Friday, 20 May 2011

Camino Frances- Epilogue

I thought that Epilogue would be better than Postscript to finish my Camino. They always had an epilogue at the end of The Fugitive, the TV series in the 1960s. In case you didn't get what went on in the previous hour, the spelled it out for you in the epilogue.
Firstly I can state that I will be one of a handful of pilgrims that finished the Camino and will not write a book on it. The coffee tables of the world are cluttered enough with My Camino, my journey to self-discovery etc. Thanks Paulo.
The Camino  was much as I expected. I walked for 34 days with 1 day off in Burgos taking exactly 5 weeks. It was a physical challenge but within my limits. Thankfully, no injuries, blisters or bruises. The Albergues were better than expected; a lot of them have been renovated in the last year or two. The prize goes to Roncessvalles which just opened in April. Its old Albergue which is still there had a bit of a bad reputation. The showers were better than I was expecting. The snoring was as anticipated but my tolerance to the racket improved in that I used the ear plugs only 2-3 times. On the other hand, they were not very efficient so maybe I gave up on them. The coffee was much better than expected, similarly the food. We ate mainly pilgrim meals for 9 Euros each evening. The freshly-squeesed orange juice was a triumph to the point that we passed up the second cup of coffee of the day to have one. Everything was cheaper than expected outside of Santiago (outside of the tourist drag in Santiago). We were also glad that we contributed in some way to tourism in regional Spain, especially in those small villages. 
The highlights included the walk through the mountains down into Molineseca, the days walking through the Pyrenees, the stained-glass windows in the Cathedral in Leon, the town of Astorga and of course the weather. Am off now to start the rest of my holiday which will include a few quiet pints in Coffey's in Clogh and in Freeny's in Galway. I have been walking now for a day without my 8kg rucksack which is a bit strange. I am walking with a bit of a 'here's me head and me arse is coming' type of gait. No doubt my equilibrium will be restored in a few days.
This has been a Quinn-Martin production.

Day 35 - 24k - Santiago de Compostella

Headed off at 7.15 am which qualifies as a bit of a sleep-in for us. We took it fairly handy most of the day and had a few stops. Met Marcus early on with his dad but wasn't game to ask him about the fags. He works as a trauma surgeon which must be a very stressful job so we thought that if the odd smoke eased the stress a bit it can't be all bad. The walk into Santiago was very pleasant, most of it through woods. We cam across quite a few markers on the Camino where people had died. One of the first we saw was for a Japanese pilgrim. About 10 Kms out of Santiago we saw a lovely commemoration to a Myra Brennan.
"Myra Brennan, (52 yrs) née Holland of Kilkenny and Sligo, Ireland who died peacefully in her sleep in Santiago de Compostella on 24/06/03 having just completed her second consecutive Camino".
It finishes appropriately for a Sligo person with a piece from Yeats' Lake Isle of Innisfree:
"And I shall have some peace there
For peace comes dropping slow".
"From Slievenamon today, together all the way"
The memorial was set up on the 5th anniversary of her death by a Brigit R.
She did a fine job.

We arrived in Santiago at 1 pm and headed for The Cathedral. Found accommodation on the way and dropped off the bags. Didn't have a shower as we wanted to smell like real pilgrims when we got our certificate. We then trundled to the Pilgrims Office which was doing great business so we had to queue for half hour and busied ourselves congratulating with the other pilgrims each others' efforts. Managed to get a certificate in Latin without telling too many fibs. The plaza in front of The Cathedral was crowded with pilgrims and everyone was greeting each other probably for the last time. The plaza was also full of young people protesting for real democracy in Spain which entailed a hefty list of items. The pilgrims also showed great interest in the protest which I suppose was part of the plan.    
Went out for some beers with a few pilgrims which cost 3 Euros for a small glass. Everyone was bitching about the prices as we were used to getting it for next to nothing on The Camino. Went out for tapas with Marcus and his father, Karl Heinz. Didn't get up to much today. Went to the pilgrim's mass at 12 noon. Had to get there early as it is always packed. It was the normal choral Mass which was very pleasant but not as good as the day before where they had a nun that sang like an angel; or at least better than Julie Andrews. The major excitement was the large crucible with burning incense which they swung over the congregation.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Day 34 - 27k - Brea - Bed Bugs

