Monday, September 27, 2010

¿A Blister, on Day 32?


Ribadiso to Arca do Pino
22.2 km/13.8 miles
Time Walked, 5:20

Total Distance Walked, 778.0 km/483.4 miles
Total Time Walked, 188:00
32 Nights in Alberques, 192 Euros

Distance to Santiago de Compostela
20.6 km/12.8 miles


After a very cold night, Ste. Jillian and I shoved off at 7:06 a.m. for our daily stroll, this time to the exotic village of Arca do Pino, population again known only by the U.N.'s peace keeping forces.

It was really cold for the first three hours of our walk, so much so that when we took our mandatory Cafe con Leche break my fingers were absolutely numb and non-functioning.

At our stop, I saw a Spanish newspaper and found out many interesting bits of information. First, the weather in Los Angeles today should reach 35ºC which is well over 100ºF! Ouch!!!

Next, Briget Bardot turns 76 tomorrow. Damn! ¿How is that possible?

Finally, we missed a great opportunity as a group of about 100 men dressed in Roman Legion outfits led 200 cerebral palsy victims into Santiago de Compostela yesterday. Now that would have been a sight to see.

Irritating Things about España:

No. 1, "Casi" During the last four or five days on the Camino, this word is now seen painted next to the traditional Camino yellow arrows that guide our path. Casi means almost, as in you are almost there, as in you are ten minutes away in my mind. No, it means more like you only have 15 km to go today. I don't like it at all.

No. 2, ¨Bar 50 meters this way." In España, they have no clue about the metric system or how it is supposed to work. Any sign saying that you are only "X" meters away from something is not to be believed. For example, today's alberque was "only 100 meters" from the Camino. Ronnie Jenkins would have run out of gas long before he got to our albergue's front door. You could look it up.

No. 3, "Opens at 16:00" Nothing EVER opens on time in España! The other day I waited until after 16:25 for a church to open at 16:00 after the siesta. I left and it still wasn't open. Show up three seconds tardy from lunch at St. Phillip the Apostle School in Pasadena, California and Sister Mary Thomas Sadistic would have beaten my knuckles raw with an oak ruler!

We noted interesting blue arrows today on the Camino meant for pilgrims who are now walking back from Santiago de Compostela to St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France.


Today's gorgeous Galician walk was through a series of eucalyptus groves reminescent of the grove on U.S. 101 as you drive north near Salinas. Ste. Jillian and I got on the home food talk earlier than normal, it started at about the ten km mark. The subject today was apples, cold and crisp but of course. The unanimous winner was steaming hot French apple pie with a huge scoop of French vanilla ice cream melting deliciously and ever so slowly.

Better than BBQ pig's head if you ask me.

Upon arriving at the albergue about 40 minutes before their posted 1:00 p.m. opening, two things became apparent.

First, upon taking off my wonderful Timberland walking shoes, I discovered a brand spanking new blister on the outside of my right "ring finger" toe. AFTER 32 DAYS OF WALKING, NOW I GET A BLISTER!!! Fortunately, it is like the one I got on Day 2, not where I push off and non-painful. The Red Cross First Aid lady took care of me for free and I WILL hoof it into Santiago de Compostela tomorrow come what may, I've come too far not to!

Secondly, a Spaniard instantly took over the job of "Queue Franco" as we all waited for the albergue to open. God bless the new arrival that dared to greet friends who arrived earlier than they did. NO MERCY! Now remember, the albergue has 120 beds and the line had at the most 40 people in it. No one was stressed, we are in España after all and were chillin' to say the least with ONLY ONE DAY TO GO!


At lunch, we were all giddy at the prospect of having only one more short day to reach our goal, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in time for the noon Pilgrim's Mass. It promises to be an emotional moment. I started this walk 32 days ago as a lone pilgrim but have bonded closely with my new family of Camino Saints and loosely with many people along the way with very diverse lifestyles, cultures and nationalities. I could not have made it without their help, encouragement, laughter and mostly animos. The best things in life are definitely not things!

Speaking of today's lunch, we had a great waitress who served us an unbelievably good coffee, whiskey, cinnamon, milk and whipped cream drink that is the best Camino energy adult beverage that we have encountered period.

When I asked our waitress about the local dialect that I have had some difficulty with, she corrected me. It is not the Basque dialect at all, it is Gallego.

A week from today I land in Los Angeles, I can't wait to see Laurie again. YAHOO!!!!

Vamos Muy Bien y Con Muchos Animos!



Dick said...

Hard to believe that you are just one day away from completing your truly amazing journey. Can't wait to sit down with you, possibly over a cold beer (I'm buying) and hear more tales of the camino. I can only imagine the emotions that you will experience as you take your final steps.

itzbfitz said...

When you started talking about this adventure, I must admit I was a little more than concerned. Not that I didn't think you could do it--I've never underestimated your tenacity--but there are just so many things that can go wrong when you're walking 15 miles a day. Well, on the eve of your accomplishment, te deseo muchas felicidades, y esta bien tener un poquito de orgullo en tu exito!

Now, about the strange apparition of that blister. Was it in the shape of a shell? Just wonderin'...

Ryan Bolland said...