There is certainly a craft beer movement going on in Spain but we have not seen it. The big companies, Mahou, Estrella, Ambar, Cruzcampo all have perfectly drinkable, refreshing lagers and I don’t miss the whole fussy IPA thing.
Even though this portion (we are just about to start the last week of the original Camino, although we plan to continue on from Santiago to Muxia) is more crowded than the first half, it is still an experience I would enthusiastically recommend. Peggi and I are getting pretty good at finding our own space on the Camino, walking for long stretches without seeing any other pilgrims. Others crave the camaraderie and it is there for the taking in every language under the sun. But I have glimpsed the end of the more than a millennia old Camino de Santiago.
It is not not the imminent demise of the Catholic Church due to sexual abuse and the schism resulting from the implementation of way overdue reforms. And it is not the dwindling numbers of faithful Christians. It’s not the taxi service that is a cell phone call away, there to bail out pilgrims who can’t take another step. It’s not the transport services that move people’s luggage from town to town so they can wear a small day pack and zip up and down hills. It is the meathead guys coming up behind us on fancy mountain bikes. They shatter the solitude, saying something like “behind you” in a foreign language. We step aside and see Italian logos printed across their Spandex covered butts. They have music coming out of the packs on the back of their bikes. The Camino is their international gym. I hope I’m wrong.