Walk like an Italian
June 7, 2012
No need to get up so early this morning since we only have 14km to walk. I’m up at 5:30am and have a chance to write before the girls get up about an hour later. The albergue’s 2euro breakfast was sadly disappointing after the fine meal last night. Instant coffee made last night that had to be heated in the microwave, a juicebox, some bread, and a little store-bought pre-wrapped cake. We leave town and walk through the fields. It’s windy and cool, cloudy; nice day for a walk.
When we stop for breakfast, we meet the singing Judith and see her African inspired German thumb harp. She tells us that she is traveling with no money, but is asking for donations when she sings in albergues and churches. She is carrying no water. It seems to be working out for her though, relying on the kindness of strangers. She was enjoying breakfast with some pilgrims at another table. There are all kinds of people on the Camino.
Once in a while, when we see a bus on the road, we wistfully sigh and wish to hop a ride. Two buses were turning around the corner behind the church. As we walk out of town, there’s a nice stretch of trail along a pretty canal, and it’s filled with dozens of new pilgrims! Mary, who has the knack of finding the cutest guys to talk to, meets Manuele, a tour group leader from Rome. Turns out the group ahead of us are 80 (mostly elderly) Italians enjoying a motorcoach tour of the Camino from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago in 11 days. This 2 or 3 km stretch of the Camino is one of the three times they will actually get out of the bus and walk, besides when they’re in town. We walk by them as they stroll, saying Bon Giorno instead of Buen Camino.
It’s almost 11:30am when we walk like Italians into town, find a bar, see fast Dan pull in right after us, and wait for the albergue to open at 1pm. Morgan comes by, says hi, and delivers his copy of my treasured guidebook to me. We walk back up to the albergue, see that it’s open early, and check in early enough to get the bottom bunks, all of us (yes, it’s a little thing to get excited about, but you try to climb that ladder with tired feet!) I am not so sweaty from this short walk that I need a shower immediately upon arrival, so I’ll shower later.
Morgan goes to find a supermarket and Mary and I find a bar with wi-fi and some calamares. I Skype George and then get down to the work of writing four blog posts (it takes about an hour to get a blog post ready). My battery runs out around 6pm and my brain is fried. On the way into town, someone was handing out flyers for the local spa. It seems like the thing to do again, get a masaje. Susie goes back to the albergue for a nap, but Mary accompanies me to the spa located across from the church.
The first thing we see in the spa are the comfy chairs, soothing cool colors, and a chocolate fountain with dipping cookies! A couple of Spanish women come out to greet us and usher me to my massage, while Mary plugs in the iPad and sets up shop next to the fountain of chocolate. What a deal! My computer gets charged, Mary gets a quiet place to use it, and I get a half hour massage for 20euros. But not just a massage. First, I’m shown to the shower and given a huge huge towel. Now, I’ve been using this just-bigger-than a washcloth camping towel that will not dry my body very well before my hair drips down on it. This towel was dry, fluffy, huge, and white. I’ve never been so excited to use a towel in my life. They had one of those showers with the lights in it, and I got to stand under it as long as I wanted, with all of the hot water in the world flowing over me. No need to turn on water long enough to get wet, turn off water, lather, turn off water, wash hair, shower, rinse.
My feet felt great in the soft slippers and I padded, to my relaxing massage. This one was not as geared to easing my sore muscles as it was to just provide relaxation, but it was still heavenly. I came out to find Mary just finishing her Skype with Von and ready to go to dinner. Future pilgrims, if you are ever in Fromista and have an hour (or more) to kill, definitely visit the wonderful ladies at the spa there. They also had a hot tub and sauna, and the vibe there is reallly relaxing and welcoming. We were served a bottle of water and a cookie each on a silver tray before we left. Love this place!
Had to visit the bank machine before a great dinner at the fancy restaurant next to the albergue. A great salad and an amazing open-faced sandwich with a glass of good wine was only 10euros. I greet Morgan, who is sitting with 71 year old Eileen and her niece and granddaughter. He’s having a great time.
No chupitos tonight, we have a 22km walk into a town where lots of folks are going to stay tomorrow, so we will leave early. The room is dark and the window open provides just the right amount of cool. Night!