an idiot in spain

santiago diaries

Saturday, 30th September.
Ghost town

This morning we walked to Astorga, the chocolate capital of Spain! But somehow we didn't buy any chocolate. Considering that we've each been eating about a block of chocolate per day, we don't know exactly how we managed to leave Astorga empty-handed.

welcome, my pretties

above: Santa Catalina de Somoza. I took this photo after we checked in at the refugio. It actually looked gloomier when we arrived!

We stopped at the road leading into the town. It looked like the set of a horror movie. The sky was filled with ominous grey clouds, the wind whipped around us, the flora looked half-dead, and there was no movement in the town. We were having second thoughts about staying in this ghost town. Alas the next town was a bit far, and it looked like it might belt down at any moment. So we found the refugio and dumped our gear.

We had our credencials stamped at a bar on the other side of town. (about fifty metres away) There was a girly poster on the wall. I'm not sure if that's in keeping with the "spirit of the Camino". We retreated to the refugio - there was bugger all to do in this town. Looks like we'll be having a rip-roaring Saturday night!

Markus the German (he's a tall Aryan who is the only person on the Camino to have a heavier pack than me!) was strutting around in just his underpants after he had had his shower. (Inspired by Underpants Man perhaps? Oh yeah, looks like we might have lost those damn Frenchies!) Lolly the South African was there with her mum (who told us off for being weary "I'm 64 years old and you don't see me complaining!"). Lolly's mum had a moment of inspiration: she whipped out her camera and took a photo of Markus in his underwear! As the flash went off, we all went into hysterics. Markus didn't know what to make of it. "If it was a younger lady, I'd understand, but you!" he exclaimed.

I bumbled about the town, leaving the others at the refugio, still laughing at Markus. A few dogs intimidated me (hey they were big see the donkey in the photo above? Well that ain't no donkey, that's one of the dogs!) while I was taking a photo, I discovered some eucalypts growing in someone's backyard, and I climbed the bell tower of the little church.

Dinnertime came, and we shuffled to the bar nextdoor, where everyone else was. The bloke there only had soup, some cheese and wine in stock. It was an end-of-month tax dodge or something. We were heartbroken. And hungry. Oh well.

Uninspired, we returned to the refugio and eventually turned in for the night.