Susan's Camino De Santiago Pages

Susan Blogs About Our Camino To Portomarin

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Wednesday 4th June 2008 - 1:59pm
Portomarin in map square [B1]
by Susan
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So I had a beer last night.... I dunno how it happened really, I just stopped for a chat with canadian lady at the top of a very large flight of stairs in Sarria and then she went to church and then I got chatting to a nice danish lady and then what do you know tons of people showed up, like all the young (for young read "not retired") folks Iīd be seeing along the route but had been too shy to talk to and then somebody bought me a beer...

As you can imagine I slept in this morning... to a mega shocking 6.30am!!!! Longest lie in Iīve had in ages! And I was a tad slow getting ready... Still I figured Iīd better be social, otherwise itīs just me wondering along on my own randomly mumbling bad pronounciations of "orange" in spanish.. right?

A brazilian guy sitting next to me asked me what albergue I was in. So I told him and he was like "Oh Iīm in that one too, so tonight we will be sleeping together, eh?" wink, wink.
I wonder how many times he has used that line?
Although I just about managed to drink my beer as they hit the spanish spirits I couldnīt help thinking I am probably more at home with the sit quietly painting the church go to sleep at 8pm crowd.... Still at least I got away without telling them I did the first part of the camino with my mum - Now that would NOT have been cool....!

I also managed to order myself an orange juice this morning. Thought Iīd better stop in bar for breakfast and consume some fruity less beer-y things. It went a bit like this:
Me: "er.... thomo de...... naran...ha"
Bar Lady: "eh?"
Me: "naran...ha" (in bad english accent)
Bar Lady: "eh?"
Me: "er...naran...ha" (in bad english accent)
Bar Lady: "naranja?" (in Spanish)
Me: "Si, naran...ha" (in bad english accent)
Bar Lady: (looks a bit confused then points at an orange in the fruit bowl) "naranja??" (in Spanish)
Me: "Si"
Then sheīs tries to give an orange....
I was like "no, no - thumo de...!"
Bar Lady: "Ah!"
So eventually I got an orange juice. It was a fairly traumatic transaction though so I think Iīll go back to ordering myself coffee... still at least I gave it a go!
Do I get some kind of a medal now?

So everyone seemed in a really good mood walking today. Personally once Iīd had some breakfast and recovered from my first beer in about 11 years I really enjoyed the walking today and was mostly bouncing along feeling ten times better than yesterday! It seemed to me reflecting on it that coming out of Sarria most people are really in one of 2 camps. Either theyīve just started and are all happy and excited and stuff and their feet donīt hurt yet or - bit like me - they come a really long way and are walking past km signs that say that they only have to put up with wincing blisters and unbearable snoring for another 100km and theyīre home and dry!

Some australian folks that we saw a lot coming into st jean last year (hi folks if youīre out there!) told us there was a really good mood the last day walking into santiago, like everyone could feel it in the air. I couldnīt help wondering today as we all bounced along "hola"-ing each other in the sunshine that maybe that party atmosphere of almost arriving (for those of us that think 100km is not very far) has already in some ways begun...?

I also walked past the 100km sign today. Now weīre in galicia thereīs km markers every 500m which is pretty nice for knowing how far youīve gone and where you are and stuff. The 100km sign was absolutely covered in graffetti and I added my own little bit - "susan was here" (original huh?) and the date so you should look out for it as you walk past eh? I also left a little message for zoe and oliver (who are apparently about a day behind after buses etc) on the wall of a chapel (it was full of lots of notes from pilgrims) but I dunno if theyīll see it as it was a bit small. :S

At about lunch-y time today we got a sudden view of a big bit of water (lake possibly?) and it suddenly occurred to me that the "Port" and "marine-like" bits of "Portmarin" might not entirely be a coincidence. Anyway as it turns out thereīs a big bit of water out the window. It was really nice coming in actually we walked over this really long bridge and in the heat of the day (it was 1-ish when I got here) walking over the nice cool water looking at the view was really lovely.

Iīve actually walked all over the place already today as I was searching for another albergue. I used to really research it and stuff when I was with zoe as we liked a kitchen etc etc but lately, since I canīt cook anyway and you donīt really need a kitchen to eat cheese sandwiches Iīve mostly just been walking into the nearest one. However today my book said the municipal one was quite nice and I figured itīd be cheaper than the ridiculous 10 euros I paid last night in Sarria but I couldnīt find it anywhere!

