Saturday, January 15, 2011

(Not) Jumping the Curb, Groupies, Catnip Sandwiches, Tribbles, and Bagpipes – Oh My!

Day 13 – Monday, October 4th – 17.5 miles to Palas de Rei
Day 14 – Tuesday, October 5th – 16.8 miles to Arzua
Day 15 – Wednesday, October 6th – 13.8 miles to Rua

You might want to get some coffee. This is gonna be a long one.

Or you could belly up to this Coke machine…specially designed to appeal to thirsty, caffeine deprived pilgrims.

Another door…

Kathie took this cool pic. It looks like a bunch of churches huddled together, doesn’t it? Actually, those crosses are on graves.

We kept wondering what these things were and pretty much settled on grain storage as the most likely explanation. This one is a bit shabby but there were some made of stone and quite beautiful.

On Monday evening, Kathie and I were coming back – in the dark – from the grocery store to our hotel. Suddenly, the sidewalk dropped off in front of us down to a driveway crossing it and sloping steeply down to the right – Kathie’s side. Have you ever watched something happen – like in slow motion but so fast you can’t stop it? As Kathie went over the curb, I reached out and gasped “Kathie!” but to no avail. She landed on the drive below; how she wasn’t seriously hurt I will never understand. (Guess the Spanish aren’t as litigious as we are over here; the risk manager at the hospital where I work has the Engineering guys smooth over quarter inch grade changes in the sidewalk so visitors won’t trip over them.)

Throughout this week of walking, Elene shared with us spiritual/thought-provoking readings from books she had brought with her from home. On Tuesday morning, I found this in our guidebook and thought it was so appropriate I shared it with the rest of the group:

Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. “Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” Linda Hogan

Nice, that one.

Another door to add to Kathie’s collection.

Can you see the group image in the convex traffic mirror at the right side of this photo?

And yes, that lady is herding her sheep along the lane, coming right at us.

As I said in a previous post, JJ is like Kathleen in that he knows no strangers. He has a great sense of humor, a genuine interest in others, and a big ol’ smile that could melt Scrooge’s heart. EVERYONE along the trail knew him by name. As Kathie and I were coming out of the hotel the last morning on the trail, a lady pilgrim we’d seen several times over the past few days approached us. (Pilgrims can’t pass each other without a little chitchat.) She didn’t seem to recognize us until we mentioned we were with JJ. “Ohh, yes – you’re with JJ!” she smiled.

What were we – chopped liver?

But I digress – here’s JJ with his Polish pilgrim pals in Melide. They insisted on a pic with him.

Here JJ demonstrates filling up your water bottle at one of the many fuentes along the trail.

On Wednesday morning, Kathie stopped and stooped down to get a photo of this light ginger tabby cat and his spunky canine sidekick. That cat was on top of Kathie so fast you’d think she had a dozen catnip and tuna finger sandwiches stuffed in her pack or something.

Here and there we saw these fuzzy balls lying on the ground – oodles of them, in fact. Kathie thought they looked like tribbles from the old Star Trek series. (I believe they’re actually chestnuts. The fact that they were clustered around chestnut trees was kind of a dead giveaway.)

And here’s Kathie with her new boyfriend. I was half way to the next town before I realized that she, Elene, and JJ were chatting with this gentleman way behind me. Seems the old guy was quite taken with Kathie and wasn’t going to let her get away easily.

There were lots of eucalyptus forests along the way.

On Wednesday afternoon, we thought we heard bagpipe music floating on the breeze. Huh? Kathie’s Celtic ear led her into a pub alongside the trail. Inside, a young boy – was he 12 or 13, Kath? – was playing a bagpipe for the customers. You’re likely to see (and hear) just about anything on the Camino.

Here’s Jennie all bundled up and ready to go out to terrorize Rua. We persuaded her to stay and have lunch with us on the sunny porch of our hotel instead.

If you walk the Camino, you’re going to develop blisters on your piggies, heels, soles – just about anywhere and everywhere on your poor feet. So bring a LOT of moleskin and a little pair of scissors to cut it with. Kathie and I spent a bunch of time every morning getting our padding/bandages just right.

Tomorrow – on to Santiago.

P.S. Somewhere along the way, I came up with my own spiritual saying:
The advantage of rain on the trail is that you can pretty much pee anywhere because your poncho covers everything, even your naked tushie. Pat of Pat and Kathie


Katharine said...

You're crackin' me up again.

And your toe job was a helluva lot neater than mine.

Pat said...

Honey, life is a crackup.

And my heel job was a huge mess, remember?

Kathleen said...


Pat said...

Yeah, Kathleen - I expected to see blood and broken teeth when she stood back up. If it was there, she was hiding it well!