Again, walking through the most beautiful countryside today. Perfect weather. All on my own. Complete quiet as the dawn comes up. I suddenly realise that I am over all the problems of the last few days 7 weeks and I feel full of life. So, person whom I have allowed to win all those golf matches over the last few months, watch out – Danny Devito is back!
In Galicia (pronounced galeethya), all the pronunciations and even names are different. Most Js are changed to Xs and road signs that contain a J have often had X painted over them. There have been many suitable changes to the accents and attitudes of the people as I have moved across from Navarre to Rioja to the huge Castilla y Lyon and now into Galicia but, of course, I have been tone deaf to 90% of it. Local pride is very very strong, though, even I have picked that up. I still struggle to make myself understood sometimes. I have only recently realised that I have been using “calor” for hot (it is used in describing the weather, “caliente” refers to the coffee). However, the best was last week when I wanted a cup of tea. Tea in Spanish is te (well, there is an accent but I cannot do that on this keyboard so please take that as read). It is masculine so a tea is un te. When you ask for it in a bar you can wrap it up with me gustaria and por favor, etc if you want to, but the business end of the sentence is “un te”. So, I asked a man for one of those last week. He looked at me in amazement. I was in a cafe at the time, not a hardware shop or a garden centre. It was early in the morning so he only had about 6 things to sell – tea, coffee, zumo de naranja, muffins, well, you know. So I tried again, emphasising the words, starting making holding-a-cup-and-saucer movements with my hands, pointing at the tea bags, everything I could think of. Finally, it dawned on him. “Oh, un te!”, he said, I swear just like I had. Must have been a wind up. Good tea, though.
Had my first real torture-by-snorer in the dormitorio last night. I have been pretty lucky so far, even in the big 30 bed plus rooms and I have generally slept well. Last night I was in with a large, broad shouldered, deep chested Scotsman who had a Hamden Park-filling roar of a snore. When Celtic scored first against Barcelona in Barcelona this week, he did not make such a noise. It sort of built to a crescendo when I felt sure he must wake himself up, but no, he carried on. The two young Spaniards who were also in the dorm got off to sleep eventually, to judge by their very minor contributions to the orchestra but I did not get off till after 1am. By a quirk of fate I am in the same blasted room as him again tonight! Oh well, I am a Pilgrim.