• …deep into Galicia…

    Back on the road. 2 days of walking and my feet are OK, my leg is OK, my tummy OKish so couldn’t be better. I am now deep into Galicia with only 6 days to go. This is the last Wednesday I will be walking! So I am walking through fields and hills covered with grass and trees, there are brown cows everywhere, dry stone walls and it is raining gently. In fact, I am in Ireland! Up into the hills again – I climbed from 600 metres to 1,300 metres yesterday, and the cows have bells and it is very alpine again. The views are wonderful as the photos I have taken and cannot upload will probably not show. I am aiming to be in Santiago next Tuesday for the 12 noon mass when they are due to swing the thurible because someone is doing a documentary film about the Camino. There is a lady roller-skating the Camino whom I have seen. She is followed by two cars with film equipment. You can get the thurible swung for 300 euros apparently. Presumably Martin Sheen had that done for the film that has resulted in so many Americans being here.

    I expected to write a spoof piece about the supposed suggestions that had come in for the actor to play me. Something about Pierce Brosnan being OK as far as Irish charm is concerned but did he have the gravitas and plain sex appeal to do justice to the part? Also, that I assume the suggestion of Danny Devito had come from a crank and I was going to ignore it. Anyway, a suggestion has come in and it is indeed Pierce – no, its not, it is Mr Devito. From indeed a crank. Who is also now an ex-friend.

    Things you will never hear a Spanish shower manufacturer or shower fitter say: “I am just off for a quick shower, darling”. Presumably, what you will hear such a person say: “I am off for a long soak in the bath, darling”. For no shower fitter can ever have taken a shower. I have used approx 30 Spanish showers now and they are all useless. The most common type has a shower thingy where the water comes out which points almost exactly downwards so the water never deviates from the wall by more than 6 inches. So, to get your body wet, you have to push your face against the wall and slowly revolve, wetting different parts of your body as you go. There are no taps – you just push a button – the water comes out at whatever temperature it comes out, hot or cold. You put some soap on and then go through the process again, banging your nose on the wall once more.

    In fact, you know, in case you have not guessed, I am not really a real world traveler or explorer. Laurence of Arabia or Richard Burton I am not and Ranulph Fiennes can sleep safe in his igloo, hammock or snow drift, wherever he is. They would not have collapsed into loneliness and misery caused by a couple of days in a Spanish hotel room, feeling a bit icky. This is not the spirit that made the British Empire. Whatever I have got out of this event, I have pretty well confirmed this view of myself. However, the view at dawn this morning across the mountains pretty well made up for it all.

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