|Tarta de Santiago!|
The reason I told you that is because my Spanish-ness is already wearing off, and I'm not ready. To honor that, today I tried my hand at making a Tarta de Santiago, an almond cake typical to the region that we were hiking in Spain. It was a fun, and pretty easy baking adventure for me. The hardest part was actually cutting out the stencil of the St. James cross/sword. Let's be real, if I'm going to make a St. James cake, I'm doing the whole thing, no halfway powdered sugar, hence the design. The best part, as it usually is when I cook or bake in mom and dad's house, was using the KitchenAid mixer, the Ninja blender/chopper and having a fully-stocked kitchen with everything that I needed. I blanched almonds for the first time, and it turned out to be a piece of cake (literally....get it??)! Dad and I had some for dessert tonight with a cup of coffee and, as I guessed, I'm still unable to fall asleep from the caffeine I drank at 6 pm. Oh dear.
So the story I'd like to tell you in this post is about our hike this day, I believe day six in the walk, to O'Cebreiro. This just so happened to be one of our hardest and longest days, with a hike of 19+ miles, and after we broke silence with some cafe con leche, everybody split up, as usual, to hike at their own pace. Anna and I decided to walk together for a bit, and it wasn't long after that when we ran into Brother Marcielo (yellow) and Samuel (blue). Brother Marcielo is actually a Franciscan brother from Brazil and he was that guy that became friends with every person along the Camino. It was pretty incredible, actually, and I wonder what it's like for him now that he's back home. He certainly has no problems socializing, and is great at holding a conversation...in Spanish at least. He doesn't speak much English, so I enjoyed being around him to get some valuable practice.
When we got to the top of a crazy steep hill that we dominated in very little time, not only was I out of breath, but I was also out of food, and needed some lunch. Samuel didn't seem to desire the same lunch as me (bocadillo with jamón and cheese...my staple lunch every single day), so I walked into a bar and that was where 3 nice Spaniards put a handful of peanuts and a beer in my hand, striking up a conversation with me. I always enjoy seeing the look on native Spanish-speakers' faces when they see that not only do I understand what they are saying, but I respond with wit. If I had a euro for every time that happened on the trip... that would be worthless, because now I'm in the U.S. But at the time, I could've treated a lot of people to ice cream! I ended up remaining friends with those guys throughout the rest of the trip, and one of them even ended up being the chief of police in Valencia, kind of a big deal around there!
|Saw this more than once..not in Kansas anymore.|
Joe and I made the executive decision to book 14 beds there and then had to figure out how to get from point A (O'Cebreiro) to point B (shower, clean laundry, bed 6 miles away). Everything ended up working out great and once again, the Lord provided exactly what we needed! Above is a "video journal" of me, right after meeting those Spaniards at lunchtime. And in case you're wondering, the majority of us took a taxi to the hostel, and some walked the six miles, hiking a marathon in one day, through the mountains of Spain nonetheless. Now that is noteworthy.
|Just an average a.m. walk. Not bad, I'd say.|
|Christine, a New Jersey photographer extraordinaire.|