Camino Day 30: Asturianos to Puebla de Sanabria

Last night was a nightmare. As in, we bunked near the absolute worst snorer Mikey has ever experienced – and this isn’t his first time at the proverbial rodeo. From the rapid-fire gasping for breath to the sound of respiratory drowning and explosive bronchial thunder, we can only surmise that the offender is a very sick pilgrim. He is probably also a very sore pilgrim this morning as others launched boots and all manner of weighted projectiles at him in an effort to gain some reprieve from the midnight cacophony.

Ergo, a very bleary-eyed Mikey got on the road this morning thankful that today’s hike would be a mere 14km. Our pilgrim was so tired that he left his sextant in his pack and gauged our location with this weathervane.

Ha! Yeah, that’d be kind of cool, huh? No, we just stomped along, following those damn yellow arrows in the pre-coffee haze of the Camino morning.

A most pleasantly plump café attendant saved Mikey’s life with a café con leche. The fun part? When he went back for a second coffee she winked at him, smiled widely, and gave him two cookies. (OK – time to go!)

Once again, our path led into the woods and Mikey started humming the tune from that horribly catchy musical.

Just before the city, we came across this homestead. It was almost like a Spaniard had seen Gone with the Wind and got a bit inspired. (Oh, and if you’ve never seen it, there’s a dubbed version of the film with Spanish voice actors. According to Mikey, it’s grotesquely wonderful.)

This is a shot of a modern bridge near Sanabria. We really liked the mirrored reflection of the bridge in the river below.

Crossing another bridge over the River Tera (yep, same Tera), one can hike upwards into the town of Sanabria where the 15th-century castle complex still stands.

We climbed a long series of very steep steps up the hill and, pantingly, found a restaurant with a great view of one of the turrets. When Mikey wheezingly asked for a menu and a large glass of water, the server politely informed us that there was a nice road that led gently upwards into the town that most people took. Amateurs.

OK, so we’ve tried quite a bit of fish during this Camino, but river trout has been hard to come by. We give you Trucha a la Sanabria or Sanabrian Trout. It’s basically an oven-baked trout with a pork-based chimichurri sauce. Simply delicious.

Now fed, we turned our attention to the castle before us. Constructed in the 15th-century, it was a very important defensive fortification given its close proximity to the Kingdom of Portugal.

And since we’re talking about defense, check out the coolest dress-up collection ever! After carefully reading the sign about a dozen times to make sure, our intrepid pilgrim had to don a bit of the medieval garb for a couple of selfies.

Breastplate with helmet (pardon the backpack strap) and felt pilgrim hat. Yeah, this was like the best part of the castle.

Oh, and there was this witch on a broom randomly suspended from the ceiling in one part of the castle. Not judging here, but there was no sign or plaque or anything by means of explanation. Ergo, Mikey was quite justified in keeping his dress-up clothes on until that annoying little kid wanted to play, too. Jerk.

Again, if we can climb we probably will climb. This shot is looking out from the valley beyond the castle fortifications and into the city.

So bells aren’t just for churches in Sanabria.

This was an interesting archery position. While most featured a slit through which an archer could shoot, the one position looking towards the church was carved out in the sign of a cross.

The church was quite impressive, but also quite closed on weekdays. Come on, Spain! Some of us are weekday tourists. Just a peek – that’s all we want.

Although the city was small, it was filled with some of the most beautiful houses. They were all seemingly out of a storybook in appearance. Oh, and if you look closely, you can see that the middle section is for sale.

This was just a pretty rad graffiti bit that we saw. Although we had initially planned on staying an additional night in Sanabria, we made really good time and saw most all of what we wanted. Ergo, it’s back on the road tomorrow! Until then, buenas noches.

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