Thursday, July 2, 2009


Kate tells me I did not tell the story of the Great Ripoff. Several years ago a recording company approached the monks of Silos monastery. They offered to record the monks in return for an amount of money- no royalties were mentioned. The double CD set is called Canto Gregoriano and is the most popular Gregorian chant recording available. Millions have been sold. The monks have learned their lesson at great cost.
I had an unfortunate and unnecessary dispute with the lady hotel keeper. I asked her when was the time to leave the hotel in the morning and she told me I had to be up at 6 and be gone by 7. This is what some pilgrims do, but no albergue insists on people vacating the premises until 8. I told her this but she insisted. Now she might have in the kindness of her heart telling me what I should do. As it is, it preyed on my mind and while I had a good sleep it would have been better.

R rated section
If you think the study of my bowels is too much information, skip to the next paragraph. The main reason I had gone to the Farmacia was I was constipated (which, by the way, in Spain means I had a blocked nose. The farmacist understood and gave me some pills, two to be taken at night for an easy discharge in the morning. Well, the body wanted to cooperate but it was no go. So in fear and trepidation, just nefore 8 I set out. At one point I pulled off the road and tried to go, but again, no result. So at the next village I made a beeline for the bar and its Aseos. As with many places this had the charming facility of the lights turning off after a set (short) time. Inside, there were no windows and it was completely dark. In this situation I had some success and considerable difficulty in cleaning up. Anyway had a nice ensalata mixta, and set off. Nature called in a particularly siren way as a
copse of trees approached so I had the brilliant idea of sneaking in there. Wonder of wonders, I was not the first. There was toilet paper almost everywhere so I chose a suitable spot and was delivered of a 10 pound gorilla. Thank goodness.

Stopped for a meal of ensalata mixta and water to which was added some very nice bread. Ten as I set off, it started raining. Out came the poncho. It wasn´t for long and with the sun out we took the waterproofs off. Then after 15 minutes we got some drops and the temperature fell a bit. Waterproffs on just in time and I started blithely walking in the rain and into a wind. 2 minutes and my lower trousers were soaked and then my boots filled with runoff. Lasted for about 10 minutes. The folks I have been with for a while, Ulla and Johannes from Denmark (not related), John and his wife, Elissa and her parents and Sam all from Australia, and Bjorn (pronounced Yearn) from Denmark decided to stay at Boadilla but I knew that my pack would have leaked and so determined to press on to Fromista and stay in a hotel again.
I misunderstood a youjng guy who pointed and said I should wait a bit. I thought he was indicating a wonderfully cross, and that I should wait for sun to illuminate it better. So I set off and had done just a km when the temperature plunged and huge drops fell. I was walking on the flattest part of the whole Camino, beside the Grand Canal of Castille and the noise of water hitting water was deafening. I was soaked again and in short order wading in water inside the boots. These are the spare boots, because I can walk easily in them and they are neither waterproof nor very high. The others which i am wearing right now, really are squeezy. It´s a big problem. Do I abandon these boots, go back to Burgos and buy some more? The rain pelted for 4 km or so and I arrived at the hotel in some disarray.
I now have all my goods spread out around the room trying to dry them. And at last I´ve bought some big plastic bags to line the backpack. It is something I was going to get around to ...

No comments: