Ribadesella at 8.30am had all the hallmarks of a cemetery: deathly quiet with no one moving. I shouldn't be so critical of somethng as deeply embedded in Spanish culture as the hours they keep. What amazes me is that they have been able to hold onto the hours in which they conduct their lives despite being a part of the European Community which doesn't keep the same times.

I've now met a number of people from the Czech Republic, something that hadn't occurred on previous Camino's. While writing up my notes a man from there came into the albergue and we chatted for about an hour. On the way out of Ribadesella this morning a woman joined the path from a side street. Aniska, also from the
Czech Republic, had slept under the awning of someone's house the previous night. We walked together for about a half hour. She turned up at the albergue later this afternoon. All those I've met speak English. A lot of peregrinos are on limited budgets.

Today's walk was easy and very enjoyable. I regularly had a view of the coastline. Occasionally the ocean went out of view as I made my way along narrow paths head high with lantana, briar bushes and ferns. Many of the beaches were deserted. It's quite an unspoiled area.

I stopped myself today from being competitive for an albergue bed. Along the way I came upon a group of about eight Spanish women walking together. I stopped for a few minutes and talked to one of them. I walked on ahead but started thinking that if I kept ahead of them I would be assured of a bed. I'd been walking for about three hours by this time. Normally I would have taken a break to rest and eat some food
after walking for two to three hours. After fully realizing that doing what I was doing was compromising a principle I had established for myself I stopped at a picnic table overlooking a beach and remained there fir about an hour.

While I was at the table eating, Phillip, a young German man came up and we chatted for half an hour. I shared some of my food with him. While I was at the table the group of women went by. I now felt true to myself. In the end everyone got a bed and there were some to spare.

Today's walk was just 18km. I'm treating it as a rest day. I arrived at the albergue around 1.00pm. I had so much time to myself I hardly knew what to do with it, but I managed to fit in the a��8.50 pilgrim meal about 3.00pm. La Isla is a small village with a cafe/restaurant, a small kiosk/shop and houses. It's hard to know what sustains it. Tomorrow will be another short walk, but it all fits in with my intention to arrive in Santiago on August 5.

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