Santiago de Compostela
I love being in Santiago. This day was bright and sunny, no rain. I usually see plenty of rain here in May/June.
Sue invited me to join her (and others) for breakfast at the Parador. The Parador is on the Praza do Obradoiro next to the Cathedral and it is the most expensive hotel in SdC. Desayuno for one is €20, I am not sure of the exchange rate but maybe it is around $30. It was good to be with the folks and experience the Parador but it was not worth the money for the food. I said my farewells and went by taxi to the train station.
At breakfast a couple joined us. They proudly announced that they had walked their camino, 100 kms in two days (arriving just hours earlier after walking 55 kms). Then the guy had the audacity to mention that he will write a book about the camino. Come on, he knows little about the camino and/or pilgrims - what with walking in the dark and going so fast. What could he learn? He said he suffered no blisters, no aches and pains. I think he could not be a witness to courageous people walking with a multitude of obstacles. However, she had blisters, aches and pains, and was exhausted. What a jock! I certainly would not want to buy this book.
It was a nice slow journey to Ponferrada, not a high speed train, and I remembered being in Peru with the clickety-clack as the train rolled along toward my destination.
Last night I was sitting alone when an Irish couple came along and the waiter could not understand their drink requests, so I helped, the waiter smiled and gave me a thumbs up from behind the menu that he was holding. They were ordering a Cuba Libre and for some reason the Spanish have trouble hearing Bacardi and coke, as my friend Lisa say´s ... we put the wrong em-pha-sis on the wrong syl-ab-le. The Irish couple, Mary and Paul, asked me to join them. I had a delicious Pizza Tropical, nice thin crust and it almost compensated for Caroline´s tease of roast beef.
Villafranca del Bierzo
I waited for tienda LA TAU to open before going to the bus station but it must open on Spanish time, it did not open this morning. I have been searching for a Templar Cross since I arrived in Spain, it would seem they are only available in Ponferrada at this one particular shop, La Tau.
I arrived in VF around 12:45 and checked into a small hotel for this night, my last night of baño privade (private bathroom). I walked up the hill to the Albergue Ave Fenix to check that my services would still be useful to them, they are. I start volunterring tomorrow so I will enjoy this quiet night as from tomorrow I will be staying at the Albergue, sharing space with others.
My one day observation is that there are more pilgrims in VF in May than there is now. This week is the week for the pilgrims who want to be in Santiago for the festivities to be walking through and really, it is quiet compared to May. Let me get back to you on this one when I am tired and exhausted after a days work tomorrow.