Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Distance: 25.7 km
6:30 – Man, was that ever a great bed! Memory foam! In a hostel! Wow!
6:35 – Now that I’ve been awake for five minutes, I suspect the mattress was just a $5 hunk of regular old upholstery foam from Casa Depot. My standards are clearly slipping. Maybe even shot.
9:30 – I had a leisurely breakfast with a 72- year-old female doctor from Oakland, California. I would have been walking long before now if it weren’t for Anna’s endless tales of world travel, three Caminos, and a dozen volunteer positions with an organization similar to Doctors Without Borders.
Anna left a few minutes ago but I stuck around to book a hotel in Santiago. It’s a sleek looking boutique hotel that reminds me of the master bedroom in the Toronto house that I renovated and sold before starting this journey. The bathtub is exceptionally deep and might even have a view. I will probably hallucinate about that tub for the next 47 km.
13:50 – There are hundreds of potential renovation projects (money pits) scattered around northern Spain. In this neck of the woods they even come with calling cards left by local contractors. I’m sure many of these centuries old stone buildings will be snapped up by pilgrims and other foreigners within the next few years.
16:29 – I have been walking for two hours with a young engineer from Germany. Andre works on turbine installations all over the world and makes “ridiculous money” in his words. He spends most of what he makes on toys, beach vacations and entertainment. He has a house and two sportscars in Germany and a piece of lakefront property in Poland. The trouble is that he’s generally working in Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Brazil and he’s too busy to enjoy the fruits of his labour. After two weeks on the Camino Primativo and another four days on the Camino Frances, he’s very close to selling his cars, taking a year or two off work and traveling around the world while he figures out what he really wants to do with his life. Hmm.
17:35 – We were turned away by three albergues before Andre remembered a guidebook buried deep in his (massive) backpack. After hauling virtually everything out of his pack, we read about a private albergue that’s nearby but slightly off the beaten track.
18:10 – Thankfully they had two available beds at Casa Luisa. This 1960s era Brady-esque sidesplit is the home of a young actor named Diego and his wife and 18-month old daughter. They have set up bunk beds in the attached garage and make some cash by taking in and feeding pilgrims during the summer months.