Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12, 2014 -- Los Arcos, Spain

I had this entry almost completed when I accidentally tapped the Ctrl key on this tablet's onscreen keyboard. As luck would have it, the next key I hit was an A, which selected the entire blog entry, and the next key I hit overwrote everything, leaving me with a blank screen. Finally, blogger auto-saved the blank entry, thereby also deleting the backup copy of what I had written. What I wouldn't give for a real, touch-type keyboard!

Well, to start over, I had planned to hike much farther today, but by the time I reached Los Arcos after having walked only 11.5 kilometers (7.1 miles for the metrically challenged) my legs were tellimg me that it was time for an easy day, so I stopped here shortly after 11 am. That means that I missed today's goal of getting within 400 miles of Santiago de Compostela. I still have 406 miles left to walk.

Los Arcos has well over 1,000 inhabitants, which qualifies it as at least a village if not as a small town. In either case, it's much larger than most of the hamlets where I have been staying.

I am staying in the municipal hostel, which is managed by a Belgian confraternity. The elderly couple running it at present are native Flemish speakers, but they also speak French, basic English, and enough Spanish to get by. The wife greeted me in English when I arrived, her husband spoke French to me as I was registering, and the wife showed me around the hostel in English.

The hostel is just across the "river" (more like a small stream, really) from the gate to the old part of town. Here's a shot of the gate taken from the bridge. The gate has been restored several time through the centuries with the latest restoration haven taken place in 2007.

The place where many pilgrims stop to get their bearings after entering town is the central plaza, shown below. It has several cafés and is a good place to grab a sandwich and a beer or café americano.

The church is beside the plaza. Here is the photo I took of its steeple.

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