La Espina

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    • Day 54

      Alone in a crowd

      June 4, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Arrived footsore and weary today, amazing how accurate that term is - not knee sore or back sore or cold sore but aching in my feet ( no blisters or hot spot) just a lot of weight for a lot of miles.

      The back up Alberges (the third I tried) was empty when I arrived and I was too tired to walk down stairs so I just hung up clothes to dry and shed my boots and limped down to the supermercado for yogurt and oats, cheese and a roll ( that turned out to be stuffed with chorizo) and tomato and a selection of drinks, and chicken noodles soup. then cooked a yummy late lunch.i was just finishing when a hurricane of Spanish men arrived with way to much energy for having walked nearly 35 km. After thoroughly quizzing me they proceeded to talk at high speed and volume for the next 2.5 hours then left enmasse to ship out drink having made lunch (at 5 pm) I was tempted to leave and try somewhere else I think I've been a bit spoiled by the smaller intimate alberges we have been in to date but I decided to tough it out although I put myself in the other room with a single bunk bed.
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    • Day 26

      Impressions of Spain

      September 29, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌫 14 °C

      Although Spain is very much like the United States in many ways, I certainly do not forget that I am in a foreign country while I'm here; there is so much that is different. I have been surprised at how very rural the areas I've been walking through have been. Even when there are big cities, there are farms, cows, horses, right up until the city and almost immediately after. There is very little urban sprawl, and in the smaller towns there are absolutely no gas stations, no chain stores. Even in the large cities I rarely saw a McDonald's or Burger King, and never anything like Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. Every small town has its own bar/café, and usually a bakery, pastry shop, and a meat shop.

      The people appear to be quite healthy, but of course I'm not seeing the ones sitting on the couch eating Cheetos. I see a lot of older men taking walks, not so much women. There are a lot of bicyclists, again mostly male. However, there is an enormous amount of smoking, and it's rare to be able to sit at an outside café and not have someone smoking right next to you.

      The Spanish are very family oriented and in the evening I enjoy watching children with their parents and grandparents in the plazas. The children seem to be willing to appear in public with their families at an older age then we see in the United States. I also see a lot of older people in wheelchairs who are eating out with their families or just being taken for walks, which seems unusual to me.

      I'm not sure how faithful they are to it but there are recycling bins in every small town, although certainly not in the hostels. I have seen some windmills, no solar panels. I was interested to see them harvesting algae one day and asked about it, as I thought they were putting it on the fields for fertilizer. It turns out that they put it on the fields to dry and then they package and sell it, largely to the Japanese, for food or food additives.

      In general people are very friendly and very helpful, especially to pilgrims. One day I was walking in the morning, caffeine deprived and looking forward to my 1st cup of coffee. I knew that there was a bar in a small town coming up so went looking for it. I was happy to see the table and chairs so set down my knapsack and went in the open door. There I found a somewhat confused woman who said that it was her house, and that the bar in the town was closed. But she then invited me in, made me some cafe con leche, opened a box of cookies, and sat down and chatted with me. She was so amazingly hospitable. I told her she would be in my blog. (Her name is Nieves, which means snows).

      Today I got a bonus beach day as the only way to get from where I was to Lugo, where I am meeting my team, was to go up to the coast and then take another bus tomorrow morning. The weather wasn't great but I enjoyed walking by the ocean again. And tomorrow, with any luck at all, I'll be with Janet, Seikah, and Chris, doing the last hundred kilometers into Santiago!
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    • Day 16

      Slightly charred

      September 20, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Today's KMs - 26.4 kms
      Total KMs - 308.9 kms
      Total blisters - 7 (all popped or healed 😊) + bung ankle (still)

      It was a hot walking day today. One difference between the Camino del Norte and Primitivo seems to be the amount of open walking you do which is great in the morning but is really hot in the afternoon. The Norte had more forest and sheltered walking. So, I'm beyond tanned - I'm slightly charred 🥵... I think I would even say that Simon has tanned legs!

      The walk out of Grado was uphill but everyone from the albergue started early so we were on the road by 7am. Most of the valleys below us was full of fog so it was a bit spooky walking with just our head torches.

      We arrived at Sala by lunch time which was meant to be our final destination so we couldn't resist walking further on to the next large town, La Espina, where we'll stay for the night. More uphill awaits us tomorrow plus it’s forecast to rain 😏 .... on a more positive note though, we are over the 300km mark!
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