Portomarin to Palas de Rei – Part 2

Tonight’s albergue was a place called Buen Camino…clean, and once again we were blessed with having only four beds in our room, the fourth which was occupied by a young Spanish woman. The one thing I didn’t like about this place was the co-ed bathroom. I know that Europeans are much more relaxed about their bodies than us prudish Canadians, but all the same, there are some things I’d just rather not see, especially if they involve overweight old men.

We had dinner with the two English women I’d encountered earlier on the trail, and Carmel from Galway, Ireland. I’d met Carmel a few nights back and had instantly liked her. In fact she almost felt like a sister to me.

One of the things I’d been struggling with during my Camino was what to do about the family farm in Nova Scotia. I’d just gone through a very bad experience with the tenant and it made me realize that it was impossible for me to manage the farm from the other end of Canada. Interestingly, I found out that Carmel was dealing with exactly the same issues. Her parents had recently died and she was trying her best to keep up the family farm, travelling there each week-end to do the gardening. She talked to me about how it had been drilled in to her since she was little that land was gold and farm land should never be sold. Boy, had I heard that before! It was a bit of an ‘a-ha’ moment for me to realize that when my father used that same language, it wasn’t just him talking but our ancestors too.

Along with having Carmel at our table, there were three men from Dublin at the table beside us. I really did feel a sense of connection with these four. I guess there is more Irish in my soul than I realized.

Carmel to my left, Jo Anne and the two English women across from me. I wish I could remember the names of those two!
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