Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sarria to Portomarin - and cows

First, an answer to a question: All the hikers here are pilgrims. They have different starting points ( france, Switzerland, most here in Spain), but all are making the pilgrimage.

I don´t always know where I´ll be the next day... I´m planning on about 17km tomorrow. I don´t have my book with me right now, so I´m not sure where that puts me.

Another cool morning with dew on the ground. I follow two men from Italy, I find out down the road a ways that they´re names are Roberto and Hermano. We take turns passing each other all day. We all stop at the same bar/cafe for tea (they have coffee). I get back on the path before they do, but immediately see the effects of the caffiene they have just consumed as they speed by me.

I catch up to them again as they have stopped to eat some apples from a nearby tree.
As we walk together, Roberto tells me that the 100km marker is about 2km ahead and we can take pictures there. I was expecting a grand marker, and walked right by it. Roberto calls me back and we take pictures. Wow, only 100km to go!

I walk on and feel it´s about time for lunch, knowing again that the right spot will be ahead. Sure enough, a stone chair is waiting for me underneath an acorn tree with a view of the hill I have just descended. Seven pilgrims pass me as I eat my lunch (not that I´m counting!)

Cows: Thursday,(my very long day) on two separate occassions, I met farmers herding their cattle up a hill. I´ve never realized how beautiful cows are. Many here, are a beautiful golden brown color and they have the biggest, most gentle looking eyes.

The first encounter was uneventful. I had plenty of room to step aside and let them pass. ( I know who has the right-of-way between me and a cow!) The second encounter was on a very narrow path. I got over as far as I could as the cows were coming up single file. No problem... until one cow decides to get in a hurry and make it a two-lane path. ( I know what you´re thinking; the cows name must have been Terri. I was thinking more along the lines of Alexis!):) We´ll call her Terri Alexis Cow. So, Terri Alexis is coming right at me, horns and all. I have no where to go, I´m up against a rock and dirt wall and her horns are headed straight for my mid-section.
I reach out and guide her horn away from me. I´m so glad she didn´t mind the gentle nudge.

So, as I´m walking today, and thinking about posting this encounter with cows , I look up and what´s coming down the road? More cows! I´m thinking, NOT AGAIN! This time, however, I´m on a paved road wide enough for a car, no sweat. There are several of them, and they are taking the entire road so I just simply move over to the edge, step up slightly and grab a post wrapped with barb wire. I´m thinking, this is so much better... until Terri Alexis sees me.... and starts coming towards me. She has the entire road, but comes at me. She doesn´t just pass by, but slows down and turns her head (with horns) towards me. I´m not sure what to do at this point, which is when Roberto comes to my rescue. He has come up behind me and stands between me and the cow. He hits his walking stick on the ground and she moves on. Meanwhile, Hermano is walking right down the middle of the road, between all the cows. Not something I will try!

I don´t know what the fascination is between cows and me, but I´v had enough encounters with them!

Until next time...


  1. Terri---as you are walking your roads with the cows i was thinking towards the end...thats a true friend to step in between you and a cow with horns!...thank you for so many times being that friend with me! Just a fyi...maya and i are "pumpkin shopping" today after the ladies brunch...i'll make sure she takes home a nice one for your front step...have an incredible day and know we are all thinking and praying for you--maya says "hi" love ya- angela

  2. Terri-Mevanee and I have beeen placing a marker at each city on the Goggle map the last few days. The river at Portomarin looks interesting in photos we can see. There are so many things in our lives that can be the cows: beautiful things that can be dangerous to us. I know it is exciting for you to be within the 100 km mark. We are praying for you to finish your journey well. We love you. Phill and Mevanee.

  3. Howdee there you little cow-girl you!
    Boy are you having fun,and even the" Spainish" cows are attracted to you! Remember that the next time you eat a big T-bone steak!(you look like a vegan tho:o)Thanx for addressing our questions.I really think God could be showing us, thru you, how spoiled/overly blessed we are.All you had was
    tired feet, a friend with a stick and a prayer.He protected you anyway. No luxuries needed.I have a melt down if the green lite changes and cars don't move right away!(I'm still working on my attitude!). Thanx for reminding us what's important in normal everyday
    life- attitude & gratitude! Wow, little did we know that your pilgrimage would be someone's QT !
    P.S. You have explained the old saying,"If the Lord's willing & the cows come home".(answer to: see you tomorrow). Take her slow & easy! Luv u....Shalom..JF

  4. HI Terri, OK, Angela had to show me how to do this. I'm not what you call computer savvy. Anyway, I want to tell you how much I enjoy your daile blogs. They are both inspiring and funny. YOU Terri are an incredible woman. I look forward each day to read another day in the life of Terri on her pilgramage. Keep it up and I'll see you in the next blog! Love ya, Rose.

  5. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "How now Brown cow?"


  6. How about the phrase, "each to his own..that's what the lady said when she kissed the cow"...maybe that is said only in Oklahoma :) Terri- I have so enjoyed your blogs and have tried to send you messages, but I forgot how. Bill will help when he gets home tonight. Have a great night!!...may the last 100km be the most wonderful of them all.

  7. Terri-
    How are you feeling about the last 100km anyway?..relieved? sad to end? tired?

  8. I think they do only say that in Oklahoma...