Denver Botanical Gardens

Denver Botanical Gardens

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Peaceable Evening

We had not had a short day since the day we stopped in Zalbadika (Sept 30).   So Friday we did only 13 km and stayed in Moratinos.  We were hosted by Paddy and Reb, their 6 dogs, 1 cat, several chickens, and one tweety bird.  They are a retired couple who worked in the USA newspaper business before moving to Spain several years ago.  They call their home "The Peaceable Kingdom", and although it is not an albergue or B&B, they will provide a bed for pilgrims who seek them out.  It was a very special evening.  Paddy is a gracious host of all sorts of strays.

Rebekah took us out to the Hobbit Hole where the wine is stored.  These structures can be seen in several towns in this area, and it seems that buying a house in Moratinos included the 'bodega'.  The interior of these were originally constructed with all needed equipment for making wine: a press, an initial storage area, three large barrels (looked like 100 gallons each), and bottle racks.  The temperature is perfect for storage, being underground.  Before refrigeration, other food items such as cheese, potatoes and apples could also be stored here.

One of the local bodegas has been turned into a private "man cave", with a big screen TV for watching soccer, etc.  Others have collapsed due to neglect.  One was extended deep into the hill and turned into a restaurant.  Reb and Paddy maintain theirs and keep just enough bottles of locally purchased wine to be able to make a good selection for dinner.

They told us Moratinos is changing.  There had been sheep here for at least 1000 years.  The last 60 sheep were sold a year ago.  Now the locals cannot gather mushrooms the way they did before,  as the mushroom's growth required sheep dung.  The camino is bringing more money, taking the place of some of the agriculture.  It still reminded us of a small eastern Montana farm town - with Hobbit Holes built nearby.

Saturday was another average day of about 20 km, reaching Bercianos del Camino.  We are glad to have sunshine again, with temperatures nearly perfect for walking, in the 60s most of the day, with a high in the low 70s.  Laundry is hanging in the courtyard.  We will share in the preparation, eating, and cleanup of a community meal after a short siesta.  We continue on to Mansilla de las Mulas in the morning.

Everyone in town knows where Paddy and Reb live.
"Go back. No good at all. Go sideways. Impossible. Go forward. Only thing to do. On we go."
J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit.
Please don't use the bodega entrance as a toilet.
Leaving Moratinos.
Oddly pruned trees in Sahagun. We don't understand this!

1 comment:

  1. About the trees, in Europe pollarding and coppicing was, and maybe still is, practiced in Europe for practical reasons. Wood of the shoots was used for fences, baskets, furniture, fuel, and even ship building. Foliage could be used to feed animals. I agree that it does look weird to my way of thinking. "Topping" is the term I've heard here. Maybe the ancient practices led to a different asthetic (spelling?) In Europe.