Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Camino bore, day 5. 'With God's help...'

Spain is always warm
Ayegui to Torres del Rio. Tues 4th May 2010. Seemed a long and arduous day, 27 km, wind, rain, hail, lotta mud. One of those days when the villages ahead seemed to get no bigger however much you walked. Vineyards. Olive groves. Reached Los Arcos cold & exhausted. I quote:
"[Los Arcos] is the last town in the kingdom of Navarre, but the wind and rain were so terrible we could go no further. With God's help we reached Los Arcos and sheltered there from the rain while we dried our clothes... this is a truly well-fortified place, and well-kept and there are plenty of things like fruit and vegetables in the main square, and good bread." (This is from the pilgrim diary of Italian pilgrim Domenico Laffi in the 17th C).
We fared as well as he did at Los Arcos, and my own journal notes that we had a most wonderful apple-and-custard pie outside, and then dived into a bar and had a most wonderful ham sandwich and coffee. The preoccupations of pilgrims do not change.

But that night we had what was the most memorable pilgrim meal, with a large multinational group of us, and David being very silly in several languages at once. Real food, could not be more different from the previous night's! Asparagus, salmon, proper custard... I tried very hard, and smiled a lot, especially at Michael below, who was Italian, and (pointing to my thighs) asked me 'How are your hams?' I said my hams were fine, but I was having trouble with my blisters. Fab albergue - had curtains, shelves even,  and was not made of concrete, and the bunks had rails so things could be dried; simple things that make all the difference.

"How are your hams?" Michael

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