Went across the road from the Albergue for a bite to eat last night. We went up market on a couple of glasses of wine. They had wireless Internet and played decent music so we were set. Won't say much about the Albergue last night apart from the fact that it was like sleeping in a marquee with the racket that went on. As a result we were on the road at 6.20 am, the earliest start yet. It was a very enjoyable walk today and we seem to gave missed the crowds again. Most of the pilgrims we saw were the same people we have seen in the last 3-5 weeks. We stopped a couple of Kms short of the plan today but only about 22 Kms to walk tomorrow. Not sure what's going to happen tomorrow when I get to Santiago. Throw away my crutches (walking poles) in a fit of religious fervor or buy a CD of Carlos Nunez who hails from these parts. Might have a go at the CD. Another fine day today. Only 1 day of rain in the 5 weeks and another day of sun showers. We had one evening when the skies opened for a couple of hours but we had just escaped that by a couple of minutes.
Some of the Albergues give you paper sheets and pillow cases. I am assuming that this is to reduce the risk of being bitten by bugs or of transporting them. They seem to be a bit of a problem on The Camino. On the first night back in St Jean, Marion from Berlin said that it was too early in the year for them and they are only a problem in September. She had done the Camino before so Gaby was delighted to hear this as she had spent a couple of weeks reading up on them on the net. She washed our silk sheets for the sleeping bags in some bug repellant stuff she found on the net but we both reacted to it very badly. My lips started swelling up; thought it might turn into a scene from The Exorcist for a moment there. Anyway, the sheets were washed another 5 times to make them habitable. We only heard of bugs one night on the Camino and that was in the Benedictine Convent in Leon which up to that was getting rave reviews. I stayed in the Municipal Albergue that night. So, with one night to go I can say we had a good run on the bug front. Santiago will probably be invaded by locusts tomorrow.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Day 33 - 28k - Melide - Sedantary Western Lifestyle

Headed off at 6.45 am this morning through a heavy fog but it wasn't cold unlike the fog on the mountain a few mornings ago. Walked for only half an hour before we found breakfast which was good so Gaby didn't have to go through her "I'm not leaving this town until I find coffee" routine. Enjoyed the walk today much more than yesterday. Didn't seem as crowded. Finished the Gypsy Boy book on the walk which was very good as well as being a bit harrowing as it was full of family violence. Made a few stops for nourishment and arrived at the Municipal Albergue in Melide which is quite big but appears to have been recently renovated. Only 50 Kms left now which is 2 full days walking by our average. I believe that you can get quite a decent certificate in Santiago in Latin if you say that you have undertaken the Camino for religious or spiritual reasons. Otherwise, you get a plain old English one. I'll have to look up "spiritual renewal" in the Spanish dictionary. That should swing it. I won't bother with throwing in "abandoning the sedantary Western lifestyle" because then they'll know I'm a chancer.

Day 32 - 22k - Vendas de Naron

The smell of cow shite is making me homesick. The Albergye we stayed in last night had 22 beds. At least half the punters would have passed their snoring exams in flying colours. There was a big German chap that went for a snooze in the afternoon and before long he was snoring like a chain-saw. I was a bit concerned when I saw that he was on his side and already creating a racket. I was in the bed next to his so I wasn't looking forward to sunset. There was a Polish couple above me that were wetting themselves with yer man snoring in the afternoon. The irony wasn't lost on me when it transpired that the chap from Poland turned out to be a powerful snorer himself  and his partner had to slap him on the jaw in the middle if the night to slow him down. The poor German chap beside me had a relatively quiet night in comparison to his neighbors. Sometime before 6 am somebody's alarm went off playing some soft music with running water. The sort you'd hear in a health spa (I've seen a documentary). The alarm then switched to The Turtles and that nearly finished before he switched the alarm off. "So Happy Together" me arse. Gaby who normalcy doesn't hear a thing at night didn't get much sleep for a change. I listened to another few chapters of a good autobiography called Gypsy Boy read by the author Mikey Walsh. It is very good and tells the story of Gypsy family  that came to England during the war to escape the pogroms in Europe. Went out for a pilgrim's meal and had a trout that was too big for the plate. The Ribena was good too. Had a chat again with Niall from Fermoy last night at the Albergue about a new film called The Way with Martin Sheen which is set on the Canino Frances. He thinks that this is the year to do the Camino Frances as next year it will be crawling with Americans. Had another short day today, 23 Kms. The Camino seemed crowded today with these 100k pilgrims that have their luggage transported. The problem is that they walk in threes and talk non-stop and you can't get past. It's worse than a 10-mile sponsored walk that I did over 40 years ago in Kilkenny.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Day 31 - 26k - Ferrerios

Samos is a lovely town that is dominated by its Benedictine monastery. It is still a working monastery with at least 12 monks we saw last night at Gregorian chant. The monastery is the oldest in Spain, built in the 7th century. We went for a guided tour yesterday at 4.30 which was in Spanish and cost 3 Euros. Didn't understand hardly anything so I was able to get creative when it came to the history of the place. They have a 90-bed Albergue in the Monastery which probably keeps them ticking over. The monastery is huge.

