Blood and sex. That’s what people want. I’ll start with sex. So what is it like to sleep with a dozen others in a dorm?
Strangely comforting, the way animals must feel in a barn with their own kind. There is a vulnerability in sleeping in the same room together. We are collectively saying, ” I will not harm you, and you will not harm me.” Everyone makes an effort to be respectful and quiet.
Night might be silent, but sleeping is not. The Italian guy two bunks over murmurs something and rolls over. The heavy Spaniard on my left kicks something in his dream. The nine year old French boy makes a high pitched whistling as he sleeps. A dreaming Korean girl says something quite loud in Korean. The noises comes to a stop as everyone is roused, there is general rustling, and in a few minutes, silence again.
Now someone gets up to use the bathroom. The snorer is woken. He rolls over and begins to snore more loudly. One pilgrim can’t sleep. He tosses, frustrated, trying to decide what to do. A small flashlight clicks on. He unzips his pack. Earplugs are retrieved. The noise rouses the snorer who shifts position and stops snoring.
I sigh and let sleep take me….
Ok, OK, that’s not really sex. I’ve disappointed you, but that’s how it is with me and sex.
Let’s try blood.
This farmer is butchering his hog. He is holding it aloft with his tractor. He says he butchers three hogs a year to feed his family. He kills it humanely, first with a little gas to calm it, then a special gun that shoots a rod into it’s brain. The hog dies in a second. That’s mom in the background with a neighbor.
The son with the bucket collects the liver, intestines, etc. He takes them into the house to mom for processing. Nothing is wasted.
I think photography is about photographing light. The subject is secondary, good lighting makes everything beautiful. Grey overcast days are flat, but when the sun does break through there is magic.
Many house use thin slabs of shale for their roofs.
I cross paths with Carlos, a Spanish cyclist from Madrid and we cycle into Melide together. He is going to stay in a hotel that costs 20 euros. He says it has a private bath and internet.
I decide that is what I want to do too. The room is very nice and I am pleased, I’ll sleep well tonight. But I do miss my stable mates.