Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 30 Camino de Santiago Aug. 4 Cacabelos

Cacabelos????  Doesn't that mean... pretty poop?  Dr. Bellos?   Where are we getting these names??  I had the two most blessed days ever in Molinaseca.  Last night I had a glass of wine with Sonnie at the cafe terrace overlooking the river.  Sonnie is from Italy and started the Camino the day before me.  He's an interesting guy.  He only wants to do what would be called menial jobs - pick grapes, bake bread, and even then if it's not specialty breads.  He likes to work outside.  He's very different than most of the people on the Camino - college trained or bound, or shiftless bums.  He's a good guy and will be back in Italy in September to pick grapes for a small family farm that he's picked for the previous three years.  He says it's like a big family with huge meals at night.  Sounds nice.
    If my math is right, he was 78 years old when he died on the trail.  That's amazing that he was even on the trail.  Wow!  I can't remember what I've written in these blogs so if I repeat myself, just move on.  Sorry!   There was a Korean kid who saw me carrying my backpack and said,
Korean -  "You... uh... you...
me - thinking, come on spit it out!
Korean - You ... uh... you are my hero!
me - yeah well you need to get out more!
Korean - you... uh.. you.. are sooooo old and ... uh... your pack is soooooo beeeg!!
me - where's this going but?
Korean -  when I get soooooo old  I want to .....
me - keep talking and you won't have to worry about getting older
Korean - I want to be able to carry such a beeeg pack when I am sooooo old like you.
me - how do you say, "up yours!" in Korean!!
    By the time I got to Ponferrada I was getting use to walking again.  Funny how just one day off and I feel like a duck.  This is the city where they make most of the giant windmills that you see all through Spain.  They have a castle in Ponferrada that was one of the most important to the Templars and it's in great shape!  The castle supposedly contains a secret message that tells where the Arc of the Covenant and the Holy Grail are!  Great.  Reminds me of when I hide things so burglars can't find them... but then I can't either.  
These must be some awfully good peaches - Ya gotta have a guard dog!!

Talk about irony, or coincidence... There's a guy that I've been bumping into on the Camino since way back when, named Dermot.  He's Irish and a real stitch.  I ran into him the other day and knowing that he sleeps outside often I thought that this green sleeping bag was him.  It wasn't .


    Neither was this stork's nest either.  They are an amazing builder!  Where do they sleep when they are building these things?  They are huge, as in 4 feet across.  Seldom do I see them fly, but I saw this one fly to his/her nest.

     Okay so here is the coincidence - I thought I saw Dermot, but nope.  Then I turn a corner and who is picking fruit off of a tree, Dermot.  Shock and begoria!  He is one of the few people on the Camino that has the same twisted sense of humor.   I gotta lose him somehow so I can get back to thinkin'!  It'll happen naturally.  He likes to walk fast and is on a shorter time line than I am.  I like to wake up and... well... I left at 9:00 this morning.  That's about 2 hours after most Pilgrims.    But as Aunt Ni says, "If  people were suppose to "pop" out of bed, then we'd sleep in toasters!
    We've left the flat lands of the meseta and the state of Leon y Castilla and are heading through the state of Galicia.  Here's a hut that you'd see in the Cotswalds or Ireland.  The people in Ireland, supposedly came from Spain who moved to France then crossed to Ireland who then crossed to Scotland.  That is why you'll hear bagpipes in all of the countries just mentioned.  Amazing huh!  And you thought this was just some dumb ol' blog.
     In one of the nicest restaurants I've seen in a long time, (yes, I want to buy it!) they were playing what I previously have said is Irish music, but apparently is Spanish music!  The place had a wall made of logs and pendent lights that had different size jars on them.  As if they had used empty peanut butter jars or olive jars as the actual bulbs.  Very cool!
    The albergue where we are staying is interesting.  It was billed as in an old church.  Not exactly true, padre!!  There is an old church, however the beds are not in the church.  The padre built a hallway around the perimeter of the rock wall that surrounds the property and then shopped it up into many rooms.  No windows, just doors.
 Two beds and if it's full, they put mattress on the floor between the two beds.  Dermott and I got the two beds and the floor when to a guy from the Basque country.  I had passed him earlier in the day and he was walking in obvious pain and very slowly.  I was going to help him but I thought, "Unless I have a bottle of morphine or a helicopter in my back, he's like everyone else...grunting it out."  I never thought he'd make it this far.

 We were taking our afternoon siesta and heard music.  Going into the park behind the church was a group of old timers - all in their 70's and 80's having some kind of a reunion.  Dermot and I were standing and watching and one old man came up and gave us a bottle of wine... this is no country for tee toters!

    Later on I saw Sonnie in the same albergue and introduced him to Dermot.  We decided to go back to the restaurant that we had seen earlier and have dinner.  It was a full 15 minute walk through town.  On the way there we could see rain a'comin'.  Perfect example of crossing bridges and not even being at the river.  It never rain, but we fretted about getting soaked on the way to and fro.
We crossed a bridge and then passed by a beautiful old home that is built on a spur of the river.  Doesn't seem safe, but they'll live well till it's washed away.  I often wonder if I see these kinds of homes, "Are the people happy inside?"  I wonder too, "Do they realize what a peach of a place they are living in?"  Then it gets twisted and I have to change my line of thought!!

     Sonnie, the guy who has picked grapes, pointed out this giant grape press that he's seen used, but, according to him, "This is really beeg!  It's a purpose is to squeeze all a da drops from a the grapea."

    At the restaurant, they had a souvenir shop that had many things I would have bought if I didn’t have to carry or tote them for another two weeks.  I read in my book about a tradition that if you say to the clerk, she will give you a free glass of local wine and a tapas.  Being the only one of the three of us, Sonnie, Dermot, and myself, to speak Spanish, I smiled at the girl behind the counter and said with my best accent, “Tiene un vaso de vino por un peregrino que esta muriendo de sed?” (Do you have a glass of wine for a pilgrim who is dying of thirst?)
    ...and she laughed at me and said, “I don’t speak Spanish. I’m from Germany, but I am familiar wit dees tradition!”  and she brought us three glasses of wine and a slice of  ham pie, like shadon!    There were three other waitresses and they were laughing as well.  It is good to make people happy and it made for a great evening.  There was a huge wedding going on and we sat by the kitchen.  Every time a waiteress would bring a plate of appetizers by, I would smile and say, “MMMMMM, muy bueno!”, and  eventually, they would bring us a sampling.  Que bueno!!

      "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times...what!!! Talk about trying to cover your butt!"
                      Cliff Clavin

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally using that spanish saying to get some free wine!!! I'm in Arzua and have a 40km walk tomorrow then I'm heading home. Thanks for sharing your blog it's pretty entertaining! Buen Camino!