Monday, July 20, 2009


At 8am when forced to leave the albergue while they cleaned up, it was 2 degrees Celsius but the sun was just up. I wandered up to the cathedral and the light was wonderful so got some good photos inside and out. Then the Information Office supplied info and a map and I went to the post office (Correos) to send some cards written a week ago!
San Isidoro museum is even better than before. The basilica was very dark as these places usually are but again got some good shots, especially of the chequeboard pattern noted on Romanico churches by you, Manfred. ALSO of a capital with beasts. In the museum I looked through the window and saw a guy snapping away and thought - if he can do it, so can I - and took several pics without flash and using time exposure. Vault frescoes were the main things, and a carved stone box. Then took more in the cloisters. On the way to the upstairs, a very charming lady asked me had I been taking pics. Oops. Well yes, I said, but sin flash. Only in the cloister she said. But she let me go and after I´d been in the library with absolutely wonderful and priceless stuff back to the 10th century asked me if I´d taken any more! She was very nice (and no, I hadn´t). The metal, ivory, and woodwork is amazing, and again back to the 10th century. Interesting for a militantly Christian institution (San Isidoro was a be baptised or die you Moorish swine, sort of guy) they had a Viking bone(?) carving of a god. Then found a great street - Calle La Rua (Street the Street!) very narrow and lined with wonderful shops. One was a sports store and I bought another mug (I left behind the one I pinched from a refuge to replace the one I´d left behind elsewhere. Got that?), an immersion heater, and a waterproof cover for the sac. ALSO an Opinel knife that locks the blade in place. The el cheapo I bought a few days ago does not lock, and opened in my pocket. Potential ouch big time. So for lunch had a hot drink abd carved bread like the French. It´s amazing how much one misses a hot drink when it is unavailable.
A whole bunch of people whom I had met in Burgos or before arrived today, including the two American girls. They are more relaxed and right into the pilgrimage, so much so that instead of quitting here, they are moving on. It´s really good to see positive change. I dined a few nights ago with Maureen, a Canadian. Yesterday her sister and friend arrived. Maureen has moved on. Tonight Lorna and the friend and I will dine. It´s all good.
Well, all good except for a very chesty cough which I deliver burblingly but fortunately not too often. Just hope it gets better and not worse. One of my you beaut socks from Oz has a hole in it, above the smallest toe of the right foot. Interesting. I´ll get new socks, but why did it happen? The rest has been very good. I´ll try to walk 24 km tomorrow and the day after, which will see me in Astorga. After that, 30km of uphill (but not in one day). Sigh.
All the best
John W

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