June 27: Santiago de Compostela


Today we went looking in Santiago de Compostela for three things, and managed to find two.

We have been without our comfort food, peanut butter, since April 20. Dennis has been craving the nutty spread, but it is difficult to find in Spain and Portugal. Yesterday when I asked a local grocer where I could find crema de cacahuete, I received that blank stare one receives when asking a question they don’t really understand because of mispronunciation or when asking a question so dumb that it is too painful to reply. At first I thought I had the wrong word, but she told me that yes, it was called crema de cacahuete, but that no one in Spain ate it. Perhaps, I would have given a Spaniard the same stare if they asked me where to find tripe in the US.

Today, Dennis talked me into looking at different grocery stores for our American delectable. A woman in line said she thought she had seen it in another store about 1/2 km away and escorted us to the Carrefour Market on c/ Montero Rius 33. There on the shelf, for 4.40 E was a selection of crunchy and smooth (crujiente or suave) peanut butter. It is not the natural style we enjoy but with added sugar…more like Skippy or Jif. Guess what we will be eating for supper tonight!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe second thing we searched for was a helium balloon. Dennis wanted to attach an antenna wire to the balloon and then get on the ham radio tonight from our hotel room. As common as these inflatables are in the US, they are as rare in Spain. First, each time I asked for a globus de helio, I got that blank stare. After a few tries, I realized I should not pronounce the “h” as in hello, but say the word as if it were not there; EElio. Even after pronouncing it correctly, most people have never heard of one. We ended walking about three km before finding a store that specialized in–you guessed it–helium balloons. For 5 E, Dennis walked out of that store a very happy man, beaming like a little boy.

The last item we searched for was a travel immersion water heater to boil water for tea.  We checked every hardware store, Chinese bazaar (dollar store), and unique high-end cook shops. Again we received blank stares. We did find a large one  for boiling a liter of water that would have taken up most of my backpack and cost 17 E. We decline.

Today wasn’t a complete bust. We will eat our peanut butter sandwiches, have tea (boiled with camping gear), and then Dennis will get on the air with his radio.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the "Woman On Her Way" book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit janevblanchard.com. I started the "Woman On Her Way" travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

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