So Iīve walked back down the hill to the one thatīs described in my book as "near a disco bar, prepare for some noise"! Mind you Iīve got ear plugs and if it drowns out the snoring then it sounds like a nice change.
Actually the place looks seriously nice so far but obviously Iīll update you later!!

Anyway I must get on to the really terrible bit of news...

Seriously, ouch! And a bit like last year I didnīt really notice at the time. I was a bit asleep and I woke up enough to realise my hands (the only bits sticking out of the sleeping bag I guess) were incredibly painful and itchy but then I went back to sleep. Also since I wasnīt in the most awake state this morning I just got up (luckily I always shake my sleeping bag out anyway) and it wasnīt til halfway through the day when I looked down and realised my hand were covered in bites!

Iīm pretty sure theyīre bed bugs as they look just like the ones I had last year in La Romieu in France (which we found out later was rumoured to have bed bugs). Damnit! And I was so close to getting to Santiago without meeting any! As soon as I realised I stopped to have a picnic and took absolutely everything out of my backpack, shook it all out and shook my sleeping bag out, inside out about 3 times! Urgh, urgh, urgh!

So hopefully Iīve got rid of them all but it doesnīt bode well... Still I guess if it only happens once a trip then itīs all part of the experience eh? And as Zoe has so often said about the terrible state of her feet well - "itīs part of the thing innit!".

"Urgh" and "Ow"!

Signing out - suz!

p.s. Mum - i dunno if you wanna put a bed bug warning on the forum - i canīt be bothered as iīm paying for my net time but they should probably know. the place was called "O Durminento" and itīs the first private albergue on the left on the way up the hill in Sarria.

p.p.s Thanks for the poetry quote Moo! :) Iīve written it in the front of my map book!

p.p.p.s Did anybody notice the new map square? exciting eh! :)

Comment Added: Wednesday 4th June 2008 - 2:04pm
"Guess you are on the net now. Thought I'm drop in and see how you are doing. Seems like you are having a wonderful time."
by Wai Ying

Comment Added: Wednesday 4th June 2008 - 5:20pm
"Hi Susan, just dropped by to see how you are getting on. Sorry to hear the Brazilians are letting the side down with the corny comments. Which reminds me, I must tell you about an interview I saw here on TV many years ago with a (quite) famous, rather weird pop singer, long before el camino was so popular. She said she had decided to do the walk by herself and one day after she had collapsed by a stream convinced that she couldn’t go any further ‘cos of her massive blisters, would you believe it, Shirley Maclaine (the Hollywood actress) popped up out of nowhere and dressed her poor wounded feet with some miraculous ointment which (she swore) cured her instantly. So how about that for a claim to fame then (ok, it would have been nicer if it was Brad Pitt, but then again he was probably only about 5 at the time). Keep walking...;-)"
by Caroline

Comment Added: Wednesday 4th June 2008 - 6:16pm
"Only 100km to go! That's hardly nothing! Maybe you were attacked by mosquitoes?

Oh, and I thought you could get this T-shirt, then you would only have to point at yourself and arch an eyebrow:"
by Keith

Comment Added: Wednesday 4th June 2008 - 7:07pm
Thatīs a brilliant t-shirt! :-D"
by susan

Comment Added: Wednesday 4th June 2008 - 7:26pm
"Hi Caroline,
Actually the guy did say he was from Sao Paulo....
Will keep an eye out for Brad Pitt ;-)"
by susan

Comment Added: Thursday 12th June 2008 - 12:10pm
"If you need to validate you were somewhere, how about taking photos of the markers instead of adding graffiti? The Ba'hai markings were so irritating that I wrote them a letter when I got home."
by Tom

Comment Added: Friday 20th June 2008 - 1:21pm
"Actually I thought the graffetti along the route was one of the most interesting aspects of the camino (not mine - I admit mine wasn't very original). The graffetti on the back on the womens toilet door in the albergue at fisterra was some of the most profound and fascinating philosophy on life and the camino I've ever read."
by susan

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