jeudi 14 mai 2009


There was no Internet for 2 days, and yesterday, there were too many people wanting to use it. There are a LOT of people on this trip. Nadine and I have been trying to get away from the crowds by traveling further - we did two 30-km days. The first night, In Villamejor de Monjardin, was great - we stayed in a Dutch private albuergue where meals were served family-style at a long wooden table, the beds were comfortable, adn we had a real breakfast of muesli and yoghurt. The second night, we were not so lucky. We arrived at Viana, and there was not a bed to be found in town. At 4:40 pm, we were sitting dejectedly, trying to decide whether to walk another 10 km to the next town and hope there was a bed, or take a taxi, when a slim middle-aged Spanish woman talking a mile a minute came and insisted we follow her. THere were three of us so we felt relatively safe. She charged us 12 Euros each to share a room in her house, and we got to sleep in sheets, and have our own bathroom, albeit with a cold shower.And we didn´t have to walk another 10 km....

In order to avoid a repeat of the previous night, yesterday we stopped early ( ie we did 23 km by 11:30, then sat for 3 hours waiting for the albuergue to open, and sat around til supper.) 10 of us (6 Canadians and 4 French) shared a meal in the albuergue kitchen, made by one of the French men (I watched - he put a whole pound of butter in the sauce, but it was delicious) washed down wiht 3 bottles of VERY good Rioja (the French guy said the bottles, which cost 5 Euros here, aare 15 Euroos in France). We needed that. As I said, there are too many people, and it is becoming a race to the albuergues to ensure a bed.

Today we had a choice of doing 21 km and stopping by noon, or going on to the next town, for a total of 37 km. We chose the latter. There is only so much sitting around drinking cerveza and cafe con leche that two gals can take!

The first 35 km were fine, but the last two were hell.It was worth it, though. The afternoon walking alone was great (some of the signs were hard to find, sort of like on Amazing Race)and this albuergue is great. It sleeps 200, but in dormitories of 20, and havaing arrived late, ours is half empty. THere are 6 (!!) showers for women, and 4 Internet stations. It looks very new. Heaven!

Good things: Spanish countryside, lush and green, black and white butterflies, pale blue butterflies, cuckoo birds, cafe con leche, snails on the road (I may never eat escargots again), poppies and wild thyme, the fountain at Irachi that pours wine instead of water, (a tour was just leaving as we trudged up and the guide was happy to explain that here were real peregrinos), meeting people from everywhere, the Spanish towns and villages that literally have no garbage on the street as there are compost bins and garbages everywhere.

Downers:mainly too many people. Nadine and I have managed to avoid a lot of people on the road by walking further and faster (one of the Quebeckers gave us a Camino name: ´"the roadrunner ladies...", but at night it is packed.

We are lucky. One Irish woman did not practice with her pack first, and developed blisters on her back the first day. After the second day´s downhill slog, some people developed blisters on the tips of all their toes. One very nice Quebecois woman has such bad Achilles tendonitis, she had to take a bus yesterday. I was sure I was going to lose the toenail of my right big toe a couple of days ago, (I´ll spare you the gory details) but with good local care, it now looks as if it will be ok.I tried to walk normally inspite of it, but I must have compensated as I have developed a couple of blisters on that foot. Oh well, part of the journey...

I am so proud of Nadine. She is a real trouper. I agree with her - walking is the easy part; the hard part is the rest of the day.

That´s it for now. A lot of people waiting to use the Internet.


2 commentaires:

  1. I stayed at that Dutch albergue as well!

  2. Je suis super content et fier que vous fassiez ce voyage, et ensemble! Amusez-vous bien d'ici les prochains jours!! :D