Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 15, part 3- Rates

As you know, it was raining, it had been raining, and it was going to rain. The bridge we crossed in the morning was walkable but the next one wasn't. Arcos looks idyllic and lovely but it is a village that is hundreds of meters below sea level (don't look it up, take my word for it) and all of its roads are lined with thick stonewalls topped with aggressive thorn bushes, with no drainage holes. Oh, and there are about a thousand bridges, too. Looking down from the approach road, it looked like Venice, but with stalled cars instead of gondolas.

Just before the first bridge, we saw a stalled truck and a mechanic working on it. Then we saw the bridge. Flooded knee-deep, with no alternative-- the walls were too narrow. We sighed and turned around. The mechanic gestured for us to get on the back of his van which was parked behind the drowned truck. All aboard, captain! He backed through the water and dropped on the other side. We thanked him, watched him drive away, turned around and realized we'd been marooned. The next bridge was flooded. It wasn't as deep but our feet got a little wet. There is a big difference between a little wet and very wet so we were grateful anyway.

Some of our equipment is falling apart. The long raincoats we reviewed as gifts from the Jeju Olle are getting more rips everyday. I'm not complaining, they weren't intended for heavy use. JH bought a cheap pair of hiking sticks for the trip that are gradually getting shorter. The metal tips broke off long ago and the plastic that held the tips in place is wearing away. Gyu eon decided to find another stick in the wild to use on addition to the other one. His first supplemental stick had several small branches with leaves and, although it looked great, was impractical. The second one broke within 1 minute. Auditions over, he's sticking with one.

Rates- we feel like we are in our first real albergue. We had to show our credentials to even get in. The stamp is elaborate, as far as stamps go. It's 2 colors. The volunteer used a little T-square to line up a black ink stamp, then to line up red ink stamp. Then he pointed to the donation box and showed us around.

Cozy room. 3 bunk beds and 2 cots but we were the only guests. We also got blankets and a space heater to dry our stuff. There was also a kitchen.

We went to the tiny market up the street and got stuff for dinner and breakfast. When we dropped the stuff off, we found that two other peregrinos had arrived, a mother and son from Brazil. They looked beat so we didn't talk much. They stayed in another room full of bunks.

For dinner, I finally got rid of some things I'd had in my pack since Korea-- 3 out of 5 packs of spicy ramen! Finally! Dinner was nice and relaxing. For a change, we didn't have chicken, pork, fish, or beef with rice AND French fries.

After dinner, we sat around the table, talking and joking. I taught Gyueon how to play paper triangle football. Of course I won.


Van to the rescue!

Hiking stick

Hiking stick

King of stamps

Alien invasion


Paper football. I won.

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