Mice Houses

I was walking up the street thinking that I am so close to my goal. If you had asked me if I would have made it on day one after that horrible climb to Orisson, I would have struggled to say yes! I thought I had bit off more than I could chew. My arthritic knees don’t bend, and my feet look like chopped liver, I eat ibuprophen for breakfast and antacids just to be sure I don’t get heartburn from the food and wine — and I am deliriously happy!!!  How can that be? I have manure in my nostrils, I’m sure a I still smell like chorizo sausage and my tongue is torn by stale boccadillo. I wouldn’t change anything.

Today I will be walking to Portomarin. After a steady climb out of Sarria, I reached a cute little place called Barbadelo. Now, as I mentioned in my last post, I should have researched the albergues better. Everyone was so happy that morning standing in front of their albergue. Why? They had a pool!! Darn it!!!

I bumped into Liam and the rest of the Dublin students. We took this group shot.

Donna and four students from Dublin posing on forest path.
Met these Dublin students at the hostel last night. They were so enthusiastic. When they heard my last name Murphy…well you can imagine.

Winding our way past beautiful farms and villages and passing the occasional herd of cattle in the streets, I thought, “Where is John?” I hadn’t seen him all morning. We will likely run into each other, eventually. If not I will just post the pictures I took of him on his Facebook.
​Passing one of the farms, I came across this fella who seemed to be in a little distress. I could hear him hee-hawing a kilometre away and he just got louder and louder. The poor guy was probably sick of all the pilgrims coming up to him.

​I never grow tired of the scenery, and every chance I get, I try to get pictures of the locals after asking their permission. Some were quite accommodating while others shook their head no. One lady today, said she was too old for her picture to be taken. We had a good giggle over that. I can understand, like the donkey, the locals get tired of the pilgrims invading their space.

There is an interesting architectural feature in front of many of the farms. Those that I had asked couldn’t tell me what it was. I thought it was perhaps a boundary marker. For a while, I was walking with Simon and Sarana, a couple from Italy.  We came to a farm where in my broken Spanish I asked a Galician woman in rubber boots what it was.

Brick structure sits on top of stone fence to store corn.
Maize (corn) storage

She answered it was for mice. I repeated back oh it’s for mice or to keep the mice out. She replied, “Si, mice!” So there I am looking all confused wondering why you would have a house of mice on the front of your property except maybe it kept mice away from the house. Simon quickly stepped in and said, “Not mice, maize like popcorn!”  We had a huge laugh over this once I realized it was for corn storage, and it is off the ground so that the mice can’t get into it. There are holes on the sides for ventilation to dry out the corn. Very innovative.

The story does not end here though, my new friends Simon and Serana moved on but I caught up to them later on. I heard Simon yelling my name to get my attention. He was pointing at this structure and said, “Hey Donna! This is for a really big mice family, a condominium!”

Square brick storage structure with air holes used to store corn.
A larger corn storage unit or mice condominium.

We laughed about it all the way to Portomarin.

I hit a milestone today – travelled past the 100 kilometre marker. Whoo hoo!

Donna standing to the left of the 100 kilometre camino marker.
100 kilometres left!

The cathedral in Portomarin was beautiful and built different than the others I have seen. The square was also lively with bars and restaurants. Of course a quick bite and off to bed. My bed was the top bunk on the left.

Square of Portomarin with church and cafe
Portomarin town square. Lovely cafés surrounded it. Not too busy now as it is hot, but music and cerveza was flowing later.
Image of 2 bunkbeds with camino gear.
My messy, non-air conditioned room tonight!


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