Argentina has been good to me. The pilgrimage progresses, a little slowly because of my new stiff boots, but beautifully. Springtime here brings scented blooms of jasmine in gardens, magnolias bursting out on bare branches, lambs, calves, and colts in the great fields. The humidity has surprised me and mosquitos are everywhere - each swat on my bare arms brings a half dozen smashed cadavers tumbling to the biomass of the earth. Such is the world.
The days have been pretty warm and sunny - so I'm again sunburnt, more on my right half as I walk westward. Sadly for me, the evenings have brought on the cloud cover and I have yet to see the southern constellations. I've got some time ahead of me.
Some oddities of Argentina - greetings are made by pressing the right cheek, kissing sounds optional, no handshake involved. Although most people are clearly of European stock, the number of times I've been pointed at with the delighted squeal of 'Rubia!' suggests that they find fair-haired blue-eyed folks something worthy of note.
Foot pilgrims are a rarity, even in Luján with their precious Nuestra Señora and hoards flocking there each year, bus pilgrims or enormous groups walking in particular week with all the logistics taken care of. A few times now I've been told that it would be easier to find accommodation if I were in a group that called ahead. Nonetheless, kindness prevails, sometimes with a heavy dose of persistence, and accommodation is found - a Catholic school, a mission, a hostel, a convent of retired nuns, a village church. It's been easy as always to receive water from anyone I ask, generally accompanied by offers of food, more than I can carry, and comfortable conversation, even with my halting Spanish.
I'm happy to be a pilgrim again.