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Saturday, May 7, 2011

24 Miles to Go

3 Italian ladies (one pulls her luggage)

I promised a photo of the 3 amazing Italian ladies, one of whom pulls her luggage on what looks like a modified golf cart. We have been doing 16-22 miles a day and think we´re pretty hot stuff, only to find that they are already at the albergue. We´re been leapfrogging them for a few weeks , and though the language barrier is severe, we acknowledge each other with smiles and waves.

We are now in a town only about 24 miles outside Santiago. Tomorrow will be a light walking day- only about 13 miles- and the next day we should arrive. We had thought about going on to Finistere- an additional 3 days walk, but we´re now thinking that we´ve had just about enough extreme walking and are ready to be tourists in Portugal. It´s funny, but the most tiresome part of each day is the void between arrival at the albergue, usually around 3-4pm and bedtime at 9 or so. Besides having a beer or wine and a bite to eat, there isn´t a lot to do. Sometimes we meet up with some fellow pilgrims and sometimes not. Yesterday Jed and I were the only ones in a rural place meant for 10 people. There was a heavy rainstorm that knocked out the power, so we had very little light. We were pretty darn bored and couldn´t wait til the next day when we could walk again!

Today we had a local specialty for lunch at a pretty interesting place (see above). It´s "pulpa", which is squid tentacles cut into rounds and prepared with a lightly spiced sauce. It´s pretty meaty and flavorful- and not at all tough. The "pulperia" serves primarily this specialty dish, and they fish the squid out of a huge pot of booiling water and cut the rounds with scissors. The guy didn´t even look as he cut, and we feared for his fingers.

These guys (the cows) are responsible for road hazards!

We had the rain gear off and on about 3-4 times today, but only one blast of intense rain, and that occurred while we were eating. This part of Spain (Galicia) is noted for changeable weather, so we get a little of everything. All in all, it´s been really great walking weather, and the paths and the scenery have been most enjoyable. This is farm and dairy country, so we spend some time dodging sheep shit and cow pies-just a few of the hardships we pilgrims face on the Camino.

As usual when I find a computer that will load photos, I´m a happy camper. Add to that, a nice shower and a friendly albergue, and I´m set for the evening. Signing off for now.....

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