When I left Vilei this morning there was a beautiful old church right nearby. It’s called the Igelsia de Santiago.
The current church is originally from the second half of the 12th century and stands on the place where there was a double monastery. It appears in numerous medieval documentation including the Codex Calixtinus. It is still called “mosteiro” due to that ancient history. It was open, so I went in and sat for a little while before starting my walk for the day.
The morning light was beautiful and the air smelled of cows and fresh grass.
As I walked through farm country, I saw many of these odd structures. I was told that they were “hórreos.”
An hórreo is a typical granary from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, built in wood or stone, raised from the ground by pillars ending in flat staddle stones to prevent access by rodents. Ventilation is allowed by the slits in its walls.
Some were quite large and elaborate and others were plain. Most had the two little cupolas on the top…not sure if those have a practical purpose or are just decorative.
There were many more pilgrims (and large groups of students) since Sarria. Also much more diversity than I had noticed previously. I heard all kinds of languages. I just stepped aside and let them pass! Much of the path was dirt – easy on the feet!
I passed what seemed like a shrine for pilgrims. Inside, people had written intentions and prayers and placed them on the altar.
In addition to more pilgrims, there was also a lot more Camino swag being sold. Lots of things with the traditional Camino shell and other tourist-type souvenirs. I didn’t buy anything (because then I’d have to carry it) but I did manage to replace my bandanna!
It was a long walk today (10+ miles) and I was happy to see the sign for Valachá and my albergue! I just beat the rain, too…I’d been hearing thunder for the last few miles!
An American couple, Ray and Dominque, opened this albergue (Casa Banderas) last year. They had a lovely charcuterie board waiting for me and some wine! Dinner is almost ready. I think I’ll sleep well tonight!