Is That Camino de Santiago with Two Breakfasts?
I haven’t quite worked out where the 2 breakfasts of Heather’s title fit in but I’m sure they’re bound to appear tomorrow. She’s obviously got carried away with the writer thing!! Go to it.
Hallo Everyone! The gentle art of two breakfasts.
Hope you are all enjoying a great Summer. Me? Never been so stress-free in all my life. Magic! I hope you´re all considering doing this.
Anyway, firstly, tomorrow soon after sunrise (don´t worry, it doesn´t happen very early) I will be at the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) which is near the highest point of the whole walk and where pilgrims are meant to place stones which they have brought all the way from home. I didn´t find out about this till yesterday but I found a stone that I thought Brent would like (purple with a stripe) and have carried it since then. Then I thought I can´t put one for Brent without one for Roanne and Martin so I spent a while scouring the ground as I was walking for good stones and now have one for each of you to put at the Cruz.
So – as to the subject of this e-mail – how to make 30 km last all day! I left Mazarife without breakfast as I often do (as I said before but is even more obvious now – once I´m away from restrictions of mealtimes I eat whenever I´m hungry and I´m rarely hungry till 10.00 ish). I begin to realise that I´m now in undulating country, hey hills!!! Good, good, good! Relished the early morning walking (photo) and then I went into a bar at Villavante. 9 km from the start is a good time to think about breakfast. And there in the bar were my Italian friends! Would you believe it! You know, one of them carries a pair of bongos and I could swear I´d heard them in the village last night but thought they´d taken a different route. Obviously not!
Anyway, my next stop was at Hospital de Orbigo (look that up on the net – it has a bridge with TWENTY arches – tell Phil, Mike!) It was stunning! I sat on a bench to eat a bit of this and that and it was at an option point of two different routes. I could have done a Candid Camera on everyone who came up to this point! 1) Look at two waymarks, in different directions 2) Get guide book out 3) Look up each way 4) Discuss 5) Point 6)) Listen to Heather (you old expert, you!) saying ´That way – boring and 15 km, this way beautiful and 17km´. In Spanish, of course. Then I usually add ´Don´t Blame me!´
I met a woman who is MORE indecisive than me. Gosh, isn´t it painful to see yourself reflected? She um-d and ah-d in French and came up with a THIRD option, that of going by the road and catching a bus. I said that The Camino would decide for her and she went on the boring-but-only-15km route. Blimey, someone had to make a decision for her.
Beautiful walking, upwards (hurray) then I come across David´s Bar. Up this hill, in the middle of bloomin´nowhere, he has a stall with a box to put in any contribution you´d like to make and an array of water melon, biscuits, juice, water, coffee…. and behind this his squat residence of definitely-a-project. Then a French woman arrives the traditional way with a DONKEY bearing all her stuff. Has the heat got to me or is this real?
Then Miso and Claudio arrive and on the way down I expound the theory behind the new religion I´ve invented. It´s called The Meseta Religion and it´s much simpler than Buddhist Meditation. I know Gill and Jackie are good at Meditation but I´m rubbish. (Concentrate on the candle, Heather, ´Wonder what I can have for tea tonight…´Heather ! Start again – the candle, Heather, the candle…). You know? And then you get cross with yourself when you shouldn´t because that´s not the Buddhist Way.
Well, my new religion lets your thoughts go free, wherever they want to, without distractions and NO getting cross with yourself because you´re allowed to think what you want anyway. As a result, you´re the calmest you´ve ever been.
What do you think, folks?
The serious bit is that, yes, I have given up work which was a HUGE stress, but I have never been so tranquil, so into looking at the different wild grasses and patterns of the leaves on the trees for as long as I can remember. How much is it giving up work and how much is it The Meseta Religion, I´ll never know!
Onwards – we descend to stop in San Justo de la Vega for coffee. By this time it´s about 4.00 and we have only 3 km to go till we reach Astorga. So I leave them and walk on.
Heck, this is long and I haven´t told you about the wonderful albergue in Astorga or what a beautiful city it is and about the fantastic Gaudi palace and museum. Or how I had a lovely time wandering and seeing some Roman mosaic floors and just sitting in the squares and having a huge pizza all myself!
I´d better do today´s write-up tomorrow, including more dawdling on the way, two breakfasts, staying in a room where outside, roaming free, are goats, hens, donkey and dogs. I attach photos of early morning walking, Marco, Maurizio and myself, Gaudi Palace.
I look forward to hearing your news everyone and Martin and Brent – is there any hopes of an e-mail or two?? I would be so happy. I mean, I´m carrying stones for you!
The book is beginning to get a structure on my walk…..
Sorry, only 1 photo. Out of time.
And sure enough the tale of two breakfasts is being held back for tomorrow’s instalment! I’m curious about the Italian guys and their bongos – tell us more Heather!