The rumors are true! There is a fountain in Spain that spews red wine. For free! Monks produce the wine and allot 100L per day to be free to pilgrims. Dreams do come true!! If that's not reason enough to hike el Camino, I'm not sure what is.
Upon arrival to Los Arcos, we were beat! We looked at a hotel room and couldn't say no. So it was definitely a splurge on our accommodations, but we deserved it!! It was so amazing to sleep in a clean bed and have our own space for a night. After cleaning ourselves up, we waddled the plaza to grab a bite to eat. We got glasses of beer and split a big plate of spaghetti, which hit the spot. Dinner time in Spain is tricky for us. We are usually starving when we arrive to the village we stay in, but dinner is usually at 7pm. So when we eat at 3pm, we aren't hungry again by 7pm, but probably will be hungry again soon after. Oh, our lives are so hard out here! We ended up sharing a plate of paella around 6pm, then grabbed beers to-go and brought them up to our hotel room to enjoy in bed. We tried watching TV but the only channel in English was the Disney channel playing some fairy show (which we attempted to watch for a bit).
Another memorable part of today was meeting a young Spanish man and his dog. His dog is the only one we've met on el Camino so far. He has a huge backpack- likely because many places don't allow dogs and so he has to carry a load of camping gear. About three miles in to the "desert-like" section of the day, we expected to come upon a mobile cafe. However, when we arrived to the spot, there was no cafe. Many people were relying on that stop for water and snacks to carry them through the last four miles- including our friend with the pup. Mom and I were sitting in a shady spot when the dog came running over and plopped himself right on my mom's feet. His owner sat next to us and was worried about his dog in the heat. He gave his dog the last of his water and mom and I shared with them both some cheese, pepperoni and crackers. I speak minimal Spanish and he spoke no English, yet we felt so connected to them both sitting in our little shadow of shade. We were SO happy to see the pup and his owner stroll into town shortly after we arrived.
Wow! This was a tough one. We started our day with a two mile accidental detour, which sucked. There was very little shade all day so we spent most of our day in the blazing sun with no place to hide (or pee). The back of my neck and legs burned again. I took pictures to show my grandchildren why Nana has skin cancer and why they need to REAPPLY sunscreen throughout a day in the sun. We also passed through very few villages, so resources were few and far between. We really had to fill up as much water as we could at each opportunity. My mom drinks an insane amount of water, which is so great. I love that she's staying hydrated in this heat. However, in the stretches that no water is available, it sucks. She really can't carry more than 1.5 liters at a time because her backpack hurts her, but she almost always finishes that amount of water within a few hours. But I'm a great daughter and have a 3 liter water bladder and carry extra for my beloved mother.
A Trace of Grace
Notes from a trekking mama
I was concerned that my body may not want to keep walking and I remembered Hannah's advice to keep drinking water. I did and went through about 4-5 liters but was able to laugh a little at the end of the day when 2 miles seemed like 10.