Animals of the Camino

IMG_0390One of the things I am enjoying about the Camino is walking through the pastoral settings of Northern Spain. Whereas Homer has just begun planting potatoes at home, here there has already been a first cut of hay and today I passed a field of canola that was as tall as me. At times the path is rough and uneven, and one needs to keep alert to the yellow arrows that mark the way, so every so often I stop and look back, to take time to drink in the scenery around me. The trail sometimes passes  through working farms, and I’ve seen many baby animals. In the Pyrenees Mountains, the horses were free range, and horses, cows and sheep alike all sport cow bells (I guess in Spain, they need more cow bell- Sorry, only SNL fans will get that little aside). I have yet to encounter the infamous wild dogs of the Camino. To date, my only dog encounters have been with domestic varieties out for walks with their owners. However, the other day as I approached Pamplona, famous for its July festival, the running of the bulls, a strange thing happened. As I neared the city and was ascending a small hill in a heavily forested area,  I heard something galloping towards me. My body on full alert, I prepared flee. However, one does not easily flee while carrying a 22 lb backpack, so I stood still in my tracks, awaiting whatever was coming over the hill.  You can imagine my suprise when a herd of cats crested the hill and charged towards me! Perhaps the Spaniards are training these felines to provide an alternative attraction to rival the popular bull run. I wondered if they were attracted to the residual odour of the sack of cat food that I used in my pack for training weight. The true story will remain a mystery , but I’m happy to report that they simply ran past my frozen form. I wonder if I am the first to encounter the wild cats of the Camino!

4 thoughts on “Animals of the Camino

  1. There is a good Super Bowl commercial about herding cats…

    I was almost run over a moose while tree planting once but I have never seen a herd of cats. You must keep a camera ready for future encounters!!

    Enjoying the tales/tails of the trail.

    Like

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