Thursday, August 13, 2009


There´s nothing wrong with my memory, I just can´t get in contact with it reliably! Yesterday we passed the first eucalyptus tree and it was a great joy to me. Today we encountered some new plantations, which surprised me, since they have long since escaped into the Galician countryside and in some areas become the dominant species after having been introduced 90 or so years ago. Spaniards are not big on timber homes, concrete and brick being more their style, and their timber workers are just not geared to the use of such hard timbers. I guess they are using them for fuel.
Yesterday´s Pension was quite good and at only 10€, very popular among those who found it. Sabina from S Africa found it and brought her daughter Stephanie and me. I found the further 10 people. Why me and not the owners? The lass turned up at 10.35pm to collect the rent! If they just had someone hanging around the albergue they´d fill the place every night.
I ate out with Sabrina, Stephanie, and Sergio from Brazil. The pulpo was good but not as good as the first time. Apparently the best place to eat it is in Melide and since we passed through there today I think I´ve had my last octopus meal for a while. The Santiago tart is good and I´ve enjoyed several pieces. It´s an almond tart with a stencil of St J´s cross on top and is very popular.
I had my Carrix and sac transported to Arzua 29km away, dropping it off at 7:30am. Walking without it or a backpack is a relative breeze. Quite a bit of today´s walk was up and down hill and those with sacs were struggling. The transport man pronounced the Z in Arzua as a"t" with a touch of "th" to it.
Met up with Lee on the way. I was walking at 5km per hour and caught her after 2 hours. She had left at 6:00am. We were both pleased to see each other. Part of our conversation was on old time remedies. She has a book about rememdies grandma knew. Several concern the use of urine. She told me that for the first time today she tried one of the remedies. She used her own urine to wet her socks as she was walking using shoes she had not used for weeks. The idea is to prevent blisters. Hmm. So I told her of Jenny´s grandma´s diary in which she said that her mother kept a spotless house except for the cobwebs under the porch. These were used on cuts and abrasions to help the blood clot. Oh, said Lee, I use onions for that. Apparently she cut her finger to the bone once, grabbed an onion and found the membrane between the layers. She then pinched the skin together, pressed the membrane over the cut, and it healed with no scar! I left her at Melide as she was not sure how far she could walk, and I HAD to get to Arzua or be without all my necessaries. I hope to meet her again before I leave Compostela.
Then joy of joys bumped into Jean, Deanne, and Barry and walked along with them. Jean told me they were staying in Hostal Rua. After picking up the Carrix from a Repsol service station I found it was on the way. A room with baño is 25€. Fantastic. The hostal is nearly new and very nice indeed, but the baño was only a ducha - a shower not a bath. Still I had a really good shower and lay down for a bit. In fact, I went out to it for an hour. And here I am, on the computer in a new large facility that includes a children´s play area, a smaller version of Rare Bears in Hartwell.
I´ll head off to the albergue to see who´s there and then eat. It´s 6:40 pm now with the sun still shining as it will until after 10pm. This arvo as we walked Jean told me the stack with bells on it is a foxglove and she believes them to be wild. They are remarkably big since most wildflowers are quite small. The closer we got the more misty it became and the temperature has also dropped. I hope this does not indicate a change to rain. We have been very fortunate so far and are quite happy to remain fortunate, thanks very much.
Tomorrow I expect to walk only 18 km to Arca which will leave 14 or so to Monte de Gozo. This is a monster facility to accommodate 2800 pilgrims plus those who camp. The first night is free and there are buses to Compostela so both those ideas attract. I don´t expect to be many days in Compostela. The arrangement is to meet friends outside the cathedral on Saturday, 7pm and I´ll go there on Sunday at 7pm as well. Then will begin the grand tour, and frankly I have no idea where or what I will go and see. There´s too much! sob.
And with that note of pretend regret, I move on.
All the best to you

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