Day 8, December 2nd, 2011
Expenses, Day 8
Provision (Gas Station food, ugh): 5.50
Chocolate Croissant: 1.15
Cafe con leche: 1.40
Room at Ca N'aleix: 10.00
Cervera was a nice town. It's an old medieval hill city, with walls and a fortress and everything. Several people asked if I was a pilgrim and gave me directions through the maze of cobblestone streets. It was market day, too, and I got a great chocolate croissant along with some supplements to my shitty gas station provisions.
After Cervera it was a long straight shot to Tarrega, where I am now. This is where the Cami de San Juan de la Pena splits off to the North – I'll sleep here and decide which way to go. Two extra days on the Northern path is not much of a difference on a 1200km pilgrimage.
“The camino will challenge you,” I remember reading in some bit of trail literature. This is true. Today the challenge was my leg muscles – they were very sore and tired the last ten kilometers. Nothing broken, I just had to gut it out. I think I walked the first bit too fast – 15km in four hours. I walk fast when I'm angry. Still don't know why I was angry.
Now to find a place to stay, and pizza.
I forgot to mention that I saw a canal under construction today – or, an aqueduct, to be more specific. It wasn't drinking water (no cover) and it wasn't for traffic (disappeared into a huge pipe in a hill) so I can only assume that it's for agriculture. It's always funny to see a river cross a bridge over another river.
The albegure is open! It is actually a shelter for people with mental illness, with a few spare rooms for pilgrims and the like. They had a room free tonight – 10 euros, including breakfast. What nice people, and what a great deal. The room is almost exactly a dorm room.
It makes me think of dad – many of the people here are probably clients of his Spanish counterpart. I think he would appreciate the irony of how well I fit in here. Think about it – I'm filthy, I smell bad, I piss outside a lot, I talk out loud to myself in a language that no one else understands (English) . . . I'm even carrying a meaningless trinket (the shell from Malaga). Anyone crazy enough to go on a pilgrimage . . .
Tough day, good ending.