What an extraordinary day. We woke around 5.30 this morning to snow falling. From our room it looked as though an inch of snow had settled on the buildings outside and the snow continued, at times swirling in the wind.
We had planned to make an early start in the hopes of making it to Viana today. As you can see, we did, but it wasn't promising at 5.30 this morning. We dressed and packed our packs before heading down to the kitchen for breakfast, hoping that by around 7 the snow would have stopped and the temperature risen. We were both putting on a brave face for each other but were a little nervous about how we would fare, especially keeping our feet dry walking in snow and with snow still falling. We decided we would feel better heading out with our American friends Glenn and Sheryl, as they are used to these conditions.
Note from Jenny: re Jill. There are many things I love about Jill - she's kind, generous, funny, smart, adventurous, and highly practical. Now I can add resourceful and genius inventor. I headed down to the kitchen to see if Glen and Sheryl were there and ask if they would mind us tagging along with them (which of course they didn't - people are rarely anything but kind on the Camino). By the time I got back to the room, Jill had fashioned waterproof 'socks' for us out of small bin liners she'd found in the bathroom! Our feet stayed dryer today than any day so far on The Camino. I've nicknamed her Jill (Bear) Grylls. She is the most wonderful Camino buddy anyone could hope for!
So, we did head off around 7.45 with our friends from North Carolina. Those first few hours of today, walking in the snow, were the most unexpectedly magical experience. We hope the pictures give you a sense of how special it was for us. We arrived in Viana just before 4pm this afternoon. Despite covering 30 kms, the first few hours in snow, then rain, wind and sunshine, plus a couple of short sharp ascents and descents, we seemed to walk 'lightly' today.
To top off a magical day, we have unexpectedly ended up in the delightful Hotel Palacio de Pujadas. It was that or sharing a room for 18 in the albergue. We didn't ponder that one for too long. We've each had a long hot shower, done our 'washing' and are now downstairs enjoying a vino before exploring this beautiful mediaeval town. By the way, two glasses of delicious wine - 1.60 euro total! Sheryl and Glenn, whom we last saw around midday, have just walked in to the bar. They too found their way to this lovely hotel.
To sign off - Thank you to Sharon, Martin, Ange, the Coopers, Marian, Gemma, Julie and Phil for your emails and comments with special mention for Helen posting your fist comment - it worked! Your earlier attempts are much appreciated and, as you say, will be somewhere in cyberspace. Now there will be no stopping you.
We think of our family and friends every day and hope that you all can see that we are having a truly wonderful adventure. Thank your for your encouragement.
Jenny and Jill xx