Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mountain hideaway

Last night we shared some thing probably few are lucky enough to have a chance to enjoy. Directly on the Camino del Norte is a little piece of Galician Heaven.  

O Bisonte. A private alburgue that our friend from Germany, Damian found. The owner/hospitialiero was Karmela. An artist and fascinating woman. 

The house is "two kilometers" past Mondenedo. Straight up!!! But that also meant we didn't have that part of the climb first thing in the morning. Gotta stay positive. 

We climbed. And climbed up a tiny local road. Up up up!! A quick call to make certain we hadn't passed and we  kept on walking. 

Then we saw it. No missing the bright red Bison. Or our friend Dominique, with his bright shirts, bandana tied over his bald pate and his even brighter smile. We'd made it. 

If you have walked in Spain you've seen the beautiful old stone houses. Slate roofs and half open doors. Naturally shaped wood over the doors and windows. A real feeling of being a part of the landscape. 

Our beds were in the attic. The beams were entire trees! Curved and smooth. The wood above was also simply a slab cut from a tree. You could see the slate tiled in spots where the tree slabs didn't meet.  

Our beds were simple iron with very comfy mattresses. Karmela left a fresh apple on each of our beds. Shades of things to come. 

Dinner was  pumpkin soup (homegrown pumpkin!), followed by pasta salad with ham and queso and tortilla de Espana.  The eggs too were from her chickens. Wine to wash it all down. We ate outside on a picnictable watching the light changing on the hills opposite. 

The only sounds during the night were the snorers. And an occasional dog somewhere up the valley.   

At 7:15 am we were all moving snd ready to begin our day. Karmela gave us a terrific breakfast. Cafe con leche, tostada, local honey, home made apricot jam, muesli, and fresh orange juice. 

Fortified we took the hills like champs and made Gontan by 1:00pm. Two vino tintos and two cerveza con limon (at two different bars - spreading our economic impact) we are settling in for a communal dinner. 
Tonight we cook in our alburgue. Pasta con chorizo, tomato salad olives and bread. Vino of course. Dominique will be our chef de cuisine. 

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