whose brother in law is suffering from advanced Parkinsons. We sat on the street at the local bar and talked about a woman on the Camino with the disease, yoga and her spiritual quest. We swapped blogs with ‘M. M.’ saying she would promote my blog on her website and I would try and access hers, then we swapped ‘Namaste’s, she continued her journey and we moved into our mansion right on the Camino

Wandering along the steep streets we heard bells ringing and the haunting sounds of the Gregorian chant and soon found it’s enchanting source, inside a small church (the Knights Templar, the shining lights for pilgrims who were protected by them over the harsh mountain terrain built this little church back in the twelfth century) . We sat and I looked around in amazement at what could have been an abandoned building. There were holes in the walls and ceiling where stones had fallen out and pieces of timber were wedged in to prevent further collapses. Vines were growing through the walls, seats placed against more troublesome decay and cracks lit up wherever you looked. If Leonard Cohen’s line of his poem was to ring true: ‘ring the bells, there’s a crack in every thing, that’s where the light gets in’ then truly this little glorious structure would burst with light

On reflection, since the cracks of Parkinsons appeared in me, I have found a lot more light in my life amongst the dark stuff (that I probably wouldn’t choose to have) which keeps me from being an abandoned structure

Leaving the Albergue


The long path


A wanderer


A rocky climb


The cracked church