Wednesday November 12th 2014 Baños de Montemayor 10 km.


Baños de M. Leon in backyard of our albergue

Harrie in albergue of Baños de M

Baños de Montemayor, Roman baths

Doel v d foto was de achtergrond

Important detail of the picture is the background

Badjas verplicht. Bale, bale (goed, goed)

Rob, Plien and Harrie. Bathrobe obligatory. Bale, bale (good, good)

Plien, 2nd from the left, chatting with Spanish ladies

Yesterday evening we had a cheap and good diner in the local bar. There we met the 3 men and one women we had met during the day while crossing a little river. Two French guys, one Spanisch pilgrim who walked 40 km. a day and a Spanish guappa ( beauty). I asked her if she was Spanish too. Some unclear answer but today I understood why: mom French and daddy Spanish. I considered asking her if she happened to know one of my youth loves: Maria Pilar Lorenzo de Garcia. Each of those names is very common in Spanish, so no chance. I asked her where she walked to. Again no answer. One of the accompanying men pointed out to me that she probably just was looking for a man. Well, said Rob, a shame I’m getting older. I helped him hope that she was a gerontophyl. Never heard of, Rob replied. Necrophyl, Rob knew, but he expected not yet to be a candidate for that situation. We regretted that in this case.
Leon got a place at the local swimming pool (not the Roman baths). Oh, I said, Leon muchu quiere natacion ( Leon loves swimming). In that case you may not let him walk around freely. You’ll have to tie him, because he is not allowed in the pool. Tosca was assigned to a little narrow concrete court between high brick walls, without any protection against the rain. One day later, on wednesday, Guardian Rosa didn’t know that Tosca slept under my bed, that during the night she once again bit her leather leash and that Tosca licked Bobs a.. This helped Rob sleep very well in spite of the coffee.
Late in the evening I thanked Rosa for her help and told her to quickly return to her little kids. She answered: the youngest one is 37. I suppose she liked my remark.
Because I still am in advance of my schedule and because it is raining and the guide book tells us we’ll have to walk uphill tomorrow, we decided to walk today only 10 km. So getting up late. One of the French guys told us about the rituals that pelgrims perform at the Finistère, the most western spot of Europe, behind Santiago. Its the place were the soal continues to travel when our physical remains stay behind. Pelgrims walk all the way there, carrying in their bags a stone that symbolizes all their troubles and worries. You leave the stone in the waves at the beach, getting rid of your symbolical burden. The French guy said he had his worries in his head and he did not consider leaving his head at the Finistere beach. To make a new start pilgrims take off their cloths and burn it. Rob could imagine a beach full of naked people with worries, the beach polluted by melting goretec plastic clothing. And than they get inundated by 9 waves of seawater, symbolic for the nine months of pregnancy, a kind of rebirth. I suggested 40 waves for the 40 weeks of pregnancy, but according to Rob one can’t survive that. And then it will be a “terminal” exercise instead of a rebirth.
In that Baños are thermal baths, not terminal. That gives us hope. If we walk fast anough we might be there in time.

I made some pictures of the dangerous traffic situation. With Leon I often have to cross a horizontal cattle fence. Leon is not afraid and simply walks over it, but Rob noticed that because of Leons weight the metal bars started spreading apart so far that Leons legs almost fell through. And that’s very dangerous. He would seriously injure himself. Well, we did it again. I praised him. The nicest flowers grow on the rim of the canyon. Leon answered understanding. Sometimes Rob and Pauline walked ahead, sometimes I walked behind. Is this a pleonasm, Maud and Arthur?
Wow, this is quite an albergue: a fire place, a museum about the Via de la Plata, about the cañada’s, the ancient cattle and sheep tracks that often are similar to the Via the la Plata. In the 15 th century, Spains most leading country, Castilia, became prosperous because of the production of wool. Since then their merinosheep has become the most common kind of sheep in the world with the finest wool.

We had lunch at 3 P.M. I wanted to get rid of the wodka that brother Jack gave me as a present on driving me from the Netherlands to Spain. We toasted to the ” vot” ( Limburg-Dutch slang meaning butt), which resembles French “votre” santé. Rob toasted to the ” vot ” ( butt) of his naked grandma, who probably witnessed from heaven. Thus my back pack lost a couple ounces of weight. And for the first time this trip Tosca was allowed in the albergue, that was all empty.
So we went to the Roman baths. They were situated at one side of the road. If you really want to swim you’d better go across the road to the modern swimming pool, the lady at the entrance said. So we crossed the road. If you specially came here to see the original Roman baths you better cross the street to the other side, we heard there. So we went back to where we came from. Rob felt terminally screwed. After a beer it got a little confusing: terminal, thermal, digital, genital, genetic. I gave Rob instruction about the development from the oldfashioned mercurium thermometer to the digital one. Patients used to ask me if we also sold genital thermometers, meaning to say digital.                                                                                                          Inside the building, after changing, I was the first one to search for the ancient baths. Upon opening a door I bumped into a room where a greecer wearing a white coat, instructed elderly people. The masseur of the local p.g. ( psychogeriatry) showed off his important position by seriously adressing me that I was very much astray.
Inside the pool some old ladies were making a great effort to swim in vertical position into the direction of the roof of the pool. We took off and reached the other side of the pool in two seconds. Showing off. Paulien, who speaks Spanish fluently, translated words to the terrified old ladies, like storm flood, sea hurricane etc. A statue of Apollo with nice breasts but without an areola mamma and a muscular statue of something that probably had ever been a man and some more of those ancient remainders deverted us from top sport intentions, but gave the pool a Roman impression. Our white bathing gowns added to that impression.
We were the last ones to leave the pool. We had to pass the terminal wash street. Sulfur with water was spread out over our bodies. The heat pleased our hardened corpuses. So you see how hard this walking is. When we left the pool the receptionists asked if we liked it. Bale, bale we answered ( in Spanish good, in Dutch bad!) and we laughed..
Back in the albergue we prepared our meals. The can with the picture of a dish of fresh mixed vegetables that I bought yesterday, proved to contain only Spanish peppers. No problem. I still have a nice flan for desert. That proved to be corn with pieces of eggs and meat. I finished that too. Reminded me of the can of tripes that I bought a couple days ago and that smelled like faeces so I finally gave it to gratefull Tosca. I feel like a dog: eat whatever you can get. Bale, bale.

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