Am sitting warm and cozy drinking hot tea flavored with some rosehips Peter picked and gave me the other day. It is raining, and has been since shortly after I started walking again after a really delicious lunch in Palas de Rei of Caldo Gallego (Galician Soup with potatoes and white beans and sometimes some greens) and pulpo (octopus slices cooked in olive oil and sprinkled with Spanish paprika).
I had the best walk today, for the first time in several days I got into a good rhythmn and took great pleasure in the act of walking. I wasn’t distracted by the beautiful scenery (fog then rain obscured it) or hordes of pilgrims (I left before the students got moving) or the heat or paths/roads where you had to watch out for cars, erosion, rocks, bad markings, mud. In addition I just got dressed and left first thing in the morning which is when my body is happiest walking. It was easy to just move, and I did. Today I feel good tired, rested and not exhausted.
The stars were still visible (Orion) in the partly clouded sky when Veera and I left Portomarín. Periodic gusts of wind sent leaves flying from the trees. Snacked while walking on fresh picked apples and castañas. A woman passed me wearing a warm wool coat. After greetings she asked me did I speak English, then in English where I was from, if I liked Spain, did I like the camino and then gave me a handful of blackberries with instructions to wash them.
I should probably confess that the effect the rain was somewhat ameliorated since most of the path after the rain started was through thick oak forests which provided significant protection. As this weather is expected to continue I am not sure how I will feel in a couple of days when all of my clothes are damp.
This is a tiny albergue not even in a town. As there is nothing else to do everyone else is napping and it is so quiet you can sometimes hear the steady breathing of the sleepers when the rain lessens (no snorers, not now anyway). Met 4 Chileans living in Valencia, they offered me hot tea as soon as I hung my dripping poncho on the coat-tree. We pleasantly stumbled our way through a discussion of coming from Santiago, Chile, going to Santiago, Spain. Claudio and Katya are here (the nice Italians from the Dolomites), and Karl, the impeccably dressed German, and Birgrit & Kurt from Austria who were also in the restaurant in Palas de Rei. There were two octopus dishes on the menu, they tried both and I bought the one they recommended.
As there is no place near to eat, we were bussed to another albergue for a dinner of soup, thin steaks, fries and tarta san marco, (thin slices of white cake layered with chocolate frosting) and of course the delicious local bread, vino tinto and water.
Today is my one month aniversary of walking the camino.
21 Oct 2009