Clicking on this link will bring you good karma:
El Camino de Santiago (The way of Saint James) is both a popular and historic pilgrimage walk, with the destination traditionally being the north western Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela. Legend has it that here in the city of Santiago, the remains of the apostle Saint James the Great are buried. There isn’t an official starting point because pilgrims used to start their journey from their own home and today there are various pilgrimage routes within Europe which lead to Santiago de Compostela.
The post photo is of the Black Tower in the main square of the beautiful Sumava town of Klatovy.
As always, you can click on any of the photos in my posts to enlarge them on your screen.
Last night I made it over the Klatovy County line.
As is my current custom I woke up just before first light, aimed a spurt of “morning dew” out of the tent entrance, made my coffee, spent another 20 minutes in my sleeping bag trying to put off the inevitable, and then had a quick wash / brushed my teeth and packed up the tent. Yesterday evening I lost the track signs again – because there has been such poor route signage since Nepomuk – and as a result I wandered a bit off my course and had to make do with a wild patch of land for my camping. At night I heard a flock of deer gallop by so I’m thankful that I didn’t camp out directly on any tracks.
Here comes the sun. It has been a beautiful sunny day. Yesterday I was fighting off the complete drenching of my belongings because of the intense rain and today I have a little sunburn from the strong mountain sunshine. A little disaster because the sun slowed me down a bit as the time ticked on towards noon.
I began my morning by walking towards the Sumava village of Planice. On my way I passed this interesting depiction of Saint Barbara on a village chapel.
I arrived to the semi-beautiful village of Planice, went to the local shop to buy my breakfast, and saw the Czech Easter whips for sale. It’s the custom on Easter Monday for men to go around whipping women of fertile age with such a whip, and in return the women hand out shots of alcohol to the men. It’s a man’s world in the Czech Republic 🙂
Church at Planice (Kostel svatého Blažeje).
This letter left on a few trees on the path out of Planice reads: “Dear Pig”. It continues to shame and try and reason with the anonymous person who has been leaving rubbish on the country path. I liked the idea behind the letter but couldn’t help thinking whether a person who simply throws their trash into nature would be in anyway deterred by the letter, that the letter itself is an example of trash in the countryside, and also that the trash dumper might take the note as a recognition of fame in a weird sort of way.
I completely agree though that this is simply unacceptable: a bin liner bag of trash just thrown to the ground in a national park area.
From Planice I followed the Yellow path route towards Klatovy. At times the signage is very poor and twice I walked off the path by mistake, making my journey longer.
Despite the occasional poor signage, the route was beautiful and in a way reminded me of the walk through Galicia in northern Spain.
Cows of the Sumava mountains (south west Czech Republic).
I finally spied the town of Klatovy in the distance. By this time my rucksack was again feeling very heavy. My right foot had blisters in 3 places, and I was feeling the onset of flu symptoms. To add to this I began reading through the leaflet about the Camino which I was given by the info guy in Rozmital and I was unpleasantly surprised that the distance to Santiago is 2,825km from the first village on the German side; meaning that my journey is actually going to be in full around 3,200km (from where I began in Prague to Finisterre on the Spanish Atlantic Ocean coast). Little disasters 🙂
I hobbled into the beautiful town of Klatovy and took a few random photos on my way in. This one was taken of a building close to the centre. I also went to the town info centre where I got my Klatovy stamp in my Pilgrim Passport; I won’t bother to upload it to today’s post because it is exactly the same stamp as I got from Rozmital and Nepomuk, except that it says “Klatovy” on it instead.
The conclusion to my day is that I decided to find a hotel for the night in Klatovy; I found one for 15 Pounds and I’m SO looking forward to having a shower. Also, because my rucksack has been far too heavy, I went to the post office to get a box and tomorrow I’m sending back to my house my tent, hair clippers, and Italian coffee cafeteria. For now I’m going to work out exactly how many km are between Prague and Finisterre on the Spanish Atlantic coast, and I’m going to indulge in some Louis Ck on YouTube and spend some time this evening calling family on skype. I’m also going to charge up all my electronics. Good night all.