This was the second part of the link
between the Primitivo and the Norte,
and was probably our besr day on the
Sue strapped up her knee and took some Ibuprofen,
and we set off in the early light not knowing if
we would have to give up today.
Tha pathe led along a little river, past a modern
swimming pool complex and some sort of adventure
village still under construction and into the countryside.
We hadn't realised that Friol was auch
a modern place!
We started off on country paths and roads, passing an old mill.
There were few people, and we passed through villages
deserted apart from dogs!
The green arrows were usually there, but sometimes hard to spot.
Then it got harder going, with churned up mud and
and even stepping stones across a river.
Then came an unusual encounter:
we were following a lady encouraging
a herd of cows up the hill, when she asked Sue if
she was French. Sue said, no, Swiss, and
the lady's face lit up. She expained, in Bernese dialect,
that thirty years ago she (Ermita) had worked in Thun
hospital! ( Thun is the next big town to where we live)
From there, we walked through eerily deserted forests,
noticing the bones of the hind leg with
some back attached of a deer.
Eventually we joined the Camino Norte for
a section of road with a well- made
separate pilgrim path, and started
to meet other pilgrims.
We stopped for coffee and snack and chatted
to a few.
From there it was past the lake full of frogs
to the monastery. There we had to queue to register
with a receptionist who muttered
that this was a monastery and if people didn't like
the pace of life here, they should find a different hostel.
Then Brother Lawrence, a well-educated Englishman,
with an unusual attitude to being a monk,
and who was enjoyable to chat to.
We had a look around, then ate
at the long table in the kitchen with
a talkative Australian and two quiet Dutch.
We went to bed early, although Angus saw the
cloisters by moonlight because he had to
go to the toilet in the middle of the night.