Ship in peril: "We are sinking. We are sinking"
German coastguard: "What are you sinking about?"
I was sitting by the side of the road eating lunch, my back up against a rock, enjoying the peace and thinking about the state of the world, when I was interrupted,
"Is everysing OK?"
It was. I had walked more than halfway. I was enjoying some local cheese and a local sausage. I was enjoying the warmth of the sun and the solitude of nature. I was thinking once again of the Wordsworthian lines,
Little we see in Nature that is ours
We have given our heart away
Nature is restorative, and to use a dreadful analogy, we need to connect with it to be restored, just as our gadgets need to connect to the Internet to be updated.
This part of the Camino is thick with Germans. Last night I was caught in the crossfire of German and Spanish conversations and felt quite inadequate understanding neither. The Spanish speak only Spanish, but the Germans all speak English fluently, and some of them speak Spanish as well. And, of course, they are open-minded internationalists.
What a political tool is second language instruction in schools! If you want the next generation of your country to be liberal and outward looking you insist that they learn a second language. As well as building support for a bilingual Canada, was the Trudeau Government's support for French Immersion in the seventies to ensure a liberal and perhaps a Liberal Canada for the future? Is Trump's education secretary likely to encourage Americans to learn Spanish?
Peter from Holland whom I meet from time to time confirms the argument I heard from a Portugese woman last year. In the European countries where English films are subtitled rather than dubbed, the children learn English as they watch the films. In Portugal and Holland and the Scandinavian countries the films are subtitled; in Spain and France they are not.
A long, but easy walk today along a flat table land, with a return to the vegetation of the south with scrubby oaks and the prickly bush that lines the way. Then it was up a ridge leading to a battery of wind turbines, making their characteristic rushing sound, not unlike the gushing of a stream or the distant sound of a waterfall, although one seemed to be having stomach problems as it made a deeper rumble than the rest.
At the edge of the ridge there a stone wall awas a clear line of demarcation between the oaks of the south and the oaks of the north.
But it was not so simple. Half an our later I was back in the landscape of the south.
When I first started these long-distance walks there was no Internet to provide information, and no smart phone to gain access to that information on the road. How different it is today! Here are a couple of tools you might find useful. I use the website www.gronze.com for maps of each step, elevation profiles, and accommodation lists, and the app. viadelaplata for tracking my position relative to the Camino. The latter is basically Google Maps with the Camino already marked in, so you can never get lost.
I am staying at an albergue attached to the El Clavelés bar at San Pedro de Rosados. The Germans have gone three kilometres farther on.