I woke up feeling stiff and my feet rubbed so decide to stay another day and catch up on the blog; it's helpful to stop and process the journey every few days otherwise it all melds into one. Annie has decided not to walk further because of her blisters and is taking the bus to San Vincente later today. I'm sorry it hasn't worked out for her; the walk out of Santander was unrelenting; ugly urban fringe and tarmac. Which is fine as part of a larger whole, but a shock to the system on Day 1 perhaps.
I'm finding the Camino to be a constant series of challenging encounters and uplifting glories. I rise up every morning and it's waiting for me and every evening brings its own challenges too. A constant abrasion of routine, niceties, expectations and assumptions. You can tell long-term pilgrims; we have a slightly feral quality!
I spend most of the day sitting in cafes writing and when Christine wanders by- it has to be lunchtime. I had noticed a nice looking restuarant the night before, just up the road. A family run place; the daughter owns it now and her father, the chef, pops out from time to time to see that we're enjoying his food. And we are!
A big mixed salad followed by grilled sardines. The water comes in a metal bottle with the words "el agua què nunca ha visto la luz" (the water that has never seen the sunlight). Christine's tuna is so big, we're going back tonight to finish it for supper!
At 3pm I leave to book into the albergue. It's very nice (5€) but with only 20 spaces- I should have queued an hour earlier! The Hospitalera is kind, stamps my Cedencial and sends a few of us pilgrims to a private house with rooms nearby (€15). Tonight my room-mate is Ron, a lecturer in chemical engineering from New Jersey... hey it's the Camino.
We meet up at the restaurant at 8pm for a nice evening of good food, wine and conversation. Bien Camino!