Wednesday, September 19. My day at the beach is lovely, though I had sent my swim suit on to Santiago earlier, when I thought I would have no time to get in the water. But the view is magnificent and the very sight is calming.
I walked, wrote, walked, talked with Ashley (my daughter) for awhile, read a book on my phone screen (not ideal but when desperate . . . ). I have lunch at a little bar with grass shack umbrellas, a beautiful view (where in this town is there NOT a beautiful view), mediocre food and TERRIBLE service. Several pilgrims stop here, two of them from Houston, two from Germany (of course . . . so many Germans are walking this road).
I talk with the two from Houston, a man and his sister (ah, to have a brother like that these days), and the man says he has horrible blisters, and they think they will stay tonight here. I tell them about my accommodations just around the corner, and the sister goes to secure a room for them. A good place for pilgrims, with or without blisters, for a day off.
Back to my apartment in time to call Neil at a reasonable morning hour, after he walks Kali but before he settles into his lengthy breakfast routine (food, news, Sudoku, crossword puzzle, comics, etc.). I think it’s the first time we’ve actually talked, not texted.
By evening, I’m ready to sit at the grass shack bar, have a glass of wine, and watch the sun set. Unfortunately, though the outdoor tables are nearly full, the service is as bad as it was earlier today. I sit and wait for about 20 minutes without a sign of anyone who wants to acknowledge those of us who have sat down in the last while, so I leave and head for the restaurant from yesterday’s niçoise salad. There are already two other tables full of people, but the waiter bustles around and doesn’t seem to see us. Finally he come sto my table and I say, “I know you don’t open until 7:00, but I would really like a glass of wine to accompany the beautiful sunset.” He says, “Of course.” and proceeds to ignore me. The sun is getting lower, and yes, I can see it without having a glass in my hand, but . . . .
It is 6:55. Now 7:00. Still, the man nods and smiles when I say, “Wine, please? Before the sun goes down?” Now 7:10. 7:15. Finally, as the sun dips into the water, he opens a bottle and pours me a glass of vino tinto. “Tranquillo”, I say to myself. I make the mistake or ordering a steak dinner, almost never a good idea in Spain or Italy, in my experience, and it’s okay. Pink, nearly, but not medium rare, as I ordered it. Ah, well, at least I had the wine.
Now organize my pack for tomorrow, and then sleep. I meet Ria in Mougás tomorrow. We have a private room and bath reserved at the albergue there.