We awoke to Snow falling quietly but steadily onto the roof across the alley. We togged up in as much gear as we needed. (In my case nearly everything!) We set off following the shells that mark the way of St James( Chemin St Jacques) up the hill out of town. As we walked the snow fell more and more steadily. My boots started to get wet though I was mostly warm, and going uphill raised a sweat. Once we reached the top and crossed the main road we decided that the path was too deep in snow to follow easily so we took to the road.
The disadvantage of the road was that cars passing showered us with ice and slush. I am sure one guy did it on purpose but most slowed down to minimise our discomfort. By now my feet are wet, my gloves sodden and my sense of adventure waning. The snow was blowing in our faces and generally it wasn’t like skiing! After about 10 kms of trudging through the snow, the prospect of another 17kms was beyond bearing. At the first cafe we came to we staggered in dripping everywhere and ordered our coffees and chocolate and discussed options for the rest of the walk. Peter was even less well attired than I was so we decided to take a taxi. €80 was a small price to pay I thought in order to get to our next stop at Monistrol.
The proprietor was so kind and helped us get the taxi. Andy is very committed to walking and so he and Karen set off again. I thought the weather was worsening but they wanted to give it a go. Shortly after the taxi arrived and Peter and I left, passing the others on the road. We arrived and didn’t see the entry to our Gîte, so we retired to the small bar in town. It was full of wet and cold pilgrims.
Just after we had eaten a warming bowl of soup, Andy and Karen arrived too. They had been offered a lift shortly after we passed them. The countryside is completely blanketed with snow which is very unusual for this time of year apparently.
Our Gîte is also full of pilgrims who have taken alternative modes of transport to avoid freezing. If we had known the bus ran on Sunday we would have take that!
It has taken me awhile to thaw out. Everything was wet and I felt zapped. Tomorrow is another day but we will probably walk again if it isn’t actually snowing. The weather is supposed to warm up again later in the week.