Last couple of days have each been 30km, taking us 11 hours, crawling into town at 6pm. Despite the sweary soliloquys amongst the grapevines, there is something beautifully simple about waking up and strapping on your backpack; your only task to walk until the end of day, find a room, find a restaurant that does a pilgrim's menu and go to bed.
JOur ninth day walking on the Camino. Today an old lady in her housedress saw me and made the sign of the cross ...is that a good thing?
Every day you follow the yellow arrows and the sign of the scallop shell on the road. All the pilgrims are given scallop shells in St jean in France as well as passports which are stamped by the hostels and hotels. In the olden days, pilgrims were allowed to scoop the scallop shells into whatever was cooking in the homes of the villagers. Some pilgrims were sentenced to do the Camino and died along the way.
Sometimes we are so knackered we dont even get the arrows right. These lovely fellows had to whistle us into the right direction.
We've been staying in private rooms in hostels and Albergues (between 35 to 40 euros) sometimes sharing bathrooms. The dorms are 10 to 15 euros. Last night we tried a dorm with three beds, but at the last minute i chickened out and paid for the third bed. I'm not sure anyone is ready for our disco travel sheets.
In oakland news, Friends went out to Bay Wolf restaurant for their special Camino menu. I didnt recognise anything on the menu from our Pilgrims Meals ( cost 7-12 euros for three courses including wine) but as they say here "everyone has their own camino" The best meal we've had here was this mixta salad and trout.
Our kids slept through the 6.0 earthquake, but bloggy friend in Napa Edgar of Simple Images says it made a real mess but his family is okay.
Thought I would do Monty Pythin-esque "what is your name and what is your quest" to a few of the people we meet.
Name: Eric, Australian, 80 years old, staying in dorms. Heart condition. Carrying 27 ibs!
Eric did the Camino five years ago with step-daughter. He has been carer for his wife for four years but after three Camino-related coincidences he decided he must do it again. He and his wife decided if something happens to him " carc it" he will be cremated here. " No one is flying home!"
What he's learned: "whatever you need, the Camino will provide. "
Just don't call him an inspiration: " I don't want to be anyone's role model " Eric told us over lentils, fish fingers and rioja (his dr told him to drink one glass a day)
Next day another new friend, Sonja from Brazil said: "Eric is the King of the Camino!" Ssh.... Just don't tell Eric that if you see him...