Today we further reduced our mileage to a single number, leaving Santa Marina at 7:30AM and reaching Olveiroa by noon.
We have discovered where are all the cows are.
I need to either get an altimeter app for my iPhone or remember to bring along my Highgear wristwatch next time.
It’s hilly, and I want to know here I am in my maps. Having an elevation function allows the hiker to further pinpoint a location on a map. Brierley’s Camino Finisterre Pilgrim’s Guide does a good job at this by listing section profiles that include elevation.
Marcia and I are back on the same page today, after a real shakeup in my attitude yesterday. Here’s a fact about couples’ travel away from home when you also don’t know the language: it’s a crucible for kindling any interpersonal weaknesses that may have persisted over the years or decades of a life together. It would be the same for any friends, siblings, or even casual acquaintances. Pick your travel pal carefully, lest fractures forment and cleave the best intentioned partnerships. Fortunately, this world has all we need to absorb those tears.
I treasure the few travel partners that I have been blessed to share the road or the trails with.
In long distance motorcycling, my friend Alan comes to mind. In long distance backpacking, the few individuals that I have spent months of constant movement, occasional pain, treacherous steps, and even impending drownings include my Triple Crown companion Dick Wizard, as well as the luminous individuals who carry the coat-of-arms of MeGaTex make that cut, especially General Lee and Train. Together we have experienced many thousands of miles and hundreds of days up and down the highest peaks and lowest valleys of both geographical and emotional terrain.
No Gators here. Also no omelets, pancakes, butter plunked down with bread, salad dressings, salt shakers, or takeout coffee.
This is the land of the Mediterranean diet, so it’s olive oil instead of butter, and while the meals are salted when prepared, these culinary practices are a likely factor in reducing the incidence of rampant cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure that we experience in America.
These folks even drink lots of coffee, yet here, I have never seen it brewed in a Mr. Coffee-type machine nor does it sit in insulated pump carafes like I use when I am rushing over the roads back home.
This coffee is think, and rich, expressedin gleaming banks of Italian machines, in little coffee shops that punctuate the footpaths on The Way. It is either served in the most functional little espresso cups and saucers, or as cafe con leche in bigger cups brimming with frothy milk. Some mornings when we are served a continental breakfast as part of our stay in an Albergue, we receive two steaming hot stainless steel pitchers: a larger one with steamed thick whole milk, and the other in a smaller unit that is brimming with pure espresso. All for €1 or less and when ordered in a cafe, and adorned with two tiny cinnamon/churros on the saucers as well.
Here, you have to stop your multitasking, sit, and take the time to savor the moment.
It is not possible to rush off with a coffee here, where farmers still choose to push a wheelbarrow full of cow shit that they dump near their vegetable gardens.