Unusually we had breakfast before leaving so no need to hope for a bar along the way. We said goodbye to our host thankful for his kindness. I have the flu so he did not charge me for my half eaten dinner, gave me medication, and gave me a special tea mix for sleeping. Walking from our first farm stay we continued on through tree covered walkways looking out on to a patchwork of farming land sloping down from village dairies, with a handful of sheep and Alsation farm dogs.

The Seattle man joined us again and we talked about a book called ‘The sixth extinction” by Elizabeth somebody, sounded interesting. We walked on again through ‘Hobbit like’ old forests until we came to a statue where people had been placing pictures and notes etc. when I felt a hand rubbing my back which has my Parkinsons’ sign on. In broken English this teary French woman said: (as she kept rubbing my back and crying) “It is difficult, and for you too Madam…” as she looked at Corrie, “..my ‘usband ‘as it”. The three of us hugged and cried as others placed more adornments or just kept going, then we talked a little before exchanging “hasta luegos” knowing we will meet again.

On to rolling hills of farmland on our famous Camino white gravel path when a woman, having heard of this Parkinson fellow, started talking with me and ‘rubbing my back’. After saying some lovely words to me, she informed me that she was a physiotherapist working with Parkinsons’ people. A couple of Australians joined us along with the Seattle man and the French woman, more tears, then photos and goodbyes. We came around a bend to see our first Spanish lake floating below the steep hill town of Portmarin.

A sonnet

“It is difficult” she said

And stroked me as a little child

Her face was soft but her voice held dread

Tears welled up even though she smiled

“Also it is difficult for you

Madam”, the tears flowed freely now

They hugged, a hug so warm and true

They had words to speak but did not know how

She looked at me the smile didn’t go

Her hand was once more on my back

My husband suffers too you know

Things happen on this time warn track

She kissed us on our cheeks then went

Such precious time never better spent

The dawn tree


The moon in the blossom tree




Fields amongst the trees


The village lake