The reality is that, despite the reflection I see in the mirror, just occasionally I should act my full consecutive number of years. I took the day off and booked myself into the Posada de las Misas in Puebla de Sanabria. Quite apart from the spectacular view, it has a full-size jacuzzi My first act was to fill it with bubbly stuff and appreciate this simple act of self-nurturing of tired and sore muscles.
Last night I indulged in an appetizer of a combination of eggs, jamon iberico and prawns. The main course was a baked cod dish with a Provençal melange. I chose a white wine to accompany that was fresh with just a slight touch of spritz. Against my better judgment, I let myself be persuaded to try the cheesecake for dessert. Sounds as boring as…….apple pie. However, if done right, both can be exceptional. The cheesecake was exceptional with just a streak of caramelized sugar along the length of the plate. As you can see, it doesn’t take much for me to wax enthusiastically about food. Walking gives me lots to look forward to. Hopefully, the extra calories will have been adequately managed by the end of my trip.
On my walks, I have alluded to walking sometimes as much as 40 kilometers in a day, carrying with me my food and water for the trip. If I were to describe my ideal day, I would have preferred to walk for half a day, stop off somewhere for a light lunch or sandwich, perhaps share with some people that I meet (locals, fellow travelers) the experiences of the day and then continue on alone to my destination for the night. On this Camino, on the Via de la Plata, there have been very few places to stop during the day. Even in some fairly sizeable communities – I don’t mean big cities – but hamlets and small villages, there is often no longer a local bar or even grocery store.
On my Camino, I have to accept what I find. However, I mourn the loss of community. In rural farming communities, children have often moved away for the opportunities available in the cities. The remaining residents have prospered from the land and don’t mind traveling for their groceries and other necessities. Maybe it’s resignation of the new reality.
Even churches, once the center point of most communities, are often locked up and opened on special occasions by clergymen performing a sort of locum.