Saturday, 14 May 2011

Camino bore, day 15

Carrion to Terradillos de los Templarios; oh dear no; to San Nicolas del Real Camino.
Some of my scissors, and the ricrac bought at Santo Domingo
I begin today with a pic of a hangar in Binbrook, which is a lot bigger than this pic suggests; it could be a garden shed, and ought to have been photographed with something to show the scale of the thing. For some reason (if you look at the Binbrook link in yesterday's blog) there are people who collect cockpits and things, and I'm not of that ilk, and all of my collections  are of a very domestic kind. By today I will have carried my 7 metres of cerise ric-rac for 6 days.

I'd like to live here!
Muslim-shaped hole
Thus, I was attracted to the little houses in the hill that we passed today at Moratinos. I made contact with my inner hedgehog, thinking how I'd like to live in one. I record Moratinos as 'a broken-down kind of a place with many adobe walls, & impeccable hovels built into the hillside'. The name Moratinos, according to my guide (The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Culrural Handbook, Gitlitz & Davidson, St Martin's Griffin, New York 2000) suggests that the town once had (in the 16th C) a Muslim, or converted Muslim ("morisco"), population, and you can see hints of this in the now bricked-up hole in the wall.

David's ability to speak Spanish was useful today, as when we arrived at Terradillos de los Templarios, the inn was already full, and we had to decide whether to go on another 6 km to San Nicolas del Real Camino, or whether to double back to the Crossroads-motel-like new albergue we'd passed on the way in. Thanks to him phoning ahead, we were able to guarantee beds, though we felt uneasy about doing this, but it was 'realistic' to do so (= 'I think this may be sinful'). We were starting to see the skewing effect of many pilgrims having their luggage transported by the 'Jacotrans' outfit. They were able to send on their pack, and so be lighter and faster in their step, and arrive at a booked-ahead bed ahead of those who'd done the more authentic pilgrim thing of labouring on carrying all, and travelling in hope.

Was feeling very ropey on arrival, tried to sleep, but there were some very noisy people about - really, pilgrims in the late afternoon ought to know better. There's some description of peeling of Compeed dressing from my oozing foot, and the underneath of the foot bearing resemblance to tripe, and the application of some antibiotic cream donated by a fellow-pilgrim.

There was something about today - the guide book says of one place 'The abbey is now an abandoned farm' - and it puts one in mind of airfields turned into (perhaps about to be abandoned) business parks. Perhaps this adaptation and re-use of places and things is a sign of hope, but in the in-between times of abandonment can inspire bleak Ozymandiassy thoughts. But one ought to be up-beat and think how the 'good' bits of old garments can be salvaged and re-used in new creations. But humanity seems to have made too much STUFF that refuses to wear out, and there is a lot lying around that can't be re-used because of that, it's just superfluous and perhaps will be shovelled into holes in the ground. (I remember reading a book quoting with approval that it was easier for a shop to throw out all the Christmas decs and buy new than to go to the bother of dismantling and storing the already-there stuff. It was that bloke's book  on how to do housework more efficiently in the 70s & 80s, can anyone remember him (Don Aslett)? Thank God we've moved on - I think). Camino thoughts ping-ponging around the head; leading where???

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