An increasing number of our Camino friends now know part of our story and our mission for being here. It is fun to learn a bit about others on their own Camino, and also to hear their excitement over Jeanie’s trip and their curiosity to learn more about the work we are doing at the William Sansum Diabetes Center. As people learn that Jeanie has diabetes, one of their first questions is “How have you dealt with the food here?” With high carbohydrate paellas, and the steady influx of fresh bread that accompanies each meal, their question is warranted.
But truth be told, the greater challenge for Jeanie has not been the high carbohydrate norms, but the late night meal times. Even before arrival, we were well aware of the notion of the Spanish siesta. However, we didn’t anticipate the true extent of full city shutdown that takes place (and until late evening hours when referenced against our ideal Camino bedtime)!
At a city earlier in the trip, we were told that the restaurants did not open until 8. Okay we thought, we will just ask the next restaurant. We walked into “the next one” and were met with the same response. “I am sure there is SOMEthing that will be open for SOME kind of food before 8,” we assured each other. And so we wandered on, only to be met with the stark reality that our persistence held no sway to change spanish meal times.
Jeanie has experienced that eating later gives her less time to adjust to an unanticipated mealtime response. When eating at 6pm, she has plenty of time before bed to get a sense of how her body is processing the full day of physical work in combination with the final evening meal. When eating late, not only is Jeanie having to lie down with the slightly uncomfortable feeling of having just eaten, but this critical time of pre-bed blood glucose assessment is cut short. This may not be as big of a deal if we were going to bed later, but we are arriving hungry during early afternoons and still looking to get enough shut eye for a full nights sleep before our early departures.
All factors considered, we have mixed up our evening meals. Sometimes we wait it out to share a meal with fellow Camino travelers in the later evening hours, but sometimes we opt for our own pseudo dinner of market selections served at the time of our choice! So yes, we may have posted some pictures of beautiful salads or paella alongside our Camino scenes, but there have also been many meals that look a bit more like the following: fruit, cheese, and rice cakes strewn over a bed as we map out the next day’s route!
Either way, whatever the mealtimes hold, we are enjoying our time here and soaking in the Camino sights, sounds, and shared experiences!
On the trail today we covered 19 miles from Sahagún to Reliegos. The day’s endless brown fields for hours on end deepened our appreciation for the variation available on so many of Santa Barbara’s local trails. However, we were grateful for the single endless line of considerately planted trees that accompanied the left edge of the path, casting just enough shade to console the weary traveler and probably inspire them to go home and plant a tree.