Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 29 New World Meets Old World

If there were only one word to describe Andalucia, at least the route I've entered on, it's olive. Groves abound, young and old... and old is really really old, some of these villages have been harvesting olives since before Rome destroyed Carthage.

Walking along part of the GR-48 toward Córdoba, I mused about how some of the grand haciendas have barriers of big nopales cactuses lining their grand gardens, along with various yuccas and aloes that I saw so much of in Mexico. Did the founding hildago make his fortunes in the new world and bring back some momentos to show off to the neighbors? Perhaps. Perhaps it was a fad fifty years ago to plant Mexican flora.

Passing an enormous barrier of nopales leaning way out over the stone wall of the garden, I met an older guy, the owner I presumed, walking his dog and his cocked shotgun near the enormous gate. I asked him if I might enjoy one of the plump ripe tunas, as the nopal fruit is called in Mexico. His confusion may have come from my odd Spanish - more than one person has told me I must have learned Castillian in Mexico - or the oddness of my request. I pointed to the fruit next to him. 'You want to eat this?' His disgust was obvious. With such deftness I honed a thousand times or more last winter, I carved a point on to the end of a stick with my tiny penknife, stuck the end of a fruit, carved back the thick spiny skin to reveal the pomegranite red flesh and snapped it off the cactus pad holding it like an egg-sized lollypop. I sliced off a piece and ate it to make sure it really was what I thought - ah, deliciously tart and refreshing. I offered the next slice to the olivier. He ate it with some hesitation and scrunched back at the sourness. The Mexicans would add some coarse salt, I told him. I like the tartness myself. He laughed at the affair and assured me that no one would be upset if I took the cactus fruits hanging over the garden walls. For him, there was too much effort in getting to the seedy fruit, he'd stick with the oranges and pears of Spain.


Anonymous said...

You really do keep up cracking pace if your average is seen.

I wonder if you'll go to Algeciras or Tarifa for your crossing.

You are an experienced walker; even then, please exercise even more care as you walk in the Magreb - thank you.

Keep on keeping on.

Sheila Phelan Wright said...

Andulucia....reminds me of those luscious words and descriptions in the last chapter of Ulysses. Thinking about you in London and now home in Denver, catching up with your blog and trying to read between the lines. Sounds as if you are finding adventure at every turn.

Juan María said...

¡Hola Ann!
Ya te queda poco de tu camino a Jerusalén a su paso por España. ¡Es admirable tu fortaleza!.
Has realizado tres caminos de peregrinación en éste país, dos los finalizaste en Santiago de Compostela, y éste último, “el camino de los caminos”, que estás realizando le has comenzado también en Santiago.
Yo que estoy enganchado a los caminos de Santiago,(he salido a los diferentes caminos en 25 ocasiones), pues para mí el camino por antonomasia es el Camino de Jerusalén, es por ello que siento una sana envidia.
Quisiera preguntarte : ¿por qué has decidido que Santiago de Compostela sea el inicio de éste camino?
Deseo que sea el camino de tu vida y que Jesucristo esté en tu camino.
¡Buen camino!

adamweymouth said...

Hi Ann,

Just to let you know that pleasure reading these updates, sitting in a little cottage in Falmouth with itchy feet, biding my time for next year. Thinking of you, wishing you massively well.

Adam (positive news)

Winter Pilgrim said...

A Juan Maria...

Yo decidí Santiago porque cuando yo fui de Alemania en el camino de Carlomagno, yo terminó en Santiago. He querido comenzar esta peregrinación a un lugar donde yo era familiar. Después, cada paso es nueva...