Day....wait, what day is this again?
Internet access has been hard to come by, especially since I try to stop in the smaller pueblos and smaller albergues. But this tiny, tired-looking town not only serves one hell of a tortilla sandwich (a entire tortilla de patata arranged on a barra of crusty bread) but also offers a newly constructed, high tech (double rooms... we're sleeping only 2 to a room!) albergue. The paisano to my right at the town bar assured me this was "the best albergue on the Camino". And, so, of course, in the best albergue Azofra can offer, the townsfolk have installed two pay-for-internet stations.
And here I am!
I have this desperate desire to write something brilliant, or at least worthy of this trip, but since I doubt I'll last long here at the keyboard this afternoon, I'll settle for a quick, less than brilliant update.
Tomorrow I'll walk through Santo Domingo de la Calzada. An important stop, and one you'll likely be able to find online if you'd like to track me. I'll try to catch up on Google maps if I hit a more comfortable internet stop.
Meanwhile, here's a bit of what you can look forward to reading, once I settle in to write this story. Let's call it the adventures of la ingeniosa hidalga de Salamanca. Some day soon you'll read:
In which our heroine sprains her ankle just before entering the lovely town of Santa Cilia, in Aragon. Noticing it hurts less than her "usual" ankle twist - and if you've been reading this blog you know there is indeed a "usual" wandering woman ankle twist - our hiking hidalga decides it is not a sprain and walks 10 kilometers more, just enough to reach the equally lovely, if unfortunately VERTICAL, town of Arrés. There she is warmly greeted by Basque hopitaleros Mari Paz and Anton, a dozen intriguing and incredibly generous pilgrims, and an icepack.
In which our heroine sits still for 3 days with her leg on ice, while she learns, among other things, the following:
2) What I like to call "Slow Camino." Each one of us is here doing his or her own own Camino, at his or her pace, and the Camino of our ingenious hidalga, it would seem, includes a good long period of rest. And reflection. Along with plenty of hello-goodbyes and buen caminos to the pilgrims passing through the albergues where she sits, very very still.
3) Last, she learns to graciously accept kindness and generosity from complete strangers, including a handful with whom she shares not even a common language.
A veteran peregrino gives her a bandage for her ankle, a smiling German woman insists our heroine take double doses of the special homeopathic brew she's carried to the camino - a few drops on the ankle and a few more on the tongue. A young Canadian offers up an antinflammatory patch someone gave him when he came down with tendonitis early in the Camino, somewhere in the French Pyrenees.
4) Did I mention patience?
In which our immobile peregrina is serenaded for hours by a guitar plucking Spanish albañil walking the Camino for a week's vacation, Jaca to Sanguesa.
.....and on and on we will go to last evening's chapter, in which she spends the night in a huge stone palacio refurbished by a bodega, where she drinks more exquisite Rioja (the vino del autor, best offered by this bodega) than she cares to recall, munches on jamón, chorizo picante, salchichón and learns to lose at Spanish card games.
more to come next internet stop...