Monday, 27 October 2008

Salamanca Was Beautiful...

Then it started pissing it down.

Arrived pretty much skint. Slept in the cloister thingy of some old convent. Quckly drew a few postcard sketches. Sold them very cheaply to buy large rolls of craft paper for panoramics and started sketching Plaza Mayor. Very challenging sketch, but Salamanca was packed on Sunday and I cleared €120 in a couple of hours. Thankfully sorted with a hostal for a few nights and planning to stay here until Saturday to save some money.

Tough hiking distances. I need the rest. Stayed in my first, nice contemporary albergue in Olive de Plasencia. Only One other person there, so we had a dorm each and choice of showers. Bar, cooking facilities, TV plus DVD library. Fire place. Very nice and not a whiff of religion in the place.

Also met my first pilgrim actually walking. They do exist. There are more tracks on the paths now. It is also getting more commercial and more expensive.

Beautiful countryside once again. Found fig trees with ripe fruit and my first pomegranate tree with ready to eat juiciness. A tip for eating pomegranates the easy way: break the fruit up into small pieces in a bowl of water. All the crud floats to the top and all the goodness sinks to the bottom. Skim and pour the water out then stuff your face using a spoon.

If you're into renaissance architecture you'll love Salamanca. I haven't had a chance to explore much yet, but it is an exceptionally beautiful city. Or, at least it is when the sun shines. Chucking it down and the forecast doesn't look to clever. I'm off to the games hall for a few rounds of pool and air hockey with a couple of Swiss pilgrims I first met in Cordoba. It will keep me out of the bars at least.

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