Monday, September 18, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 18.9.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.


Yesterday was a day of sighsteeing in Segovia, travelling (by bus) to Ávila and finally a bit of sightseeing and wine-drinking in the latter city. So, no much by way of s story to tell. But here goes:-
  • Walking Saturday on the Camino Schmid towards - in theory - the Camino de Santiago at Fuente de la Fuenfría, one meets this sign . . .

Not seeing anything different from so far on the trek, I naturally wondered where this danger might lie. Which is when I tripped over a tree stump and would, but for my walking poles, have landed on my face. I am a great fan of poles, even for flat terrain.
  • Hotel prices differ enormously in their value for money. In Segovia we had a much lower quality place than our hotel here in Ávila, for only a 10% lower cost. The latter is an ex-palace in the Cathedral Square and rather more luxurious than in our - admittedly well-located - place in Segovia.
  • Once you get out of Madrid, wifi reception is poor in your room, whatever the establishment claims. At least for my laptop, if not for my 4G phone.
  • In contrast to the more popular French and Portuguese caminos, there are no baggage transport companies on the Camino de Madrid or on the Camino Levante to take your bags to your next hotel. You have to use a taxi and the fare will usually be the distance in km x 2 x €1. Not bad if there are 6 of you but expensive if you're walking alone.
  • Gaseosa (lemonade) apears to be unknown in In Segovia. So, if you want a shandy(clara) it has to be with a lemon drink such as 7-Up or Fanta. No idea why.
  • The traditional tapa item in these parts - or one of them, at least - is a sort of crispy pork scratching. Delicious. Unless you're a vegetarian.
  • If your Apple Mac charger comes apart and the prongs stay in the socket, leaving 2 long wires sticking out, it's not a good idea to try to pull the prongs out by grabbing one of these wires. Using a penknife ro prise out the plastic bit works well, though. But then - when you have re-assembled it - you have to prop up the charger with whatever is to hand, so that it doesn't fall from the wall. Or buy an extension cord, so that the charger will be vertical on the floor.
  • It's a tradition on our caminos that one of the group snaps me when I am zizzing. Here's this year's pic. Possibly the least flattering:-

Finally . . .  At the request of a reader, I've returned to allowing all comments, even anonymous ones. Which means you don't have to register or have some sort of account with Google. Don't go mad.


Q10 said...

Hey Colin, I've been out of town for a few days, so maybe I missed the overview? - Map showing your Camino route and proposed overnight stops?

But even if I did, I must say your blog is a bit weak on the helicopter view. Now I know, it's hard to think of the wood when one is submerged in the trees, but as a consumer of your normally excellent material, I'm getting a tad lost.

Am I work-shy? Not a bit, so I ploughed through the words to find some towns to plot on a map - Colmenar Viejo, Manzanares (that must be Manzanares el Real as Manzanares is W of Madrid - Gosh this is even more of an uphill battle than you're putting yourself through) - 17km, Guadarrama mountain range, Cercedilla (20km on foot from Manzanares el Real), Mataelpino (Ahh that was between the last two towns 8.5km to Metaelpino then 11.5km the next day to Cercedilla. Not so bad over two days.


Simple request - Where did this trek start? Where does it end? How far is that? How many days?

Maybe a map, or a foto (as you call it) of a pencil sketch on the back of a fag packet? - Each day showing your complete route with yesterday's bit ringed?

No wonder you're getting no comments, if everyone else who normally enjoys your stuff is - Lost up the garden path.


Finally, why are you putting yourself through all this? I don't mean I need an overworked justification of your motives, no, I'd much prefer your guess at what a dispassionate psychiatrist would tell you after 6 weeks of daily sessions on the couch.

Sorry for all the bitching, but we need you back in your Pontevedran chair, entertaining us with wacky comments on the world's affairs, not traipsing around in the wilderness telling us you missed the path or whatever - Am I being possessive? Or jealous of my old friend taking up with mother nature?

Colin Davies said...

"old friend". Metaphorical? Or real?