There was a fella from just outside Tipperrary where we stayed last night who was cycling from St Jean to Santiago. He was feeling a bit poorly as he had come off the bike that morning. It was very honest of him to say that he was looking at 2 girls at the time. I was going to tell him never to cycle through Italy or he'd kill himself but decided to leave it. He was hoping to get to Santiago tonight if he got on the road by 7am. Tony cooked last night in the Albergue so we stayed in for a change. After that we went to Gregorian chant and then off to the bar where we had lunch for a glass of wine (top bunk last night). Headed off at 6.30 am and managed to have breakfast in the town. The Galician dialect (language) is very different to the Spanish that Antonio Banderas speaks, didn't manage to understand a word at breakfast. Had a quiet walk to Sarria along the road, no traffic. The man from Tipp passed me on his mountain bike at 8.15 am. He must have had a later start than planned; up late watching the Eurovision I suppose. Passed 4 English girls in Siarra and one of them said "Girls, we are on it" referring to the start of their Camino. I trundled past them with nearly 500 Camino miles behind me doing my best not to make a condescending comment. The Galician countryside is very like Ireland. In the last few days the Camino has gone through country lanes connecting farmyards. Went through quite a few dairy farms which were the first I'd seem on the Camino. Pulled into Ferrerios and stopped in the Municipal Albergue for 5 Euros. Only 98 Kms to go to Santiago.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Day 30 - 21k - Samos - The Slackers

Got up at 6.15 and had breakfast in the Albergue. Gaby is very chirpy once she has a coffee in the mornings. Headed off into a very heavy fog as the Albergue was at a decent height on the mountain. The fog cleared after an hour walking. The Galician region is beautiful and similar to Ireland. We took the longer of 2 routes on the Camino through a lovely wood to a town called Samos where we are stopping for the night. This is one of the nicest towns on the Camino.

We had lunch when we arrived and I enjoyed myself so much that I was heading off without paying. I might go back there for a drink later so the owner knows I wasn't trying to do a runner. We are about 12ks from Sarria which is just over 100 Kms from Santiago. I was thinking that if I got to Sarria tonight I would hit Santiago by Wed which would leave me enough time to walk another 3 days to Finistere on the coast. It is 86 Kms from Santiago and was known as the 'end of the earth'.
You can get a Camino certificate if you only start from Sarria. Those people that start the Camino in another country sometimes look down on those slackers that only walk the last 100 Kms but I wouldn't even dream of such a thing.
Staying in a nice place here that has free wi-fi. No rain again today.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Day 29 - 25k - Fonfria

The sky opened as we checked into the Municipal Albergue yesterday. We had thunder storms with hail for about 2 hours. The Albergue was very basic but it had a roof which was the main thing. Put on the rain gear and headed down to the village to look for a bite to eat. All the restaurants were closed as there was no power after the storm. We went up to the supermarket and bought a few pieces for an evening meal. The weighing scales ran on battery as backup which was a neat feature. Went back to the Albergue and had a meal with the other pilgrims which was very pleasant. Headed off at 6.30 am and walked 7 ks to Cafe del Mary where we had breakfast. Today was hard work but not as bad as I expected. The scenery in the mountains was great. We crossed over into Galicia this morning and had a snack in a small place playing great music. Things are looking up on that front. All the villages we went through seemed to have heaps of dogs, real dogs, not like those fluffy things you see in the cities. Made good progress today, no rain or storms. The place we are in has free Internet. We did a big laundry as there is great drying in that breeze. Things are going well, should be in Santiago this time next week.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Day 28 - 26k - Vega de Varcarce - A Jockey´s Jockstrap

