03.06.2011 - 03.06.2011
heard a great quote this morning; “you don't walk the Camino, it walks you.” I feel that way right now with my blister, still king-sized, slowly slowly making my way out of Villafranca. There is a thick mist covering the forest and I take tiny steps through the green, totally alone for the whole morning. It's very cold. I don't know who told me Spain was warm but it was probably the same person that told me Turkey doesn't get cold – BOTH COUNTRIES GET COLD. Don't leave your warm clothes at your grandmothers house in England, you'll need them.
I thought today was going to be one of the worst days but it's actually OK. Painful, but still really fun. I have walked 24km and I stop at the cutest stone cottage to sleep, a private albergue in Cardanuela Riopico. I lie on the grass and sleep in the sun and then meet a fantastic South African lady who treats my blister for me. She is magical, and massages both my feet with herbs and oils from a medicine woman in her village at home. Impressed and relaxed I sleep all afternoon. I think Santiago is looking after me, making sure I go slowly and don't rush! As the Spaniards would say; “Santi (crossing two fingers) is looking out for you, he's got your back.”
While eating dinner I learn about the legend of Santo Domingo, a church on the Camino where a live chicken is kept at all times. Many years ago some pilgrims were travelling through Santo Domingo and they slept in the church. A little girl had her eye on a pellegrino boy but he didn't like her, and she was so angry that she stole some silver from the church, hid it in his bag and then dobbed him in. He was caught, and hung. But he didn't die, because his feet were held up off the ground by the power of Santo Domingo. The major of the town was eating dinner while all of this was going on, and when the townsfolk came to tell him that the boy wouldn't die he refused to believe them. He said “that boy is as dead as the chicken on my plate!” And at that very moment the roast chicken in front of him stood up and started clucking. This is one of the miracles of Santo Domingo, and from that moment on the church has kept a live chicken at all times. It never dies (because it is replaced by a new chicken every week).
Oh, and before I forget the next chapter of the affair of the Spanish cucumbers was released today. We found out that they were poisoned! The Camino is alive with gossip about salads and assassinations. We finish our dinner and there is one piece of tortilla left on the plate, I'm told this is called el trozo de la vergüenza or the piece of embarrassment – because everyone is too embarrassed to take it.