Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday. Kathy in the mist!

Hello All

Wish I had the facility to post photos! today has been absolutely beautiful county side .... from midlands style, to the starkness of the country side as you travel through Grabouw in the Cape, to little hamlets, to dairy farms (real small style) to mielie fields, vineyards etc etc. Frequently on the side of the path there were information boards that told the reader in Spanish and English a little about what there was to see. I saw water mills that date from who knows when, a little fortified town first known tohave been settled in 60BC!, although most of the buildings now are are reconstructed from stone available in the area, a house still standing that was built in the 1500 (apparently the oldest original house in the area), a bridge where the local monks and priests tried to keep Napolean at bay, to no avail, and they were all killed by his troops .... all the history is just overwhelming. But .....

It was a tough day. My watch gave up the ghost at 32km, so I walked a little blind, but think I did 35km today, working on 5km per hour that I seem to be managing today. The way marking was there, but one had to search for it, and I spent much of my day, evertytime I got to some kind on T junction looking for the yellow arrow or bollard with scallop shell on it. Also the paths were rough, rocky and rutted, and the little coutry roads had terrible camber and good old pot holes. But - thats the only complaint. It was also wet and Kloof rainy or misty and I never took off my 2 long sleeve tops and chill cheater all day, although the sun did pop out from the clouds for a minute of 2 every hour. There were also very few bar cafes - I knew this, but did miss a nice warm coffee now and again. I had stocked up with lunch provisions as suggested in Negreira, and at 12h30 sat on a stone by the side of the road and had a whole wheat roll with cheese and sliced tomatoe - all carried to the spot. I also had a peach, and for pĆ¹dding had half of the rock cake that I´d been carrying since Santiago. While rather tasty, I think the rock cake was probably better eaten on the day of purchase, and the blinking thing weighed a ton! I also carried extra water, so was really weighed down with luch and liquids ... but tomorrow I´m back to visiting bars. Today was a cheap round! .... 1 E for a coffee on route, and 1 E for a bottle of water at the only bar. Tonight I will have a pilgrim menu here at As Pais in Olveiroa 12 E, and they serve breakfast from 6.30... so will do that too.

This little hamlet where the accommodation is all of 6 - 8 houses, this is the only bar cafe, and this place )my accommodatio for the night) only has 4 rooms. I´m paying 42 E for the night for my individual status in a lovely room that has been lovingly and carefully decorated in a restored house from yonks ago. There are also 32 beds at the albergue. There was a mad rush out of Nergreira this morning by pilgrims knowing they had to get to the albergue before it filled up! or face walking further..... I think if I came back (when I come back?) I will really do the book ahead trick and pay the extra for accommodation. I really don´t think it can be much fun racing for beds in an albergue that is rather basic. But to each his own ...Its often a case of 5 E in an Albergue versus 42 E in a room and its an economic decision rather than anything else.

I´ve met some interesting people .... and walked a little of the way with each. A girl, my age?, who left her home in Holland at the end of Feb, and has been walking for the last 4 months. She will walk to Muxia and tavels home this weekend from Santiago. She says she has now had enough walking, is tired, and wants to return to her familiar routine. Spanish ways are getting to her she says. Late nights, bread as standard pilgrim food, dinner at 8 or 9 etc. A yound Irish lass (22) who has walked the portugeuse way (spelling!) and will also walk to Muxia before going home this weekend. Her mother came with her to Lisbon, walked 2 days of the camino with her to see what it was all about, then retuned home. She says her mom was happy enough that she could come to no real harm, was being sensible and employing her common sense, so left her to get on with it. A man from Sweden who is doing his 4th camino in as many years. He came into Santiago on the Camino North route, and is also going to Finnesterre before returning home. Interesting to note, was that while I noticed few women yesterday walking to Negreira, lots of women were out today walking this section. I think they were all determined to get a bed, and got up really early to start walking .....

So .. here I sit, showered and coffee´d out. I must go and do my washing and see where to hang it on my room to get dry. Supper is at 6.30 yes!! and an interesting pilgrim menu. Think I might just do the wine trick tonight (included in the meal), as all I have to do is climb some stairs to my room and lovely double bed. There is not that much to do here (read nothing to do here!), so will probably have a snooze before dinner, then watch some TV to improve my Spanish (joke!) and then go down and wait for supper. After supper .. its back to bed for me. I really have tired feet today.

Next time I walk here I´ve decided I´ll try and get a bird book. I´ve heard cuckoos, seen the local version of our yellow billed kites, seen crows, starling types, heard and seen red eye dove types, seen robins, mossies, and thrushes by the dozen. There are also lots of LBJs (little brown jobs) that make lots of noise but are hard to spot, and once spotted are just LBJs. I would like to know more about the birds actually. There have been lots of dogs today .. and often not tied up luckily .. they bark at me as I walk past there homes. Lots of fowl runs, horses in stables and fields, cows being milked, or walked to their day pastures, turkeys, geese, ducks and the usual barn cats.

Unsure if I told you about the local animal rescue society who were collecting money in Santiago. We had seen, and Sylvia had speoken about the many dogs that follow pilgims, stray dogs or dogs that are tired of their tough farm life maybe, to Sanigo or where ever. Its something that worries me .. but there is an organization that rescues dogs like this and tries to re-home them. Well, in Santiago on Saturday they had a stall, a few of the dogs and were raising money for this good cause. The people were all young adults, and they had posters up, were talking to interested passers by, and every dog had a little waistcoat thing on with a tin for moeny. Well. they did rather well out of me the day, and every dog got a special kathy hello. I´m so pleased that someone is doing something. Then while waiting for dinner last night I read the paper (ha ha - looked at the local spanish Sunday newspaper and tried to recognize people in the photo) and saw a lovely photo and write up of teh animal rescue societies fund raising efforts in Santiago. Lets hope animal welfare gets more coverage here.

Well ... thats all I can think of for now. So nice to see the comments! keep them coming please. Its the one way I stay in contact with ´home´. I´m so pleased so many friends back home are taking the time to read my ramblings and post a comment, and I know others are just reading. Keep up the contact and interset. If you want to know anything post a comment and ask and I´ll see if I can answer.

Tomorrow I walk to Cee and Corcubion on the coast, then Finnesterre on Wednesday. The weather predicted does not look promising )see what you learn when you watch the TV news), but I´ll continue walking as I have a warm dry bed booked for every night. I also hoping that the larger Finnesterre hotel does laundry and I´ll have a big wash there. My jeans are now standing up by themselves just about!


1 comment:

joan said...

Hi Kathy,
Last night at session we were saying wwe would like to see more pictures and now I read this morning that you wished you could post pictures. We will have to see them all when you get back.
enjoy your last few days