No John Deer Gators in Galacia 

Marcia starts her hiking day


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. 


Right here, in the broad rolling farmlands where hay and corn are produced. 


 These farmers do not eschew modern diesel tractors, although we see plenty of wheelbarrow work taking place on the narrow roads and in farmyards this morning.


We have yet to see a single John Deere Gator being put to work.  People walk here, kids walk alone, and even very old men and women shuffle along, aided by canes when necessary.  

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.  


     

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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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