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Sunday, 28 November 2010

dodgy showers and shiny kitchens

Barbadelo – Hospital de la Cruz

The mornings are now very noticeably darker, being still pitch black at 8am, though it’s still light quite late into the evening. I think a more productive use could be made of daylight saving time but the clocks are still not due to change for another couple of weeks. Reached the 100km stone marker post this morning which was adorned with flags and messages. From here the marker stones appeared regularly counting down the km’s to Santiago. The morning was bright and sunny but I could see a huge thick cloud filling the low valley below and this was were Portomarin was situated and into which I would have to walk. On lower ground just before the edge of the fog cloud I stopped in another barn where a guy was selling a few trinkets to passers by. He generously made me tea and gave me a hojaldre (a squidgy sticky sweet pastry) and we sat and chatted for a while. As it was Sunday which made it difficult to buy food outside of the bars as nowhere was open he also gave me a pack of chorizo to keep me going. By the time I left the mist cloud had even receded a little and not long after heading into it it began to break up and blue skies shone through again. Given the amount of people now on the path I decided not to stop for picnic but to carry on to Gonzar to bag a bed. I also decided to stay out of the main towns as I hoped this would avoid the crowds and would be where most people would stay. Gonzar however was very busy so I walked on to the next albergue which was excellent, had radiators which I could dry my clothes on when the hospitalera wasn’t looking. The showers were not built for modesty however and was interrupted several times by passers by and a troop of kids popping in to use the loo whilst I was trying to shower. The design of the bathroom also meant that each time the door was opened anyone in the building could see directly into the shower. I concluded that this was the Galician councils little joke – a bit like the state of the art unusable kitchens, of which there was also one here! I had beaten the latter problem though by picking up a stainless steel mug which I could heat up water in or make soup in on the hob….just had to remember to let it cool a little before drinking out of it! Only other people to arrive for the night were a Swiss couple who were walking from Sarria to Santiago and were not at all shy of the shower arrangements.

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