To paraphrase a famous Steve Martin line, ” those Spanish, it’s like they have a different word for everything” , so true. We checked into this place yesterday and listened to the owner tell us all about the place not understanding a word. Well OK we picked up a few words here and there. I asked about wifi and assumed his answer meant no,with an explanation. No biggie, I have a SIM card so can check email, find out about the Alberta fires, and the USA primaries on my iPad. Later on after Ken went to bed, the phone from downstairs rang and there was a man speaking In rapid Spanish. After this I put down the phone and then there was someone at the door. It was a little scary, but there was the owner with a little wifi device. He stayed until he was certain I had mastered its use. What a nice guy.
When we went to France a few years ago I worked for months on my French only to end up on a bike barge tour with a Dutch crew and all of the passengers were English speaking. I found it hard to motivate myself to work on Spanish for this trip until the last week or so, not long enough. I wish now the circumstances were reversed. All of my work would have been put to better use. My priority has always been to learn French living in Canada. I do love France, but I am now loving Spain equally, and it seems that it might just fit better into a retiree …….and a low Canadian dollar budget. Spain is SOO much less expensive than France. This is view out our back window, old old wall with years or repairs. 5 feet away.
Most people we meet along the way have also done the Camino Frances in fact many are surprised that this is our first choice. The friends we came with, Helene and Greg have done many “ways”, in fact Helene many more so than Greg. The draw for them was how busy the Camino Frances has become and the Via de la Plata, not so much. I have come to realize that like everything in life, everyone has a different take on this. The Frances is extremely well established and although there are many more people enroute, they are more set up to handle large groups. They even have large dorm style rooms with 50-100 people. The most we have seen has been 10 to a room. The Frances also has many alternatives for places to stay, but the “via” is catching up. Speaking to a few “pilgrims” yesterday who were traveling alone, they found this route more “lonely”. They said you never get lonely on Frances. Guess a matter of opinion.
We are now in Zamora, and having a day of rest from the trail.
Zamora is a city we would love to spend a week. Today we explored the remains of a “Castillo”, built in the 11th century. The walls were fascinating, an anthropologic map. The lower walls essentially large stones cemented together, whereas as they ascended more precise edged bricks. It appeared as though each subsequent culture has added their own technological skills, as the walls went higher. The apparent “repairs” also each had their own cultural flair. I hope this shows what I mean.