3 October Gontan

October 9, 2014

Gontan is a relatively new albergue.  It has a system of partitions between bunks which prevents one sleeping next to a complete stranger when the bunks are pushed together. The kitchen was not wonderfully equipped but were getting used to that. We did a supermarket run and went for our preferred mixture of fabadas and albondigas. (This is beans and meatballs which come in separate tins.  Our innovation is in mixing the two together.)
We were sharing the albergue with some hard core pilgrims tonight, who were loudly planning  superlong 40k days to get to Santiago in time for booked flights. It seems a pity to have to rush through such beautiful countryside.  I’m glad we haven’t got a deadline.

That conversation was irritating but I found the older man’s comments to two teenage German girls about their lovely skin and their kitchen skills quite unacceptable. It’s noticeable that male chauvinist attitudes are still thriving throughout Europe.  I say that’s why Peter does most of our cooking – to demonstrate that a man can. In fact it’s because he has developed systems for filling the thermos etc which I could not do half as well.

There is an unobtrusive pleasant hospitaliero here but he began by rejecting the nice Slovenian pilgrim Nika and her cocker spaniel Villi when they arrived. It was agreed that she could sleep outside with him, and use the facilities. But before long the utter charm shining from both of them must have worked some magic because the two of them were allowed to sleep downstairs together in the living area.

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We have entered the area of Galicia where cruceras/cruceiras abound. These are tall crucifixes standing at crossroads, churchyards, by the side of the road. They have a crucified Jesus on one side, and usually Mary on the other. One had been relocated beside the albergue. It was a super one with extra figures and the tools of the crucifixion (hammer, spear, nails etc) down the shaft.