Image for The long march ... Fear and loathing on the Camino trail, Days 11-13 ...

Gonzo and I eating fresh figs picked from the roadside. The locals leave out baskets of seasonal fruit for those on the Camino

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Secret photos from inside an auberge

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Auberges ... the beauty of the morning

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A roadside act of love for a thirty year old who died in a car in 1980

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An apartment building in the main St of la Carrida, Astoria

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Just like us they carve up agricultural land put rooves and roads over the top, destroying the natural flow of stormwater. Here 701m2 for $95,000. About twice the price for a similar site in Tas.

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Roadkill, the only one we have seen

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A faded sign of a lost time

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The Bay of Biscay

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Bay of Biscay looking west towards the future and lunch

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Part of the story. Spanish food continues to delight with its diversity and innovative presentation. This same menu is so popular that it is in all restaurants for a thousand kms back to Barcelona.

The best laid war plans do not survive first contact in battle. Sun Tzu c300 BC.

The long march towards Santiago de Compostella, was resuming at first light, well, at least after breakfast, say 10am. The Spanish are on central European time so it is dark until 8:30 am. Very civilized, shops open at 10:00 am, and then we are away, after coffee and potato tortillas, marching towards a pilgrim glory.

The Generalissimo (ret?) had delivered an outstanding call to arms in his after-dinner ravings. Anyone who prefers vino blanco semi sec (dry white wine) is in heaven in Spain and the Generalissimo (ret?) is powered by that fuel and the emotion of his sociopathy. An army of Greeks had arrived driven by the belief that they would inherit the earth. They had heard this on the grapevine.

The mistakes of the Generalissimo’s after-dinner ravings were never corrected by Gonzo, now appointed official secretary or myself. I hid in shame as recruits arrived innocently seeking meaning, caring for others on the Camino is taken for granted and I think promptly forgotten on return to suburbia. Like impatience, I need to eliminate cynicism, this I think is my way.

We, that is all of us moved at lightening speed across the bus network of northern Spain and promptly arrived at sundown at La Carreda Auberge now spelt with an l. Alberges are where the privileged middle classes take their holidays. Some snoring, some in frilly underwear, lots of conversation, always interesting youth and boring rigid sixty year olds. Gonzo always amuses people with his donkey impersonations. ‘That’ll do donkey that’ll doo’ they all say, knowingly like Shrek.  Tonight a young Londoner told us about the two books he wrote and a German girl of her travels through Lebanon. I have met so many bright young things on this Camino, they all are concerned but obviously wandering trying to find their Tasmania. Some have been there attracted by MONA, none mentioned the Casino as a reason they were attracted to Tasmania. Backpacking is the real attraction, fun and work, mixing it up with other cosmopolites. Our government’s are without a plan let alone a goal to attract and keep these innovative kids in Tasmania.

We have planned our next day, a 30km forced march. I know the Generalissimo (ret?) will not make it in good shape. Slowly he is acknowledging the power of youth as we head into our final campaign.

We made an early start heading to the Bay of Biscay, lunches in a restaurant that reminded me of the Grenada, not the one in Spain. The waiter told us in a most certain manner that if we wanted to consult the menu to go back out to the street as that was were it was, a blackboard. Beans with octopus legs and the delicious and delightful mains shown in the pictures, were consumed. You may not realise how lucky our diversity of food is, but every restaurant in Spain has the same menu, from Barcelona to here, no variety except the price.

To be continued ...