|A coffee stop|
|Courtyard at "Laura's" albergue|
We´ve had a taste of being the minority who only speak Englsish. It´s good for us, I think, to experience the alienation that many people feel when they can´t communicate in their native language. A couple nights ago at dinner at the albergue there was a French speaking table, another for the Germans, one for the Italians and one for the Spaniards. Then there were just Jed and I at another table until we were joined by a Brit and an Israeli. They turned out to be great company. The Israeli, David, was able to tell us a lot about the struggles in the middle East. Then, last night we learned about growing up in east Berlin from our friends Marco and Bernd, whom we´ve hooked up with in nearly every destination town for at least a week. It´s weird to think that if the Berlin wall hadn´t come down they wouldn´t have been allowed to travel here.
The towns and the landscape have been a bit boring the last couple days. This region doesn´t have stone for building, so the buildings are the old (and generally delapidated) adobe, or newer brick. The "Peregrino Menu" is also getting tiresome. It´s reasonably priced (about $13 each including wine) but the choices rarely vary -only the quality of the preparation. Even with good preparation, it´s generally bland and tasteless. Tonight we´ll try to find some tapas, as we´re in a somewhat larger town, and that might just be possible. Tomorrow we´ll be in Leon, and we´ll celebrate with a hotel room and a non-pilgrim meal.
The feet are getting much better, thank you very much. Mine have been good for several days and Jed says today was a turning point for him. We´re optimistic that the worst problems from now on will be the standard weary feet that are eager to slip into a comfy pair of Crocs at the end of a long day.
Yesterday was our halfway point for the Camino. We are now on the ¨downhill¨side, with less than 240 miles to go. This afternoon we met a young woman from Toronto who has been walking from France and will log over 1000 miles by the time she reaches Santiago. Hard for me to fathom why anybody would do that, especially since the less traveled parts offer much less by way of lodging and compànionship.
Tonight´s accommodations turned out to be much better than expected. We´re in a large albergue, but the hostelier, Laura, blessed us with a private room! It´s really just 2 single beds in a hallway, but it´s pure luxury not to be in a dorm with bunk beds. Ther are lots of new faces here, but many we recognize as well. Every evening is a kind of reunion with people we´ve met along the way. They say the Camino gets under your skin, and this is one of the reasons why, I think.
Well, Jed´s up from his nap and now he´s hungry. Walk, sleep, eat, sleep, walk, eat, sleep.......