Thursday, 19 May 2011

Camino bore, days 19 & 20 From Hospital to hospital.

Tuesday May 18th Hospital de Orbigo to Rabanal.
Terracotta 1
Terracotta 2

Oh dear - miss-spelled! But Irish seems to have so MANY letters in it, no wonder I went wrong.......

Yet another 'long straight road ahead', thankfully mountains in the distance.
Phew! I was worried that I was running out of visual images to include in the 'paper camino', but I needn't have worried! Today in 2011 I was rescued by having to sit in front of a nice little St James terracotta-coloured shell-cum-pilgrim cape logo, that of St James' Hospital, Dublin, the A & E dept. Mine Host had a bit of a funny turn, and that's where we spent around half of a 24 hour stretch, hence I had time to do a little sketch. The terracotta of the image was JUST the same colour as the terracotta jug holding the sangria that I'm drinking in the pic I would put here if I were not away from home. That was at Rabanal. The weather in 2010 has taken a turn for the better, and we were able to sit outside while I wrote my blog, (oops I mean my journal! - a happy slip-up of terminology there, and in fact, isn't a pilgrim journal, however ancient, a kind of blog?), looking very happy. We were very disappointed not to be able to get into the English albergue run by the Confraternity of St James; and this year they contacted us about something, and when they heard that, they were disappointed too, as I think they quite like it if the relatively few English folk manage to call in there. So we were not able to experience the taste of Old England and join a Queue at 5 pm for a cup of tea. The English albergue is in a building of Maragatos heritage. My memory of having read about them in the camino Pevsner-equivalent told me that they went about a lot on donkeys, and wore dangly earrings. (There'll be more on earrings in a future day's Bore Blog; the bit about it being a pity that I bought some just when I was in my phase of leaving no bouncey castle un-bounced on). See Wiki entry: and yes, I see dangly earrings.

At lunchtime in Dublin, I was able to meet up with a new camino friend, pilgrim Ruth. It was great to hear her experiences of doing the camino many, many times (get that folks!) and I gained a lot of useful information about the camino we have already done, and the one(s) to come. Thus my hope, my plan to do the camino with the book of psalms divided up into 40 portions for 40 days' walking did not seem at all far-fetched or self-indulgent, and so as soon as I get home I'm going to produce a printed copy of the psalms so divided which will be the one I'll take.

I note in the journal that D stands out in my mind as a kind of walking human sat-nav; he's constantly reciting a list of facts and figures, thus 'It is now X km between this stream and the last village we passed through, so  we are now walking at about 5 km per mile, and we are drinking water at 2 litres per day, and it is Y km to the next fuente so we'll fill our bottles up to half-full.....'

May 19th Day 20. Rabanal to Molinaseca.
This was a hot day. This would not seem worth remarking on in Spain, but this year it was, due to rotten weather so far. Pilgrim Ruth tells me that even into June, the weather was generally atrocious, so we were lucky to end up with a couple of decent-ish days at the end of May in Santiago. But we were never free of the need to carry winter woolies everywhere. But today, it was HOT, and the mountain we walked over was the scene of a mountain rescue operation, as some Spanish bloke had had too much (wine) to drink the night before, and didn't carry enough (water) to drink today, and so was dehydrated. We didn't see any of this happen, but news travels along the pilgrim grapevine.
Morning shadow pilgrims

Cistus on descent from El Acebo

Mountain rockery, cistus & lavender
The long straight road into Molinaseca.
We did a descent of about 1000 m, which was quite something, and this was down  a great hillside covered with cistus and lavender, like a ginormous rock garden. Pilgrim Ruth tells me that in many years of doing the camino, she has only seen it in flower like this twice, so we were obviously very lucky to do so.

Absolute luxury.
The refugio at Molinaseca was one of the best, like an airy Swiss chalet, with beds well-spaced out, not bunks, and notices forbidding attending to blisters in the dorms. My chief memory is of D spark out in the afternoon on a bed covered in nought but his white silk sleeping bag liner, snoring loudly. A couple of women in the opposite corner were having a good giggle at this, and I was torn between wanting to leave sleeping dogs lying, and wanting to make the place sleepable in for others. I think he got a reputation along the camino of being one of the principal snorers. Our other labels being 'The English' and 'The Laughing Pilgrims'; crikey, what does that say about the rest?

But now I have to go and get myself ready to go out to the film 'The Way'. I'm hoping to recognise many places along the way. It's great to be seeing it in Ireland, as we met many Irish pilgrims. There'll be more on this anon....

But crikey, I can't stand this picture-less blog; I'll have to come back to these pages and replace the missing pics. [I have!]


  1. Delightful pun there - the one about the over wine-indulged and dehydrated Spaniard being known via the pilgrim grapevine...:-)

  2. '5 km per mile'

    I see the kilometre has been devalued against the ile, then. I always said these furrin measurements wouldn't last....

    I realise I have POWER - I could make some absolutely DREADFUL embarrassing comment for all your readers to goggle at:-) How's THAT, Vita?:-))))