Day 14: Total distance 12kms. Total ascent: 267m
Weather: Cloudy and cool. Temperature: 23
Thankfully Hospital da Cruz is the name of the hamlet we are staying in and there have not been any other unplanned visits to hospital. Hospital is just 12km from Portomarin, but it is mostly an uphill trudge – or so it felt! The weather closed in as we walked this morning, and the rain arrived at the albergue just after we did. We were thankful to avoid the rain, although it only lasted half an hour at the most. Having spent the night in a large dorm with three or four finalists for “noisiest snore of the Camino” competition, we were all feeling a bit weary! It is amazing how many people snore! It must be a good 15-20% of the population! And why is it that snorers seem to sleep so well, and snore so much of the night? In fact, I have come up with the idea that each pilgrim ought to have to undergo a “sleeping noise” assessment before being allowed to book into an albergue…. and all the noisy sleepers get a privileged dorm of their own. Their credential (albergue passport) could be colour stamped to indicate the “noise risk” to other sleepers. Ah, how the tired mind drifts!
So the day’s walk was short and uneventful – and yes, still very busy! I am sure you are wondering about the results of yesterday’s quiz. OK, so you most probably aren’t on the edge of your seat over it, but here are the results with our observations that you might hopefully find interesting.
1. When entering an albergue once you have your allocated bed, you should:
b) close the windows and shutters
This is the difference between living in a country where you try to follow the sun (NZ) and one where you avoid the sun in summer (Spain). It was especially evident the other day when we arrived at the albergue. The first thing we did was open the blinds and windows wide… then in came a Spanish couple who settled into the bunks a few rows down, and they immediately closed the windows and shutters completely! We smiled and enjoyed the warm breeze!
2. When parking your vehicle behind another on the street, you should:
b) park about 10cm away from the other vehicle and don’t worry about how the other car will exit.
In NZ drivers get irate if you park too close behind someone and don’t give them enough room to easily get out of their parking spot. Perhaps it is because we have more parking spaces and so space is not at such a premium, but whatever the reason, we have observed that most Spanish drivers seem to park ‘uncomfortably close’ to the other cars. The other day we observed a van park literally 10 cm away from the car in front (and leave a good twenty metres behind him!) – I have no idea HOW drivers extract their cars!
3. In Spain, the best place to store food stuffs long term is:
b) in a brick or wooden storehouse two metres above the ground…that is, if you are storing corn!
4. In September the sun will rise about:
Yep, in fact it is still very dark at 8am at the moment. Sunset is at 9:45 approximately, so there are plenty of daylight hours, but it explains the slow start that Spanish shops have at the beginning of the day.
5. When you stop after an hour’s walking you will change:
b) your socks
6. You will follow:
b) painted arrows and a variety of shells
7. At the end of the day, you should put your shoes
b) outside the bunkroom on a rack
8. You will eat:
b) empanada, pasta, olives, bread and chorizo
We have eaten several pilgrim meals, but most of the time we source our food from the local supermarket and bakeries – obviously still eating “local” food, just not from a restaurant. We are loving the olives, chorizo, cheeses and all the seasonal fruit! We have been looking for churros and hot chocolate these last few days but it appears to be more of a city food because we haven’t come across them!
9. You will meet:
b) normal-looking folks who appear to have not walked to their corner store in a long time, but in the past three weeks they’ve walked 700km
c) lots of children NOT UNLESS YOU MEET US – WE’VE MET NO OTHERS WALKING
10. When entering a hospital waiting room in Spain you should:
b) walk into the room and greet everyone with loud “Hola”
Tags: 2012, postcard: Spain