Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What do you call pilgrims on tractors

Pilgrims on foot are called peregrinos. Those on bikes are called "bici"grinos.

Yesterday, I came across a new kind of pilgrim--those who go to Santiago on antique tractors! Tractor-grinos? Hmm, needs work.

The way from Lorca to Villatuerta had been relatively sparse. I know I wasn´t the last one to leave Lorca, but after Itsu & another couple had passed me, I saw no one else until the outskirts of Estella & they weren´t pilgrims who stayed in Lorca. ANYWAY, I walked into the village square & found it crowded with Guardia Civil (Spanish police) out in force & loads of tractors. Uh oh, some sort of Basque or farmers protest? Nope, turns out they were farmers from all over Spain who decided to make the pilgrimage to Santiago on their antique tractors. They were all in excellent shape & very beautiful machines. I saw a Lanz Bulldog, a red McCormick, & of course, a John Deere. Also in the parade were an old WWII era Jeep & a chuck wagon pulled by another tractor. Almost hitched a ride on one of them, at the invitation of the owner, but the Guardia Civil rightly said ¨no,¨ since the only room for me was to hold onto the driver--fine for the fields, but not the highway. It would have been fun to ride one of the tractors for a short while, though.

Made good time to Estella, but not in time to catch the early bus to Los Arcos. Got to Los Arcos & it was all booked up. Nothing to do then but wait 2 more hours for the next bus to Logrono (I figured if Los Arcos was full, everything in between it & Logrono would be full too). The very hot weather is forcing everyone off the road around noon, so albergues are filling up by 1:30 instead of 4 as usual.

Wandered around Logrono for about an hour, hot, tired, thirsty, hungry, sweaty, cranky...found a 3 star hotel & decided to go all in for 2 nights. Hotel Portales, very nice, very clean, great room, including an awesome bath, all to myself. AND free internet!

Oh, and an observation about men (since I ragged on women earlier). Back in Cizur Menor, the albergue had a small TV. Soon, most of the men, of all ages, were swarming around it, looking for some sort of sporting match to watch. They finally found one--the Tour de Spain (I think). Like watching paint dry, for me, but it kept them happy for a while.

Another observation about men--if they are with their wives, they have their wives hold everything, including their passports & credenciales. "Here honey, hold this. Here, honey, hold that." I know from years of watching my parents what is going to happen eventually. Hubby with pick up his wife´s pack & say something along the lines of "Dear God, what do you have in here anyway? You really need to lighten up your pack!" Then it will be wife´s turn to hand (or throw, her choice) back all the crap he gave her to hold for him, before heading on down the road with a much lightened backpack.

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