Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Progress report:Palas dei Rey, Galicia, Spain

Hello, everyone!
We are in Palas dei Rey tonight. We´re staying in an albergue that overlooks the main plaza, where there is a girl-folk concert going on tonight. We can hear it from our window on the "2nd" floor. They have sung "Hit the Road, Jack", they have sung "(You can hear the whistle blow) 500 Miles", and they´re working through a lot of the stuff Dad used to play in coffeehouses in his undergrad years. He´s having flashbacks.
Today´s walk was a lot less difficult than yesterday´s was. The footing was much better, and the climbing was less. I don´t know which bothers me more, going down a steep slope or walking on a pile of rocks.
We had octopus and (Spanish) tortilla for dinner and it was good.
We got a stamp (sello) from the parish church on the way into town, it´s a lovely church, and Father was in the sacristy working on his stuff when we were there.
We have hopes of hitting Santiago on Saturday. That way we can attend the pilgrim noon Mass on Sunday for sure.
The trails and roads are a lot more crowded now, as about a million people joined the trail in Sarria. (Well, maybe a thousand or so--it must be school holidays, there are a lot of high school aged kids tromping down the road.) We have to pay more attention to settling down for the night around 2 pm; we saw a trio of girls yesterday that hit Porto la Marina about 6 pm and all the albergues were full and most of the hostales were full and they were having to go to a pension...which is a step up in expense I think. But this was all caused by a lack of research into the whole thing before they left--you can't assume that you can walk until 6 pm and get a bed. It´s entirely too problematic, especially if you are being spontaneous (like us) and don´t call ahead for reservations.....we have had no trouble at all finding a place to sleep.
This camino thing, my sweetie has taken to saying, is a lot like life. It´s hard sometimes, it´s easy other times, it´s painful sometimes, it's happy others, and one of the main things is that 80% of the game is showing up every morning and tackling the day. That applies as much to figuring out more walking techniques as to foot problems and weather and everything else.
And yes, even though you have been walking since you were one year old, the Camino will teach you that you need to learn things about how to walk.
I'd like to learn how to make the sepia Basque style (squid with garlic and I don´t know what else) that we had in Pamplona, and the pulpo (octopus with pimenton I think) that we had this evening here in Palas dei Rey. Both wonderful tasting dishes.
I don´t know if there will be internet tomorrow or not.
I will try to post again as soon as I can.