Monday, July 6, 2009


Carrion´s preist excelled himself at the pilgrim´s mass and benediction thereasfter. Most of the participants were locals, which is a sign of a good minstry. Around 25 pilgrims crowded into the sactristy for the benediction which went on for about 15 mins followed by a brief tour of the church.
I was with Season (yes, her name) and I had shared a very nice salad with her and her friend Dennis. They are both from Seattle, are 22, and we had a fine time. Season thought it was an excellent service. She is interesting in that her parents had raised her to be a Christian, but non-denominational. She aspires to be an actress. As she sat in church I realised she had been trained in the Alexander technique, but she was most surprised when I mentioned the fact. She thought her teacher would be pleased.
Feet felt terrible as I walked today, so much so I was determined not to stop in case I could not get going again. And thinking hard, ¨listening¨ to my feet, I think I may have discovered the problem. The main boots had given me some but not really much trouble in France and for the beginning of the walk, so there has been a change, and it had to be with the feet not the boots. As I walk, each step, the orthotics push my toes forward, but the small toes are permanently bent, so they are forced downwards, the tips hitting the surface. Hmmm. I will consult a guy in Leon in a few days.
There must be a solution.
The albergue in Calzadilla is owned by the guy who owns the hotel/bar/restaurant. There is no shop, and no kitchen at the albergue. He charges 7€ to stay, the menu peregrino is 8€ and any drinks, nibbles, breakfast you must go to him. Fair enough, but 7€ to stay in unheated conditions with sitting room only for two or three is very expensive. I dined with a 35 yo American, Nicholas, who works for the Smithsonian Institute in Philadelphia. He assures me his is not an exhibit, but rather organises them. He is walking a good deal faster than me so we´ll probably never meet again. He was most interested in pilgrim etiquette and so forth.
He packed his bag the night before, slept in his clothes and was gone (silently) before 5. We had a fine time.
I walked the 22km to Sahagun today. It was painful but not excessively so. As it is Saturday there are no pilgrim health servcies. I´ve been the the farmacia a few times and got tissues (my nose is running like a tap in the cold wind, but it isn´t a cold (I hope), and some tea/infusion stuff to help me ¨go¨naturally. I had another unnatural episode today and a 17th C ruin became my emergency toilet. It is so hard here to get enough fibre. I went to a fair sized supermercado today but they had no oats or bran on sale. The guy said I may be able to get it in Leon. Imagine if somebody in Ballarat had to go to Geelong for bran and oats ...
Refuge here seems OK. It is in a huge old church that had lost its roof a long time ago, and was redeveloped in 1999. The kitchen is grossly inadequate for the numbers so I will dine with Richard, a retired lawyer from New Jersey. Most pilgrims go to bed at 9 with lights out at 10, but the two local restaurants open at 8 and 8:30. Makes it really difficult.
When I was choosing socks this arvo after a shower I realised I have lost (left behind somewhere) one excelent pair. Down to three now, though I have adequate liners. To help the toe thingo, I´ve stuck bandaids on the orthotics which I hope will stop the tendency of the little toes to move forward and down. Let´s hope.
God be with you all.

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