7.15am A bad night. The involuntary sleep study I carried out on the rather portly South African chap in the next bunk revealed a severe case of Sleep Apnoea. During the course of this prolonged study I observed that at the end of every 10th apnoeic episode he would emit a little groan and there followed a startlingly loud expulsion of intestinal gas. I have never come across this in the text books. I must have a chat with my Respiratory colleagues at Chorley Hospital when I get home. I think there’s a research paper in this.
The bunk above him was occupied by an Irishman named Eugene , who appeared to be suffering with night terrors. I had a long consultation with him yesterday as he’s quitting The Camino after 8 days with severe foot pain. I diagnosed Plantar Fasciitis and offered to supply him with something from my mobile pharmacy but he politely declined , explaining that he preferred the bottle of whisky option.
I had breakfast with Eugene and the rotund and verbiose ( both ends ) South African. He revealed to us that he is doing The Camino because he has a serious gambling addition . Judging by his choice of breakfast ( two double brandies ) I suspect the poor chap has more than one addiction.
4.00pm Decided to stop at Viana as I liked the feel of the town. I walked most of the way with Ian Hanratty from Tallaght , Dublin who was great company. He had me in stitches repeating some sketches done by an Irish comedian who I´d never heard of before named David McSavage . Once again we walked through some rolling hills and an arable landscape.
I´ve booked in to a very basic Refugio next to the Viana Iglesia de Santa Maria. It´s small ( 15 places ) and we all sleep on mats in the same room . The couple from Germany I walked with the other day are here as well as a lady from Mexico who has walked from Le Puy in France. There is also a funny little fellow from Barcelona who is walking with his daughter and reminds me of ” Manuel ” from ” Fawlty Towers “. Every time I see him he has a cigarette in his mouth. There are many nationalities here on The Camino. I´d say around 50% are Spanish , there is a good proportion from France , Germany and Italy. I´ve also met a lot of Pilgrims form Ireland but very few from the UK ( only 2 so far ). Fortunately the lingua franca is English.
I guess that we are walking through the heart of what would be called ” real ” Spain . Very few people seem to speak English and the towns and villages tend to have a very old centre with narrow medieval streets and squares. We passed through a village named Torres del Rio today which had a beautiful 12th C Church , Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro , which is linked with the Knights Templar and based on the Octagonal church of The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.