Up early this morning and walked 8 kms to Villafranca for breakfast, with decent scenery by my new standards. Villafranca is a lovely old town in a valley. Most of the other punters stayed there last night. Had breakfast there and bought a pack lunch and decided to take an 11k walk through the mountains rather than a 10k walk along the flat by the road. It was hard going but the scenery was worth it. Had the hang sandwich on top of the mountain for lunch. Didn´t meet too many punters on that trail mind you. I think they are all preparing themselves for the toughest day of the Camino tomorrow which has a very steep climb. After descending from the mountain we walked about 8 k. We had intended to walk on another 2 k (to ¨base camp´) but the rain started. We pulled into the municipal Albergue which we were passing and then the skies opened. There were hailstones as well. So after 26 days walking we had one day of rain and one day with a few sun showers. So we are well ahead on the fine weather stakes. There is only one working shower here with two others that are not working that I have seen. Luckily, the PC I am typing this on is beside the door with a healthy breeze running over me.

Day 27 - Cacabelos

Walked back into town to put the feet in the river. Plenty of the locals sitting by the river sunning themselves. All very civilised. Met the other punters for a pilgrim´s meal at 7 pm. There was a Norwegian couple there, both of whom looked very fit. The woman is 71 and looks 20 years younger. Marcus was flabergasted as he was knackered after a tough day and he was 30 years younger than her. Maybe he won´t feel as bad when he is a few more days off the smokes. There was a young girl from Paraguay that Frank asked to join us for dinner. She was 21 and studying her hast year in psycology. She lost her wallet and passport a few weeks back so she is not able to leave the country just yet. Headed off this morning without breakfast and had a few stops along the way. The walk wasn´t much to write home about after the spectacular scenery of the day before. The expectations have been set very high now. Pulled into an interesting Albergue that is a series of 35 box rooms, each with 2 single beds, all rooms running around an old church in a semi-circle. There was a nice common area where you can sit out under the shade and watch all the pilgrims shuffle past with there towels and sore muscles to the showers. Shuffeled into town ourselves and had a great pilgrim´s meal of aubergine lasange which had plenty of meat in it. Tony is a vegetarian and he is struggling to find anything to eat other thant the Spanish potato omlette. There was a chap there from Fermoy who is doing the Camino. I might catch up with him again in Santiago to watch Leinster play in the rugby final. The evening was fierce close as they say in Marymount and I was expecting it to break with a thunderstorm. We had the thunder but no rain.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Day 26 - 25k - Molinaseca

Went out for a pilgrim´s meal with a bunch of pilgrims. It was 10 Euros, 1 Euro more than we normally pay but who´s complaining? There were about 30 people in the room we were in in the Albergue last night. A couple of soft snorers only so nothing controversial to report. Don´t even bother with the ear plugs. Had breakfast at 6.45 am with coffee which means that the Albergue gets an extra star.
Had our best day on the Camino so far interms of scenery. It was a tough day but very rewarding. The big news is that Marcus from Germany gave up the fags at 9 am this morning on top of the peak Crus de Ferro. We took photos of him to mark the occasion including one with his last smoke in one hand and the Red Bull in the other. We will be encouraging him for the rest of the Camino; no pressure though.
Marcus and the last smoke.
The walk today was made for photographers and poets. ¨Mary had a little lamb¨ might be the height of the poetry you´d get out of some of the pilgrims with all the Vino Tinto that was consumed last night. Every turn on the road was a picture postcard as we walked up through the mountains which were completely covered in heather. Blessed with the weather again (touch wood). Walked through some lovely villages which are thriving now as a result of the revival of the Camino. The descent from the mountains was a bit tricky and I nearly lost my footing a few times in the shale and stones. But the poles and the boots and my elasticated flexibility saved the day. Well the boots definitely did the job. Gaby has been back in the boots for the last 3 days and is going well. Touch wood she hasn´t had an issue with her achilles tendon since the start of the Camino. We pulled into this lovely place which would clean up in the Tidy Towns Competition. The Albergue we are staying in is a little out of town and seems new. The room we are in has only 10 beds and no bunks. I need to calibrate the number of pints I can have each evening if I am on the top bunk. Not too far to fall tonight so things are looking good.  We are heading back in to the village tonight for dinner at 7 pm to meet the other punters.
I´m informed we actually walked 29.5Ks today when you allow for all the ups and downs through the mountains. 25Ks as the crow flies though so that´s the official count. Doesn´t make me feel any less stiff. There are only 216ks left to Santiago.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Day 25 - 20k - Rabanal del Camino

