sandy soil of El Bierzo

as we’re decompressing from that nightmare of a presidential campaign season, I thought I’d bring you some nice, soothing pictures of cultivation in Spain.

the soil in the Bierzo region of Castilla y Leon is very sandy — which makes it exceptionally good for growing both roses and grape vines. for several days around Molinaseca we saw incredible rose bushes in all manner of places — in gated front gardens, in the middle of an intersection, tucked next to a wall that lead to an underground garage … when we set out from Molinaseca at our slightly-later-than-usual time (7:15 a.m.) the roses in a garden a few doors down from our hotel had already gotten their morning soaking. probably a good thing considering how hot the weather got that afternoon …

on the way to Villafranca we also saw fresh cherry trees which, if I remember correctly, many farmers spray with something unpleasant to deter people from plucking ripe fruit off the tree (and cutting into their merchandise). we also got a lesson on the reason the hills between Villafranca and O’Cebriero are so good for growing grape vines when we stopped for a snack and some wine in Cacabelos.

over the course of the Camino, we listened to a lot of podcasts, as well as a couple of audiobooks. for some reason, the only day for which I can routinely recall to what I listened was this one — day 26. as we progressed along the busy main road in Camponaraya and on through a rare stand of trees I listened to episode #465 of This American Life — What Happened at Dos Erres. we stopped at a cash machine just as I got to a graphic part of the story and it was jarring to come out of such a gripping, awful narrative to a mundane if busy city street. later on, as we wended our way along the side of a quieter roadway (not entirely sure we’d managed to stay on the “alternative” Camino path), I listened to episode #212 of the Nerdist featuring Brent Spiner; recorded at a live show Phoenix it was the complete opposite of This American Life. and Andy could not understand why I kept laughing as we were struggling up another damned hill with sweat pouring out of everywhere and precious little water to slake our thirst.

he understood better why I was laughing when he got around to that episode a day or two later.

Author: Erica

born in the midwest with wandering feet.