My feet hate me

Well we made it.  We’ve walked over 200km in the last two weeks.  Yeah, I know, we’re crazy. So my feet are still sore, but soaking them every day has been helpful.  The tops of my feet look normal, but the bottoms look horrid.  I’d take a picture of them but they’re pretty ugly right now. I’m hoping that by the time I get home they will have stopped hurting.  Enjoy.

Santiago

We made it. Dad and I got into Santiago yesterday afternoon.  We immediately went to the cathedral to “km 0” and took a lot of pictures with our group.  It was 18km from our start point that day, and dad and I were among the first people to reach the meet-up spot, which was 4 km out of town. After finding our hotel and washing up we all met back at the cathedral for a tour.  The guide was very good, and we learned a lot about the history of the cathedral and the town. Then it was off to have Tapas for dinner.  So way too much food and some good drinks later we decided to pack it in early (10:30 pm). Today we slept in for the first time this trip, had a late breakfast, and went to the Cathedral for the pilgrim’s mass.  It was relatively good, but I don’t speak Spanish, and I’m not a big fan of Baroque architecture.  The singing was amazing though. Then we wandered the old city a bit, had lunch, and now I’m typing this. I’m about to go back to the hotel for a short rest, and then it’s off to see a museum. Enjoy.

One more day

Yes, that’s right, I get to Santiago tomorow. For those who don’t know, yesterday we walked 28km.  Yes, that’s right 28.  We got into Arzura (sic) at about 6:30 pm.  That meant walking through the heat of the day. When you hear the phrase heat of the day, imagine the sun on the hottest day of the year beating down on your neck.  Yeah, it’s hot. But we made it eventually.  Got in looking for a nice long soak in a tub… and there’s only a small shower.  Sigh. So I started off today sore, and with tight muscles.  But I wore that off, and had a great first six km.  Had a nice talk with a French Gentleman, and enjoyed the countryside.  Then my feet suddenly started hurting.  I still don’t know why.  But I pressed on and made it to the 12km mark where the check point was.  That was as far as my feet would allow me.  I took the van the last 8 km.  On the plus side it meant that I could rest for a bit, and soak my feet (there was actually a tub) for a bit, then take a nice long bath.  I’m feeling considerably more human right now, and should be able to make the last 18km tomorrow fairly well. Dad had a way better day today than yesterday.  He, for some strange reason, decided to jog it.  Yes, Jog.  20km.  But he made it, and was the first one in today.  Arriving just 1/2 an hour after the van.  I’m impressed. The views here are beautiful.  Huge vistas of every imaginable variety.  It’s lovely walking here (until the heat of the day). I wish I could put some of my pictures up here for you to see them, but believe me, they’re awesome. I was asked to talk a bit about the group that we’re traveling with. It’s fairly multinational.  There is a group of seven Australians who are friends and relatives (two of them live in London), there are four New Zealanders, two Californians, and two other Americans.  It’s a pretty cool group. Well, enjoy your days.  Oh, and has anyone let Zach and Clare know about this yet? Enjoy.

Eating my way across Spain

So here I sit in Sarria, Spain.  Yeah, I love starting blogs like that.  Traveling has been so much fun.  I thought that since I had a bit of time, I´d share a little about the food here. Each area in Spain seems to have its regional specialties.  Some of these are Seafood in the north west, and more Mediterranean meals in the south east. In Madrid it seems to be ham.  I have had more varieties of ham than I thought were possible.  The bacon first.  Oh the bacon.  If you’ve ever had American ¨bacon¨ you know how horrid it is.  so thin and small that it´s always burnt and crunchy.  English bacon is better, thicker and more meat like.  Spanish bacon is best.  It´s like British bacon, but it has more flavour.  We also had several other types of ham, each better than the last.  Most bars and restaurants have their own leg of ham that they cut up.  It´s like everyone´s a butcher. The Paella is also good.  Not for those with shellfish allergies, but amazingly good.  If you´ve ever had Mexican Paella, well this is better.  For one it´s much less spicy.  I like spicy foods, but that tended to be too much. I just had stewed bull the other day, another wonderful meal.  It tasted like it had been stewing all morning.  Melt in your mouth good. The Spanish breakfast I had the other day was wonderful.  We went down to a pub for breakfast and I had a piece of bread with ham on it with Chocolate (hot chocolate).  It was small, but very good.  The Chocolate is what we would consider European Drinking Chocolate, but about three times thicker.  You stir in however much sugar you want, and when you take the spoon out the chocolate is sticking to it.  Mmmm….  Best hot chocolate ever. Breakfasts are usually very small, a piece of bread and some ham is a fairly common one.  Lunches on the other hand are at least two courses, plus a dessert.  I´d tell you what dinners were, but we´ve really never been hungry for them after our huge lunches. For lunches we usually get the Menu del Dia, or menu of the day.  It gives us a choice of a few things for the first course, a few for the second, a dessert, a basket of really good bread, and a glass or three of wine.  All for less than 10Euros  (about 15CAD).  Some places let you choose the dessert, and some give you the choice of bottled water or pop to replace the Vino Tinto, but not often, since wine is cheaper than both of those. Bocadillos are another popular food here.  It´s basically a smallish (16″ or so) loaf of french bread cut lengthwise with some meat and or cheese stuck in it. Also of note are Tappas.  Basically a small appetizer.  A few meatballs, or olives, or a piece of toast, or a bit of calamari.  Nothing huge, but also very cheap.  Usually served with beer. Something interesting here is that drinks are usually served with a free, or almost free, bit of food, and meals are served with a free drink.  It´s kinda cool. I´d tell you all about the various odd foods I´ve tried, but that would take forever.  I plan on trying the octopus later today, apparently it´s a specialty here.  I haven´t had it in a few years, but I recall enjoying it.  That´s all for now. Adios.