Camino Diary Entry # 30

DSC01328#30 Emails Home from the Camino

Welcome to O’Cebriero
Thriving metropolis, this is not. The entire village fits on the front of the postcard I bought for my mother – and the 17 buildings that make up the village are big enough on that postcard for me to put a ring around our bedroom window.462
In a state of some disbelief (notice I did not say disappointment!) we entered the cafe – pub.
It was chaos! Two people serving the hungry, thirsty clientele and also to check us i. Clearly arriving cold and exhausted looking for your pre-paid bed, still waits behind the plate of tapas, the coffees, the ales, the wines, the soup, the phone, the hot chocolate and……
Eventually our names were entered in  with the arrivals and we were led back into the cold, across the cobbles to a small standalone stone building. A rabbit warren of stairs and hallways and we found our room.
The bathroom is so compact that from the loo you can reach around the shower into the vanity cabinet. There is yet another water issue. This time it seems to be at the base of the loo and under the vanity. The upside (and yes we do always try to find one!) is that the light comes on with auto sensor and so long as you keep propelling your arms while sitting on the throne you get to enjoy illumination for the whole process including hand washing.
We have been back out for an explore – just in case we had missed something on our arrival, (and no, we hadn’t.) The same faces seem to run the 2 souvenir shops, and the pubs, and weed the garden and supply the accommodation. Seems to work, unless you want lunch and the 4 staff are all sitting in the pub enjoying plates of fries with hearty looking stew that you would order if you knew how to and if anyone was actually interested in taking your order.
Eventually ‘Big boy’ arrived from behind the bar. Showing him the remains of a recently departed diner’s bread/jambon/peppers tapas I ordered a plate of ‘those’. Gwyneth wanted ‘tortilla a la potata’ and given the choice of 3 soups, I opted for the bean soup which I had so much enjoyed the evening prior. I was surprised enough (and I know I have commented previously) when the tapas arrived with the ingredients spread about the plate and looked nothing like what I had asked for, but when the bean soup turned up full of pasta noodles and no beans, I did get a bit frustrated. He then told me there was no bean soup so I had got the pasta soup. Rightly or wrongly, I sent it back and went with the garlic soup which actually tasted pretty good.
459The church is very pretty. There are lots of candles lit in red glass holders and it is warm in there. We went back and just sat for 15 minutes because it seems to be the warmest place to go.We are even contemplating going to mass at 7 pm to keep warm.
We have found both souvenir shops, about 4 cafe/ pubs , a few albergues and ‘the supermarket’. The latter we happened on through a dingey door down a side alley. The grumpy old bugger serving obviously didn’t like customers and his very old,  smelly german shepherd taking up most of the floor space really didn’t either. We clearly distressed the shopkeeper by lifting down 2 of the bottles of red wine to wipe the dust off them so we could read the labels. In the dim dark recesses of what was really only a large cupboard, hardly a supermarket, we selected a wine, added 2 bottles of water and told our selves it was jolly fine retail therapy.
The chances of catching up on laundry are not good, there is no washing machine, and the only Internet would seem to be via a coin operated thing in the corner of the pub.
So here we are, sitting up on our beds, wrapped in the spare blankets, ‘happy mugs’ at the ready and about to enjoy our first wine of the day.
Clearly, I spoke too soon. The whole shower process was a disaste. The sensor light does de-activate, about every 2 1/2 minutes. To re activate you need to slide the shower door open. The water cuts out automatically after 7 minutes. This is most unhelpful when washing hair. Do not even think about trying to to shave legs!
The evening meal proved to be the most sociable hour of our day. Our new North Carolina buddies joined our table as did a lovely Italian couple with very little English. A few wines to ease the conversation and a pleasant night all round.


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