Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Weeks or 300 Miles Warranty

Final thoughts on a Wednesday night in León. . .

I received some bad news from my cousin Amadita, her brother Alexis passed away on Tuesday. Alexis was probably seven or eight years older than us and I remember staying at their home in San Antonio de los Baños in Cuba when I was about 13 years old. I thought that Alexis was quite the dashing man-about-town, the kind of person I wanted to be someday. Those days in San Antonio de los Baños would have to qualify as my "Rosebud" days.

We went to the restaurant that Jason highly recommended only to find that it didn't open until 8:30 which is way past our bedtime. DAMN! It sounded so good. Instead we had excellent grilled salmon and an orange chocolate cheesecake that was outstanding!

I attended the devotional back at the convent in their chapel. After we sat down, a parade of 20 nuns came out of the sacristy and sat down in front of us. They were all clones. . . five feet tall, 65+ years old, shuffling not walking. Then a 21st person came out of the sacristy. She was attractive, about 25, five foot nine, wearing black jogging suit pants and a clinging white top showing an inch of midriff. Additionally, she was bra-less and apparently quite happy to be at the devotional. She knew all the words and appropriate gestures and at the end marched out with the nuns.

Thank goodness I was on anti-inflammatories.

León to Villar de Mazarife
23.1 km/14.4 miles
TimeWalked, 4:42

Total DistanceWalked, 495.1km/307.7 miles
TotalTimeWalked, 119:59
21Nightsin Albergues, 115 Euros

Distanceto Santiago de Compostela
303.5 km/188.6 miles

The six of us walked out of the albergue at 7:00 a.m. sharp. The first two hours of today's journey was on city streets through León and its suburbs. The landscape is definitely changing for the better.

Once we got to our destination, the eclectic Albergue de Jesús in Villar de Mazarife, population 400, we were able to get settle in quickly to our quirky surroundings.

They have a Viking ship with a cattle skull masthead in the entryway and a mushroom grotto from Alice in Wonderland as well. The walls are covered with inspirational sayings and drawings. The lyrics to "Blowing in the Wind" are above my bed.

Our host is a funny guy, he put the six of us in a room with only six beds. That's Julie, Trine, Ruth, Jaime, Jillian and me sharing one room. As he did this he looked at me and said ". . . bendito eres entre todas las mujeres. . ." The translation is from the Hail Mary, ". . . blessed art thou amongst women. . ."

I met an interesting woman from England on the plaza named Antonia, call me Tiggy. She was reading Miguel Cervantes' "Don Quixote." We had a great one hour talk on a bench on the plaza just watching the world go by as we discussed Quixote, Spain, our travels on the Camino and even the politics of Cuba. You meet such fascinating people on the Camino!

Today I passed two landmarks, the end of my third week of walking the Camino and having now walked over 300 miles.

Who would have thought. . .

Vamos Bien!



Ryan Bolland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Bolland said...

I trust that you and your photodocumentary ways did not fail us whilst at the devotional?

steveswindle said...

"Thank goodness I am on anti-inflammatorys"....I spit coffee out of my nose laughing at THAT one!!!!

Congrats on the 300 mile mark Geo.....what a milestone!!

I didn't know you've been to Cuba....I hope to go there one day too, though the Cuba I have read som much about over the years is no longer. Still, one can have dreams, no? Have you read the book "Mi Moto Fidel"? It is about a guy who rides his BMW motorcycle across Cuba....great read!!!!
It keeps me excited and motivated about my retirement plans to ride the spine of the Andes with friend when I leave the fire department....sort of like your Camino, only less stenuous....I think.

Keep up the great work're doing awesome!!

BTW....Westlake completely spanked TO last night, 31-3....ouch. Westlake sure looked like the number one rated team in SoCal for sure.

George said...

Mi Moto Fidel is an even better read after reading Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara, great contrast and compare.

We'll talk about some sedition when I get back home.

George said...

Photographs at the end of the month, I'm only at 1,000 so far.

steveswindle said...

NO NO sedition....I'm a Veteran for crying out loud!!!!