I woke up very tired this morning. I drank a coffee, but it did not seem to do anthing for me. I bought a panini, which here is apparently half of a baguette with cheese and salami on it, for breakfast. Delicious, and only 1 euro. I am finding that I can save a lot of money by purchasing items such as these from grocery stores. They gratify my infantile desire for a meal already prepared, something different from what I usually eat. It is difficult to temper my cravings for chips and chocolate, so I don’t try very hard.
I am eating pretty well- I drink orange juice every day, which they sell unrefrigerated. I eat sandwiches consisting of mayo, pesto, cheese, and now that I have found it, salami. I eat sesame seed and honey crackers. I have honey and peanut butter (which was expensive, but well worth it). I’ll get some nutella soon, but it is very rich and I am not used to it. I have apples and carrots, granola bars, and usually some sort of chocolate…and chips. Gets me up the hills. I buy a lot of espresso, as they are only a euro and they are an excuse to get out of the rain.
Everyone eats pastries for breakfast here, but I am usually after something a little more wholesome to start off with, like paninis. I looked up the eating habits of Spaniards, as to avoid the confusion I had in Portugal: it seems that they eat pastries and coffee in the morning, a brunch, a late lunch, an early evening snack, and dinner, the main entrées and the famous tapas bars becoming available no sooner than eight o’clock, usually eight-thirty! I am going to fade away waiting… I will have to start sleeping in to accommodate for this hobbit-like schedule. You can tell when lunchtime is in he early afternoon, because everyone- truck drivers, construction workers, whomever- is pulled over. All the roadside restaurants are full. Rarely is a kitchen up and running all day. Good for the cooks.
Tapas are basically little appetizers served with every drink. Ingenious.
Ice cream is extremely expensive here, 5 or 6 euros! I stare sadly at these prices and walk away. You would think Haagen Daz would be cheaper here…
Anyhow, the day: I lost an hour to daylight savings last night, so I was on the road an hour later than I thought. As I said, I was hurting pretty good this morning. I decide to aim for Calda da Rei, which is only 50 kilometers or so from Vigo. It is sunny all morning, but starts to rain as soon as I hop on my bike. I would be surprised if it had not. I charge put of the city and soon the sun comes out again. Vigo is beautiful. I liked the layout of the city, and the vibe was nice. It sits on a great firth or fjord even, an arm of the ocean that runs deep inland. It was reminiscent of the Puget Sound in some ways. You’ll have to take my word for it, I didn’t stop to document it. Imagine red tile roofs and stucco draping the hills around a lovely inlet. I am very fond of Spain, it is a beautiful country.
There were many hills, but they were rolling, and I enjoyed myself. It helped that I didn’t get rained on. I also found myself, once again, on the Camino de Santiago!
I also scored some gigantic zipties on the side of the road, these will surely come in handy in a pinch…
Strange how different, how mundane and pleasant today has been. I did cross a strange musical bridge; it had three sets of suspension that rattled melodically in the wind… very strange.
About 3:30 or 4:00 I roll into Calda da Rei. Evrything has scallop shells- there is a whole wall of a building covered in them, they decorate the manholes. We are close to Santiago indeed… There is an alburgue, but I have no stamps, so I go to a large hotel (hostel) in a nice old building. I payed 12 euros for a four bedroom affair, fantastic! If I had three friends, we could live here.
Today was a good day, and one I needed. Some good hills, but not too much, an early day and one more good night’s sleep. I ought to repair my tent tonight. I am eager for this weather to turn- it changes everything, literally brightens the world! Soon, soon. Tomorrow, the end of the pilgrimage, Santiago de Compostela, which for me, is only the beginning.