Milladoiro, 8k outside of SantiagoJune 19 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 61 °F
Milladoiro is a strange town, after walking through so many small villages or cities that evolved slowly from medieval times until now (with narrow cobbled alleys and stone bridges). Instead, Milladoiro looks like it was built all at once with only cost and convenience in mind. Lots of tall apartment buildings and straight plotted wide streets.
As I neared town, I started looking for available accommodations to get out of the rain. One was called the "Venus Motel" and there was a pink sign that said "Si amor no existe, Hace lo. " I decided to give that one a pass.
I walked in the rain all day and was so glad I was in sandals instead of shoes. Others squelched by in wet shoes and socks, stepping gingerly around puddles. Me and a Japanese guy who was also in sandals splashed through the mud and then waded through fountains to clean our feet. At the albergue now, everybody elses’ wet shoes, with insoles removed, are propped along a wall (not) drying.
The albergue is nice, run by a young, very friendly Cuban guy and everything looks new and well-organized. Next door was a boring, pilgrim-catering café with the same usual food. I sat outside and eavesdropped on three pilgrims at the next table, two young men and a woman. One looked Asian, one who I met before I knew was German and I don’t know what the other two were, but I had the feeling they had recently met and what they had in common was Smoking Cigarettes. The only common language they had was something I didn't understand, so I had a hard time keeping up, but kept hearing them say “Chi-Bee-Dee.” Over and over, like little birds. What could that be?? Finally I heard the word “cannabis” and realized they were discussing CBD oil. So I butt in and forced them to speak English, while I held court on all I knew about cannabis derivatives.
Earlier in the day, I ran into Father John, walking in the rain in his long black robe, which I doubt is quick-dry, tech fabric. He and his small group had earlier walked 5 kilometers off the route to the Herbo Franciscan monastery outside of Padron that offers lodging. They had been really looking forward to staying there. But a bus full of tourists arrived just in front of them and got all the beds, so they were turned away. I said, "So you couldn't even play the ‘Padre Robe’ card?" He said no, they'd already closed the door. Big disappointment and Fr John had been dying to see some Franciscans.
I bought a big umbrella today at a "China" shop.
The picture below of the water basin with slanted slats on both sides was built for women to meet and wash clothes. Each village has one. The Japanese guy and I, in shorts and sandals, splashed through it, showing off for the shoes and boots crowd.Read more