Sunday, June 10, 2007

Palas de Rei

We arrived in Palas de Rei after what now seems (after our having arrived today in Santiago, which makes it easy to forget pain) to have been a brisk walk through lovely terrain. I (Paul) remember passing a church that looked a bit different than others we´ve seen, though I´ll bet it was Romanesque, on the way downhill to our hostal, Bar/Cafeteria Plaza. The dueño was a great help: he escorted me and Jim by car to our room, which we appreciated, though it did take us farther from the cervezas we had been looking forward to.

There was a fantastic restaurant close to the hotel whose menú del día included a terrific paella, a delicious merluza dish, and to wash it down, a marvelous house wine. (We´re digging for synonyms for good here.)

John presented for us under a canopy in the town plaza, where we learned about some local myths, including a French knight -- if we remember right -- who wanted to marry a woman but was then cursed by her older sister, who also loved him. We think. John? We remember at least that someone died and is said to wander the town at night. A number of us stayed out pretty late to look at the stars (this failed, by the way: too bright in town, too scary in the dark), but we didn´t see any ghosts.

We also reflected on our blisters and tan lines, which we photographed for posterity. We all agreed that one very neat thing has been the international nature of the camino -- each of us taking a shot at Spanish, as well as the nationalities we´ve encountered along the way (German, French, Dutch, British -- hello Dan from Cambridge, are you there? -- Danish, Italian ...).

We were so close to Santiago we could taste it. No, nevermind -- I´m mistaking the taste of Santiago for the cheap and suspiciously labeled wine Jim bought at a local grocery.

-- Paul and Connor

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