Went out for a pilgrim's meal last night to the Hotel Gaudi. It was only 12 Euros for 3 courses and a bottle of wine. Gaby felt a bit fuzzy headed this morning so I think it might have been Ribena instead of house wine that we have been having upto this. Sat on the balcony of the Albergue having a beer with Frank and Tony before we called it a day. Headed off after breakfast this morning at 7.30 am and walked only 20Ks today. Gaby gave us a discount of 5Ks after our big day yesterday. The walk today was great; the countryside reminds me of the west of Ireland. Walked through a village that used to have a lot of thatched houses. Now they are in ruins and not much thatch to be seen. Must be the insurance premiums that killed them. We are staying at a lovely Albergue again tonight for 5 Euros and it seems to be a family business.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Day 24 - 30k - Astoga

The village we stayed in last night was very quiet.  Had a pilgrim´s meal in the Albergue. Only 4 to a room so it was quite a good spot. Waited for breakfast at 7am and then headed off. It was a hard day today but the only Albergue that was available on the road didn´t look too hot so we kept going. For the first 5 miles or so we had a stiff breese blowing so I have to put on the gloves and the beanie. We have been walking the ¨plateau¨for the last week and the landscape is about to change again. We have just finished the most boring part of the Camino. The last 5ks are the hardest on a 30k day. Tomorrow we may have a 20k day. This town is faboulous with a huge plaza. A bit quiet on a Sunday mind you. We have been blessed with the weather again today. That´s code for no rain. The hostel here is great with fabulous facilities for 6 Euros. Free Internet here which is a bonus. Will now go and find a place to eat.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Day 23 - 23k - Villa de Mazarife

Walked into town last night from the Albergue with Frank Wall. Went for a couple of beers in Leon and then caught up with Gaby. Gaby took the bus while I walked the tar and cement. Leon is a fabulous city with a great atmosphere. The big attraction is the Cathedral with its stained-glass windows. I much prefer Leon to Burgos. Bought a new pair of socks, a Swiss army knife and a pack of Compeed plasters. I felt a bit decadent. The Compeeds are the pilgrim's friend. If you feel a hot spot on your feet you put a Compeed on it to avoid a blister. We went out and had paella for dinner with the usual suspects. Called into a small little shop on the way home and had a glass of wine. It was a great little place. They gave us smoked ham, chorizo and cheese as well which was a nice touch. Had a shortish day today. Had no rain while we walked. The place we are in is quite nice, only 4 beds to a room. With any luck there might be a match on the telly after dinner.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Day 22 - 18k - Leon - The North Kilkenny Hillwalkers Association

Meet Lisa Brophy from Sydney. Her dad comes from Maryville in Castlecomer and he emigrated in the late 60s to Sydney via London. Lisa is a niece of Ger Brophy´s. We met Lisa at the start of the walk in St. Jean in France. She did the Camino a few years ago but had to abandon it as she sprained her foot. She also knows Comer fairly well as she used to fly acoss from London often when she worked there for 5 years

We Had a pilgrim meal last night with the same punters as the night before. Finished off a Mafia crime audio book last night by Michele Giutari which was OK. Headed off this morning at  7.15 am and arrived at the Municipal Albergue at 10.45 am. Most of the people in the Albergue this morning took the bus to Leon as the walk was quite boring close to the main road. Stopped for 10 minutes for a coffee which was the height of the excitement. The Albergue here is great for 5 Euros. I am a bit out of town so I will have to head in to buy a new pair of socks. I have lost 2 pairs already.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Day 21 - 24k - Mansilla de Los Mules

We had a decent pilgrim´s meal last night with Marcus from Paderborn in Germany and Frank Wall of Kilkenny. Frank´s grandfather established the men´s clothing shop in the city. His grandmother was a Dooley from Castlecomer. We settled in to watch the match after dinner. Marcus who is a Shalke fan went to bed after the second goal went in. I ended up watching the second half on my own and had to put the lights out. Had a tough day today. There was no place on the whole walk where we could get refreshments. The landscape is as flat as a tack so I had to take out the wide-brimmed hat as the sun was relentless. We are about 18k from Leon now which is the second biggest city on the Camino after Burgos. The walk tomorrow is mainly along the main road with heavy traffic. It looks like beer and tapas for tea tomorrow night.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Day 20 - 30k - Calzadilla de Los Hermanillos

