Day 20, Murias to El Acebo, Sept. 28, 2008

19 miles, 1,300 ft. ascent and 1,000 ft. descent on trails through countryside and forested mountain. 

Blue skies, nice trails, some road.
This is Maragato country of Celtic origins. The people are Maragato, one of the four ethnic groups. One Pilgrim remarks the buildings look like those in the Lake District in England and I agree. Probably they came from that area of the world, being Celtic.
I pass into the Leon region. The dogs have changed, now they are the big yellow Leon Mastiff guard dogs. As big as and similar to a St. Bernard. They are all loose, but they ignore everyone, and simply watch the sheep closely.  One wanders down the main street of a village and a local man tries to move her to one side, without success. She wanders off and looks like she has puppies somewhere.
Black, short hair dogs work the sheep while the Mastiffs sit and watch them all.
Pass through a village of most ruins, some have old thatched roofs.
Big, blonde milk cows in the field with a ruin of a large, stone arch, now free standing.
Pass an old man carrying a bundle of sticks on his back.
As one Pilgrim put it, Time has stood still here.
There is a traditional round house of stones with a thatched roof.
Stay at the first place I came to in El Acebo, a casa rural for 35 Euros.  Very charming with a porch and spectacular view over the valley. And beer in the fridge. Wander down into the village for dinner, 10 Euros.  Ordered the local dish of chick peas with a green leafy vegetable grown locally, potatoes and a round bundle of salty pork parts wrapped in skin, called Bierzo and lemon mousse.  They are very proud of this local dish.  It was enough to stuff me and I eat a lot. All dinners include all the local wine you can drink. Water costs extra!
Visit with Norweigns and Aussies at dinner.  

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