Sat, Oct 6 2012 - San Mamed to Vilacha - 25 km
A delightful day through small villages in Gallicia. Most of them didn´t have the name posted, so it was hard to keep track of where I was, though Gallicia has concrete signposts every 500 km, with the supposed distance to Santiago. Yesterday, from one post to another, they added 5 km ( very disturbing!) and they still are not correct, according to my guidebook, so I expect another correction soon.
In order to get a compostella, one needs to have walked at least the last 100 km, so there were many pilgrims starting today in Sarria. I saw one group leave the Hotel Alfonzo at 9am, with their teeny backpacks. But even though they started out in a group, they soon disperse, and the road was no more crowded than usual. I walked the last 2 hours with a group of 4 women from Calgary, who had just started their Camino. It made the last 8 km much easier to bear. It seems after lunch, the body just plows on, like a machine, but it is tougher going than when I am fresh in the morning.
I saw a group of young men today that I have seen many times. They sometimes stay where I stay, and are walking about the same distance as me. Of course they walk much faster than me, but I keep catching up, and finding them drinking beer at the roadside bars. I don´t drink the beer, as I can´t walk with alcohol in the system, and it is possible to consume a lot of calories in beer, if it is your primary hydration method.
Speaking of alcohol, I am sitting in Gordon´s beautiful 2 story, log ceiling salon/dining room, sipping a glass of very local wine. Apparently he likes the new wine, which is consumed within a few months, and is made in stainless steel rather than oak. He prefers to avoid the oak taste. Plus, as it is not made to keep, it has no sulfites, so if preferable. I am not a conniseur, but I am enjoying this wine with my blogging. Please blame any mistakes on the wine. He is making chicken paprikash, with local red peppers. I can hardly wait!
I met Gordon on my first Camino in 2007. At that time he had bought his place, and named it Casa Banderas, for the flags he hung outside. It has taken him 7 years, from purchase to the first paying pilgrims in April of this year. The dorm is lovely, there are disposable sheets, and the shower is totally amazing! I has a choice of 3 water streams: a regular handheld, a rain shower head in the ceiling of the shower stall, and a seat with jets that pulse on your back. And it is painted an amazing red! And there is a clean bath mat! It might never get better than this, at least in an albergue. There is a roof over the drying area! And I was met with a warm welcome, as we are facebook friends.
So I sign off in a very happy haze (already!)
Have wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, with many blessings
Stomach: I think the meusli supplied by the albergue this morning was mostly wheat flakes. I ached most of the day, but am better now - is it the wine?