Had our first below par meal last night but the wine washed it down anyway. Watched the Barcelona vs Real Madrid game in the bar last night. All of the locals were shouting for Real Madrid. Every time one of the Barca players started writhing on the ground the fella beside was shouting ¨Hospital¨. Walked the 3k to Terradillos de Los Templarios this morning which I am reliably informed was the half way point from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago. Had breakfast there and made good progress to arrive at Calzidilla at 3.30pm. The camino splits about 10k back from here. We took the quieter route which was hard work and very boring. We were worried that the Albergue would be full as it is quite small and the next one is 18k away. Met a girl from Offally last night who has been walking for six weeks. She started way back in France somewhere. Also met a fella from Kilkenny city this evening. We are going to catch up with him for dinner and then watch the Utd vs Schalke match. Stocked up in a tiny supermarket for provisions as we have an 18k hike tomorrow without any refreshments. Got a bit of sun today; didn´t have the long-sleeved shirt on and neglected to put suncream on my arms. Made good progress today so we should be in striking distance of Leon by Friday.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Day 19 - 23k - Ledigos - Gearrionn Beirt Bothar

If they ever bring in snoring as an Olympic event I think we had a good prospect for a medal in our room last night. No additional coaching required with this auld fella from Duseldorf. The volume and variety of sounds that came out of him were formidable. Left early this morning without breakfast but managed to get a decent coffee at the outskirts of Corrion at a petrol station. Walked through landscape that is very fertile and  flat and had plenty of wind turbines left and right of us which are great to see. We walked along an old Roman road for 12 miles which was hard work, so Gaby looked like the real deal in the sandals. She has given up on the boots for today and tomorrow while her toe goes into rehab. Finished my Cicero book last night and I see that both Pompey and Caesar campaigned here in Spain. They'd be glad to know that the road held up well, not a pothole in sight. Tried out a new audio book on the road today for a few hours. A Sweedish crime thing from Camilla Lakberg that I have given up on. She had to go as she wasn't shortening the road. Listened to an Emmylou compilation I made instead to propel me over the last 4 mile.
"No matter how much I glitter baby,
I shall never be gold"
That song always reminds me of driving through the back roads from Enniscorthy to Graignamanagh last May with the CD blaring. Jimmy McRae would have been impressed with my driving. Pulled the plug today after 23k in Ledigos, 3k short of our target. Hauld up! they have wireless Internet here. There is not much more to this village than the Albergue and the bar I'm in at the moment. There is a local at the end of the bar driving shite out of a cigarette, right beside the no smoking sign. The revolution will not be televised.

Day 18 - 24k - Carrion de Los Condes

The Albergue we stayed at cost 6 Euros which was a good deal given the quality. Had a good pilgrim's meal for 9 Euros. Of the 14 people at our table, 12 were German speakers. There was a German comedian, Hape Kerkeling that wrote a book on the Camino Frances nearly 10 years ago and has sold an ass-load. Since then there is a fierce number of Germans doing this Camino. He was also fairly unfit looking so that was as much encouragement as they needed. Headed off after breakfast at 7.30 am with the sun shining. Walked along a canal for the first few miles which was very pleasant. After that we walked parallel to the road for most of the remainder of the day. The 24k today is about average. We should be half way by tomorrow or early the day after. Gaby lost her nail on her small toe with the blister. Now she is getting a new blister on the same toe so she is not happy. I spend a lot of each day inspecting my feet. At this stage it is like a mystic ritual. There are no shops for 12 miles tomorrow so we have stocked up with provisions at the supermarket.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Day 17 - 28k - Boadilla del Camino

Had a lovely pilgrim meal last night in Hontanas. Headed off before 7am without breakfast. Had a good day as well today walking 28k. We are thinking that a day off is not all it's cracked to be as you just get stiffer without the walking. Maybe 2 short days is the way to go instead.  Walked through some lovely hills this morning. There are plenty of wind turbines on the ridges of the hills and mountains. Haven't seen too many solar panels though. If the grass is as green as it is they must get plenty of rain in these parts. The Albergue we are in is very nice. Most of the pilgrims we saw on the road are staying here. We had some rain today but not too heavy. 5 minutes after we arrived there was a downpour. Federcio from Tuscany who is a physiotherapist told me I wasn't doing my stretch exercises the right way last night. He showed me a couple of exercises so I am expecting the new elasticated me to appear any day now.
Dressed with the prospect of rain in mind.