Denver Botanical Gardens

Denver Botanical Gardens

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Unique sightings along the Camino

On Thursday we walked about 19 miles, we don't intend to do that again soon!  We stayed in Gonzar, a very small town with more dairy cattle than people.  Friday we made it to Palas de Rei (Palace of King).  Today we did a fairly short day to the decent size town of Melide.  The refuge for tonight is very new and quite nice.

We've recently seen a few items we know to be unique to northern Spain.  First is the half-moon ox cart wheels.  These were common in ancient cultures around the world.  The uniqueness is that for some reason the spoked wheel never caught on here until very recently.

Second is the very common "horreo".  It is used to store corn, having a flat, elevated base to prevent access by rodents.  Almost every farm house has one in the backyard, near the house.

Third is the Cross of St. James.  It's has the shape of a cross, but also the characteristics of a sword.  This design is related to the Spanish tradition that St. James was instrumental in helping to drive the Africans out of the Iberian penninsula nearly 1000 years ago.  Legend says that he reincarnated in some fashion at a particularly important battle, leading on a white horse, weilding a huge sword.

One other notable incident.  We met an elderly farmer taking his several cows to pasture.  He stopped Ruth and asked (in Spanish) if she was going all the way to Santiago.  She said "Si".  He then gave her the small gift of three fresh walnuts and ask her to pray for him and his wife when she got there (we think that is what he asked). She did her best to assure him that she would do this. His name is Dunicio and his wife is Castora, if any of you would like to offer a prayer for them.

Here are a few pictures.

No spokes and square axel
Horreo, pronounced Oh-Ray-Oh
Is it a cross or a sword?
All former pilgrims will recognize the Portomarin stairs!
Mirror selfie.


  1. 19 miles!?!! Except for that part I'm wicked jealous :-)
    You guys are on an amazing adventure! Thank you so much for sharing it through pictures and anecdotes