Day 9: Total distance 21kms. Total ascent: 234m Total descent 760m
Weather: Cloudy and warm. Temperature: 25 degrees
We were unsure about today for a number of reasons – firstly because we had scheduled in our longest walk yet – 21 km to Triacastela, and secondly because we were unsure what Tgirl8’s arm was going to be like after she fell heavily and awkwardly on it yesterday. Although clearly still painful, in the morning the swelling had reduced and Tgirl8 declared herself fit to walk, albeit with a heavily strapped arm. ERgirl6 had dictated into her journal that she was going to “try very hard not to grizzle at the long walk”, and to her absolute credit she managed this for 19 of the total 21kms which was a sterling effort as all our feet and legs were feeling yesterday’s climb.
Today was Sunday, so we knew that all shops would be shut apart from the odd “bar” or restaurant. This mean lunch ended up being a collection of plain bread (what else! ), half a piece of fish pie, half a cupcake, and half an apple. Adequate, but not substantial! So by 4pm, once we had arrived at the albergue and managed to snaffle 11 of the last 12 beds (whew!), had showers and done our daily hand washing… EVERYONE was famished! The general consensus was quickly agreed upon to head out for dinner – and given all the “supermarkets” were closed, a ”pilgrim meal” was on the menu. It only took ten minutes to preview the range of eating “bars” close to the albergue, and the first establishment we chose was a small bar twenty metres down the road. However, when we walked in, the owner made it very clear that a) he wasn’t really interested in serving us, and b) he didn’t have enough food for eleven hungry pilgrims (given he didn’t speak English at all we think we got this right!). So we quickly got up from the tables and walked out… and up to the restaurant opposite our albergue. Here our experience was completely different. The Spanish proprietor could not have made us feel more welcome, and quickly rearranged tables and umbrellas (it was still HOT in the sun!) for us. She set the table as if we were eating at a top class restaurant… and delighted in serving the children with humour – as well as being totally amazed that all our younger children finished all three courses of our simple pilgrim meal. What do you get for a 6 Euro ‘pilgrim meal’?:
Macaroni con carne (a huge dinner plate of macaroni in meat sauce)
Fried eggs and chips (same sized plate)
Four baskets of bread
7.5l of cold water
Oh, and we also got a tortilla (omlette with ham) and two mixed salads and two beers for another 12 Euro.
Simple? Yes? But ohhhhhhh so tasty, even more so after a hard day’s 21 kms!
In fact, the meal ranked as the best thing of the day for most of the children!
Tags: 2012, postcard: Spain