October 20th, 2013
As it turned out, I didn´t have to face my demons yesterday. Not a Wretched Stone crossed my path, only farm houses, meadows full of sheep or cows, and enchanted forests. Maybe we´ve left behind the kingdom of the Wretched Stones. Anyway, today we covered 18.5 km from Pintin to the village of Morgade. We stopped for lunch in the city of Sarria where we found this awesome pastry/sandwich shop and ate hot french bread pizzas topped with tomatoes, cheese, ham and tuna, a combo that actually worked very well! Sarria is a big pigrim city that is the starting point for Johnny-come-lately pilgrims who want to jump in for the last 100 kms to Santiago, the minimum distance a pilgrim is required to walk to earn the Compostela, the certificate of completion of the Camino. We´d been warned by the guide book as well as by fellow pilgrims that from Sarria onwards the Camino would be flooded with all these last-minute pilgrims, but even after Sarria we found the Camino pretty empty. We conjectured that the reason for the absence of pilgrims might be that people who do only the last leg might do it as a vacation trip, and this being the end of October the pilgrim tourist season might be over. In any case, we had the Camino almost completely to ourselves all day. But what we´ve been finding the last few days is that, except for in the big pilgrim watering hole towns (which are now out of sync with our walking pattern), there are very few albergues to be found any more, whereas up until now almost every little town you passed through had an albergue. What there are instead are a plethora of pensions, hostels, casa rurals (three different names for the same concept) and hotels offering private rooms at as much as five to ten times the price of an albergue bed. And it looks like even the albergues in these parts are more expensive, since the cost of an albergue bed in the casa/albergue in Morgade was 10 euros per bed, around twice what we´ve been paying all along. So our conjecture for the reason for this situation is that the tourist pilgrims who are walking the Camino as a vacation want to have a nice private room to sleep in instead of, say, a dorm room shared with 24 pilgrims walking back and forth in their undies from the shared showers and and stalls, hence more private rooms, fewer dorm rooms. But it´s all just conjecture. Anyway, we stayed at the Casa Morgade which also had an albergue, along with (which had our beloved laundry service and a fast-working computer!) where we had the option of paying 10 euros each for a dorm bed and shared bathroom or 28 euros for a private room. We went with the private room. And what a cute room it was - stone walls and wooden floors with dark wood furniture, country floral print bedspreads and a big mirrored armoire. The whole albergue was so pretty, all done in the stone and wood we´ve been seeing since we´ve been in Galacia. The sitting room was also - can I use the word again? - so cozy, with comfy couches and chairs around a warm fireplace. Galacia being such a cold, windy, rainy part of the world, maybe that´s why they really go for cozy as opposed to, say, minimalist contemporary decor. There were four other pilgrims in the albergue besides us and we at dinner together: John and Roxanne from the pension where we stayed last night; a South African lady, Karin; and a 69-year old Japanese man (forget his name !) who is on his second Camino and who started walking at Saint Jean Pied De Port, the same place we started, on October 3! (We started walking September 14!). And he´s fine, no foot or leg problems at all, he said, even though he looks as if he weighs 90 pounds and is carrying a 20 pound backpack! It turned out that he already walked - three times! - the Japanese pilgrimage that John and Roxanne want to walk. That pilgrimage is over 1,000 kms. (Three times!) Anway, I guess this man is the exception to my thesis that walking the Camino too fast with too heavy a backpack causes injuries! Of course, it does sound as if he was prepared. For dinner we had the 8.50 euro pilgrim meal: we both started with the salad, strangely, served without tuna, but full of fresh, tasty tomatoes, for the second course Tom had a chicken filet sauteed with onions and I had a very tender, juicy pork filet, both served with a ton of fries on the side. For dessert Tom had a slice of Santiago cake - seems to be a very popular dessert in these parts - and I had a slice of pound cake, which was so big it must have weighed a pound, so I let Tom finish it for me. Today we hope to cover about 20 kms, the distance we´ll to go to find an albergue. Otherwise I guess it´ll be another private room, which won´t actually be the worst fate in the world, especailly if we can find such a nice one as we had last night! A happy day to you all! Love, Patti 8)
10/21/2013 04:02:19 am
What a great mix of people! Those food items sound interesting!
10/21/2013 05:32:37 am
Wow you're on the final stretch - I'm enjoying your blog so much I think you should continue to write a blog when you get back home - instead of writing about all the albergues you could write about all of the houses you visit for piano lessions :-)
10/21/2013 08:12:30 am
Are you going to be eating all of your salads with tuna from now on?
10/18/2022 12:16:38 pm
Early point hit high others matter. Us end law put.
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My husband Tom and I will be walking the 490.7-mile Camino de Santiago from St. Jean Pied de Port, France, to Santiago, Spain. We leave Columbus 9/11/13 and return 10/30/13. God willing.
The sequel to "Equal and Opposite Reactions" in which a woman discovers the naked truth about herself.
by Patti Liszkay
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A romantic comedy of errors.
Lots and lots of errors.
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
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