Que Es Berro?

Cow along the Camino de Santiago near O’cebreiro
Cow along the Camino de Santiago near O’cebreiro

We had settled into a valley last night in Portomarín and then climbed 1500 feet or so today to the ruins of a pre Roman town. Enroute to Palas de Rei we sat on the steps of a cemetery gate while we ate part two of last night’s chorizo and Manchego sandwich. I took my shoes off to air out my socks and stepped back to take a picture of Peggi only to land on a chestnut shell, one of those armadillo looking spheres.

Galicia, the northern portion of Spain, above Portugal, is delightful. Green and lush, we walk along ancient, stone lined gravel paths between pastures and farms. There have been chestnut, apple, fig and quince trees all along the way. We saw a lime tree as well and tomatoes are still on the vine. Don’t know if they start them late or if they last this long. Ours come and go so fast. And we keep trying to identify this tall, big leaf, cabbage or kale like vegetable that everyone seems to have on their property. The locals call it “Berro” and it is a key ingredient in Caldo Gallego, a vegetable soup that we plan to make when we return.

It is easy to ask for directions in Spain because Spanish people love to talk. It is not always easy to understand the directions. They talk fast and there are a lot gestures involved. Peggi picks up most of the language and I concentrate on the physical movements, a la izquierda, a la derecha and todo derecho.

The last few days have been around eighteen miles but tomorrow is longer. We are only seventy five kilometers out of Santiago now. It is easy to see why people (like us) push it and go on to Fisterra and Muxia. You just don’t want this thing to end.

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