Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 35 Camino de Santiago Aug. 9 Vilacha

    Couldn't stay another day in Sarria, for no reason other than itchy feet.  The weather is getting hot as in, it is not comfortable to go to bed before 10PM.  Flies are super annoying as well because of all the cows and pigs.
      I saw this sign advertising a Dutch Circus that is coming to town.  Nothing new there, but see where it says, "Sin Animales"?  That means "no animals".   Hmmm... The last time I went to the circus I was so bored that I wished an elephant would step on me, and now, no animals!!!  What do you do, watch clowns run around and act silly.  If someone asked me to go I'd go on the following conditions:
a) it would be a BYOB affair - Bring Your Own Barretta or
b) healthy doses of LSD would be given upon entrance.

       This old bridge was originally built by the Romans and has had several facelifts over the years.  I really can't imagine living so close to something 2,000 years old and not oohing and awing every time I stepped on it.
      Like this old man here.  I bet the sickle he is using is 100 years old as well and he's working 30 meters from a bridge that's 2000 years old.  I like things that have history.  Okay, this is deep but stay with me:  Remember Dermott the Irish guy?  He was saying that he believes in ghosts and that it's reasonable for ghosts to inhabit buildings, bridges, etc.  Here's his theory?  A bridge absorbs heat from the sun, which is energy.  A bridge also absorbs cold which is a form a energy, and when a person dies suddenly, there is enormous energy given off, so why couldn't the building or bridge absorb that energy???  It really flowed better when we were drinking, but seems to have a couple of holes in it right now!

   Okay, you'll love this.  When you are on the Camino, the unwritten rule is that you do something to make the Camino better, that you give something back.  Okay with that in mind, I was walking on the trail this morning and saw horse poop.  Given that the trail wasn't marked, I made an arrow for my fellow pilgrims....out of horse poop!  Now...don't say that I haven't given anything back.  Actually, there is something that I've been doing since day one, but I can't tell you because that would destroy the magic of it.

     If you look at this picture you probably are drawn to the bridge, but focus on the barbed wire and here this:  the barbed wire was one of the greatest inventions when it came to changing the wild wild west to the controlled west.  The three big inventions were the repeating rifle, which trust me, one man could hold off 10 indians for a long time, the train, which brought more settlers faster than the indians could make arrows, and then barbed wire, which stopped open ranges and created private land.  And you thought it was just some ol' wire!

     Good thing there was lots of shade on the trail today because it was very hot and supposedly going to get hotter mañana.  The down side is that so many pilgrims will get up at 5AM to beat the heat.  I will combat it another way.  I will leave at 9AM and stop earlier.  Today I decided to stop 2K from my original destination because I have a feeling that it will all be full when I get there.  The albergue here is 10E and has only 8 beds in a room.  The South African man and wife running it are cooking dinner for everyone.  The place is really beautiful.  Yes, I want to buy it!!

     This is the official mark of where you have to start if you want to get the Compostela, or written certificate saying that you've hiked the Camino de Santiago.  I'm not that interested in the paper, but will take it unless there's a huge line to wait in to get it.  I can't believe that people would write on the marker... yes I can.

    Uhhhh.... tractor wins every time!  Was very cute, however, as the farmer was teaching his wife to drive.  They eventually stopped and we were able to pass on the side.  I would not walk on the side until they turned off  the tractor's motor.  Yes.... bok bok!!

      What a cool home.  They have a greenhouse that separates the main house from the garage/barn.  It also doubles as a winter room for them to sit in.  Not a bad view either!!
     As a pilgrim gets closer to Santiago, more of the locals get into the whole Camino thing.  The "thing" is giving.  This man had a beautiful home with a gorgeous garden in front and was giving away peanuts, water, apples and oranges.  He, like most, but not all, have a "donativo" plate where pilgrims can leave a few cents to help defray the costs.  We talked for about 15 minutes about his farm and life in general.  It is one experience I will miss about the Camino.  People are so darn nice... I really hated taking all of his money when he wasn't looking!!!

     I am also starting to see more and more of these crosses.  People leave little trinkets on them, but I don't know if it's a family thing, like a shrine, or if it's for the general public.  It's not like they have an interpretive center near by.

    You would never see so many people east of Leon, but since O Cebreiro, the number of pilgrims has increased tremendously.   Great!  I saw a man and his wife biking with a three year old girl in a bike seat.  Yesterday, on the road I saw a gerry-rigged bicycle pulling a lady in a wheel chair.  Good to see people chasing a dream.

     This is another example of families leaving fruit or gifts out for Pilgrims.  I had one of the plums and it was so sweet I need an insulin shot.  They grow the best fruit I've ever had, and Memphis has good fruit.  This morning for breakfast I had a naval orange, two of the peaches, and a pear.  Each fruit was sweeter than the previous one.  I was feeling great when I walked and then after 6 K stopped and had bacon and eggs, toast, cafe con leche and a cake.  Either the cake or the milk in the coffee messes me up.  I've been experimenting and after 35 days, leche and the cake are not good for me.  I don't want to make a rash decision, so I may need a few more days of experimenting, which ironically, is how long before I reach Santiago!!!  Oh the life of a scientist!
      This is where the locals store their grain.  Kind of a grain file, but built off the ground.  The holes in it allow it air out and not spoil.  Probably stop them from exploding.  I have often said that exploding silos are not a good thing.  No more experiments need to be performed.
      Thanks to people like Steven Speilberg, I can't walk by a field of ferns without thinking that the head of a Veloraptor is going to pop up and people are going to start dropping like flies.  Thanks to Speilberg, I can't go in the ocean without thinking that a 30 foot great white isn't going to eat me.
      But thankfully, corn!!!  Yes, Field of Dreams, corn.  So I'm looking for Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Ty Cobb, and wait who is that??? It's the monster from Jeepers Creepers!  No it's the Children of the Corn!  No it's....
      Beautiful day today.  Heat was oppressive, but couldn't stop the beauty.  When I got too hot, I found some shade and rested. Sometimes I stopped and had a hot tea.  I like the Camino because it helps to teach that you have to walk at your own speed.  The least happy people seem to be those trying to walk with someone else.  Not a problem unless one looks like a marathoner and one looks like they have their favorite chair at the buffet table.
      How can you not love the buildings here?  I like the stone, which is taken from the fields, which allows them to then use a plow.  I like the fact that the buildings are hundreds of years old and still functional, though I imagine there may be some trouble wiring them for the internet.   The man running the albergue tonight was telling me that the state of Galicia in Spain is a nightmare for albergue owners.  They have a book two inches thick on rules and regulations.  He has a friend in Sarria who runs an albergue and was fined 300 E for having a brown stain on the bottom of his toilet seat.  The man swears that he cleans it every day.  His other friend was fined 3000E for having a piece of meat in the refrigerator that wasn't marked with an "entry/expiration" date!

That which does not kill you... hurts a lot! - SWB


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