When we arrive at our daily goal our first concern into find a place to stay. Once we are assured of a bed, our immediate need is to arrange laundry. Having clean clothes, especially underwear and socks, is an absolute necessity. At times we have to wash our clothes by hand, and/or the clothes must be dried on a line. Sufficient time is required or you will be walking in wet clothes. (remember…..wet socks = blisters)
Now for a shower. Wash the road off your body. It’s not an option, and you want to be amongst the first to arrive if at all possible to get hot water. I have enjoyed many luke warm showers on this trip. At least on one occasion we have collectively said “enough is enough” and checked into a Hostel. (A lower end hotel, usually offering 4 beds in a room for traveling families) More importantly however, our own bathroom with unlimited hot water! What a glorious luxury. I found myself myself singing the song “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical Oliver, substituting the words “Hot Water!”
The next important need to be satisfied is nourishment. Here’s where the odd timing thing happens. We usually arrive in our next destination between 2 and 4pm. (generally speaking) The Spanish siesta is between 2 and 5pm. Fortunately some bars remain open. Bars in Spain are usually serving small tapas or sandwiches. So, after the laundry is taken care of we go to a bar for something light to eat. I especially like a glass of wine (others will have beer) and potato chips. I find I am craving salt, especially after a hot day.
Now is time for the Pilgrim siesta. Having walked 6 or 7 hours takes a round out of most people, and your body is screaming for a break. Head back to the Albergue and to try to have a nap for an hour or two. I will typically play my ukulele very quietly during this time….often receiving compliments and appreciation for setting a tranquil mood.
Finally all of the siestas are over and it is time to eat a real meal. In larger towns you can find several options for food. We have been in many towns where no options are available. One place to eat, or not, it’s your choice to go hungry should you choose.
The Pellegrino meal offering usually goes like this. Select one of the first course options:
a) salad with tuna (lettuce, tomato, onion…and bit of tuna somewhere. Look, here it is under this piece of lettuce)
b) soup (usually available in the “finer establishments” only)
c) pasta with tomato sauce (right out of a can)
Second course options may include:
a) pasta with meat sauce (different can)
b) some sort of fish with chips. (Think to yourself saying “this is fish?”)
c) some sort of meat with chips. (Think to yourself saying “this is meat?”)
Desert options are almost always:
a) ice cream (frozen cup, or cone wrapped in paper)
b) fruit (right from a can)
c) yogurt (probably the best choice on the whole menu list)
To drink you can have “Pellegrino wine” (I have stopped drinking this antifreeze) or water. Susan is convinced I am a wine snob….I am actually concerned about losing my vision drinking this stuff.
Then it’s back to the Albergue. At this point in the day exhaustion has really started to take its toll. Albergue….bed….period. I usually get undressed (down to t-shirt and underwear) and barely crawl into my sleeping bag when I remember haven’t brushed my teeth. I hate myself sometimes…..up I get.
I can’t muster the energy to even find my tablet at this point to write the daily entry at the drained end of the typical day. I am completely spent. (This is usually around 9 PM)
I will just have to get up early in the morning and think of something to write…..and I do. I will wake between 4 and 5 am, find my little trusty tablet and misspell my daily entry. To my defence, the automatic spell check on this tablet is terrible. Add to this lack of keyboard and I am frankly helpless.
The blog entry usually takes a couple of hours and then it’s time to get up, pack, “crap…did I really pack my toiletries away…I didn’t brush my teeth yet!”, unpack, brush my teeth, pack….and get on the road. We will get breakfast in a hour or two.
So that’s the fun after the walking each day. Add rain, heat, cold, mountains, flies, and/or sun to the day just for fun.
I know I make it sound like a lot fun every day. Please believe me….it actually is. (I do not however believe this adventure is for everyone, don’t get me wrong)
So now for today’s entry…..
Got up early.
Started walking down out of the mountains.
Everyone decided to walk solitary.
Scenery is spectacular, everywhere you look.
Had breakfast after an hour and a half.
Met Susan and Bene at the breakfast place.
Susan took the alternate path…6.8 km longer.
When we realized her mistake after she was long gone.
Tried to call her but she is wearing earphones, listening to music.
Walked over a very big hill.
Lots of country side and manure.
Met Tomas from Slovakia again.
Gave him the last Aquarius from a vending machine in a field. (odd place)
Met and had lunch with Bene.
Walked a lot more.
Got a call from Susan. Despite making a wrong turn was able to visit a monastery, have a great lunch and was waiting in Sarria with beds for us….hurry up.
Walked into Sarria 2 hours later.
Found Susan waiting for us in a bar. (See step 3, when arriving at destination)
……please refer to the top of the page. Repeat as required.
Today is another day…
I’ve go to get up and get outa’ here!