Accepting No Candles from the Holy Company

    elevation profile of today’s walk

Marcia I continue to make good progress in keeping our mileage reasonable, completing 12 miles by 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  This is a seriously rural  portion of the Camino. The best that Marcia could do last night in finding some ibuprofen was getting an offer of one pill from the owner of the of the hotel where we stayed.  I might add that we have been looking for three days for a place to purchase a bottle. Come up here,  you better be ready.

I can’t say enough about the quality of the lodging, meals, and the service that we received at As Pias in Oliveiroa yesterday. We saw this sign on the side of an old building on the way into town and when we got there we inquired about the possibility of renting a room.

    The main hotel was full above the bar but Yolanda, the owner,  told us that they had another building that they renovated where we could have a room but the bathroom was outside of the room. We went over to check it out.  It was superb, a stone building with impeccable appointments, cleanliness, and we also avoided the noisy bar that would’ve been below us if we stayed in the main hotel.

First class digs, happy hiker!
We ended up eating lunch there and then later dinner as well and they provided us with a early morning breakfast to send us on our way. Here’s a shot of one of the courses of our lunch.

They don’t believe in screens for the windows in Spain. Unfortunately this resulted in a single pesky mosquito that really plagued me for a couple hours before I resorted yo foam ear plugs that  enable md me to drift off to sleep.

People don’t understand just how reasonable it is to hike here, even staying in an extremely comfortable  hotel.  There appeared to be particular blessings obtained by our Peregrino status, like the bill I received at check out.

We had a superb private room with  bathroom, lunches, afternoon drinks, wifi, dinners ( with the best flan on the walk), and breakfasts for two. We were also handed a couple of apples as to take on our day’s walk, all for €59 !

Marcia on our doorstep
Next up was a reasonable day’s walk back to the shores of the Atlantic.
Half the day’s walk was on natural pathways with a bit of road walking to be done.  The highlight of the day was one very interesting stretch across the high moors is that was 7 miles long – one of the most isolated stages on the Camino Finisterre.  There were no facilities whatsoever on the stretch with the last chance for food and water at the albergue at the little village of Hospital before we reached Cee.


Road Walk
Moor walk

Our Brierley guidebook notes that there are prehistoric stone carvings and monuments dating to 4000 years ago around this landscape that pagans walked centuries before the Christian era even existed. God was here before Christ.  

Two legends are reported. The first is associated with the mythical Vakner “…a terrifying creature, manlike, of a malignant nature, that lives like a troglodyte in the deepest in densest parts of the forest.”

And additional myth was referred to as the Holy Company by H.V. Morton in his book  A Stranger in Spain: Flickering lights dart over the landscape at night.  An invisible presence may try to place a lighted candle in your hand and should you open your hand and accept it you are lost-you have joined the whole company of souls condemned to wonder about purgatory holding a light a candle until you can thrust your candle of the hand of some new ones suspecting stranger.”

 So be careful if you walk in the dark mist here, otherwise you’re going to spend an eternity trying to get rid of your candle. It’s cosmic tag on an eternal scale.  

Our walk was made assisted by our contact with a family from Ireland that was also walking the same path. What are the chances that I should be walking beside Cormac, a gentleman from Ireland who happened to have the same unique profession that I had – a personal business administering and interpreting psychological assessments. 

The time went very quickly as we jabbered  back-and-forth while Marcia talk to his daughter Deidre who had just completed academic assessments as she was moving through the secondary education system in Ireland. 

Deidre, Cormac, and Auntie Mame
Soon 12 miles were completed the last two on a significantly steep downhill where we once again were able to see the broad vast expanse of the Atlantic a looming up in front of us as I felt we had to come home or at least as close to home as possible with this big water separating me from my house. 

3 thoughts on “Accepting No Candles from the Holy Company

  1. jorysquibb

    hi tom from across that lovely water to your left!…..we finally got lots of rain today after about a solid month of dryness….what a joy….you could just feel the land lapping it up…..i’m so glad you two are avoiding injuries and enjoying serious walking and high living….see you soon….jory


    1. Oops. It is a relief to hear it rained. I look forward to tending my garden if anything is still alive. We have been learning how to walk together. Will get in touch when I get back and walk a bit, OK?


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