Many adventures later...Today was one of the best days ever. I have been hiking with three fun and very generous Spaniards but man do they take their time! Last night we stayed in a really funky, hippie-sort of place with a warm fire and a cluttered, log cabin look. The hospitaleros made us a huge dinner, slapping down large trays of foods—soup, fried eggs, meat, and more. Enough for a week. This morning, however, I could not bear it any longer, and I took off like a horse. I hiked ALONE through the mountains—a longer but more beautiful route. The trail then passed through many tiny ancient villages. The countryside is wet, but luscious and green. Cows, sheep, and mules graze, while shepherds putter along behind. I met an old woman in an apron who told me in a mothering way that I should put something warmer on.
(She chided me, saying, "What do your parents think about you traipsing around alone Spain, chica guapissima?" She didn't actually use the word "traipsing," but that's what she meant. I calmed her fears and said that my parents didn't mind as long as I used common sense. Dear mum: Thank you for all the prayers you offered for my safety along the way. xxooxx).