The Road to Santiago.

October 11, 2004

Photo of San Vicente Playa.
San Vicente Playa

San Vicente de la Barquera

After a quick breakfast of café con leche y tortilla española (coffee with milk and a Spanish omelet), I went to the Internet salon where I spent about three hours. The first hour was exceed­ingly frustrating because I was not able to transmit anything. I was convinced that it a problem with the computers and their security limit but the woman was convinced it was my fault.

Eventually, I got one of my disks to work and stuck with just that one. I sat with my lap top on my lap and transferred each picture, one at a time onto the disk, put the disk into the salon’s computer and sent an email to Jeff and Jerie with a file attachment. Then I removed the disk from the salon’s machine put it back into mine, deleted the file on the disk, and start the whole process all over again. For two hours!

In the afternoon, I needed a break from business, so I took a walk out to one of the beaches where I saw something that was quite unusual. Two tractors were backing in and out of the surf raking up kelp. They had quite a pile built up. I asked one what the seaweed was for (meaning was it for food processing or animal feed). I got the answer se vender (to sell). Well, I hope so! And I hope it brings a good price because salt water is very corrosive on metal equipment and can do a lot of damage if not properly cleaned off.

Photo of tractors on a beach in San Vicente.
Tractors on a beach in San Vicente

When I got back to town, I decided to go get something to eat. Everywhere I went the restaurants were packed with families. This usually happens on a Sunday but this was Monday. In fact, yesterday was so crowded I had to wait 45 minutes. So when I found one that I liked the looks of its Menu of the Day, I decided to wait.

The host was taking names. For me this was a dilemma. Spanish people have a very difficult time with my name. They don’t know how to pronounce it when they see it written and they certainly cannot write it down when I say it. So I decided to come up with another name. Well my middle name is Stanley but that’s not so good either. Since “S” at the beginning of a word is pronounced as if it had “e” in front of the “s,” I would have to tell the man my name is Estanley. And the “ley” part of the name would also be a problem. So I just said Estebán which is Spanish for Steven. The trouble with using a phony name is that you forget which name you used. The host had to call out Estaban three times before I realized that he was talking to me. Later I thought I should have used Guantero which is Spanish for a maker of gloves. Get it? Glover!

Later I asked at the hotel why there were so many people walking around. Well, the answer was that Tuesday, October 12, is a national holiday (Pilar Festival) and many people took Monday off so they could have an extra long weekend. It seems Americans aren’t the only ones who take a “slide” on occasion.

It was a really good meal! The first course was a paella (pronounced: pie yay ah), which is saffron-flavored rice that includes either seafood or meat. This had calamari, mejillones, y gambas (squid, mussels, and shrimp). The second course was cordero estafado (braised lamb), and for dessert was a tarta con fresa y nata (strawberry tart with whipped cream). Of course, I shouldn’t have eaten that because of the high carbohydrate count. And I don’t usually eat rice either because it’s high in carbs (all carbs except cellulose fiber are converted to glucose — blood sugar). But it’s unusual to see such items on a Menu of the Day which I usually choose in order to stay within my budget.

At each meal I count my carbohydrate intake and adjust my insulin dose accordingly. The problem is that with such rich rood, it’s often difficult to get an accurate count. So, in a case like this, I would test my blood again in three hours to see if I needed an adjustment of additional insulin. (I did and I had to add an additional six units.)

Since I had had a good afternoon meal, I wouldn’t be needing much in the evening. So, on the way back to the hotel I stopped in a small tienda (store) and bought ham and cheese to eat later in my hotel. I decided to watch some television for a change.

Photo of Torre de Preboste
Torre de Preboste
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