Saturday, 18 July 2009

Peregrinanding Otra Vez...

Tuesday 7th July: My pack weighs far too much. I am very good at advising how to pack, but not so good actually following my own advice. On my first Camino de Santiago, my mochilla broke a strap as I was entering Los Arcos. It was repaired in Viana but has never really fitted properly since then since it can't be adjusted properly to my back. As a result I carry too much on my shoulders and also, as a result of the repair, the straps have a tendency to slip off the padding and onto my shoulders - and that hurts. I also have a blister on one toe. But only one...

Montserrat leaves before me. Despite a stiffness, I am walking well through grape vines and corn fields. It is all so green and lush. Far fewer stretches on asphalt and more off the road. It's lovely.

I arrive in Sao Pedro de Rates having passed a miniature stone model of the church. Miniature models must be all the rage here as inside the Museo there is another scale model this time made completely of matchsticks. It took over three years to construct. It is very easy to miss the museo as it is immediately after the church, but the arrows will take you to the right just before it. A few more steps and there you are. Well worth it, and Fatima the curator will be happy to show you around.

I arrive at the Albergue to find that Montserrat has taken up a temporary post of Hospitalera since the only trace of the usual one is a really nice and apologetic note on the Pilgrim Register explaining that a day off was needed. Never mind, Montserrat is clearly having fun. I stake out a place under an oak tree with a view of the windmill (in the grounds of the refuge) and have a wonderful siesta.

When I wake it is cooler. I go in search of a beer (80 cents in Portugal - such a civilized country). We meet several other Spanish men who are walking together/separately and spend an evening talking of pilgrim things and singing pilgrim songs. It is nice to be part of a group again. I stay up late talking to Ignazio from Italy about Priscillian.

1 comment:

  1. Tracy, your blog is so much better than mine that I'm jealous ... but then, you're a Writer (with a capital W) and moreover seem about to become a Famous Writer ... and I am but a poor humble soapmaker ...

    But what an amazing year we're having! I had no idea you were doing the camino again - are you still there? And when can we meet up to swap stories? If you are in the North, you're lucky ... awful Terral here yesterday, and 38 degrees ... xxGed