I’m now in Hospital de Orbigo, a lovely little medievil town with one of the longest and best preserved medievil bridges in Spain (13th century). Tonight’s Albergue is much better although I don’t like the fact that I am being watched by the statue in the corner whilst I’m sleeping.
In this Albergue, they are playing Lorena McKennitt. There is an eisel and paints for people to use and the walls are covered with peoples artwork. Lots of coffee table books about art and Spain. Such a great place. Great atmosphere.
Had a lovely walk today. I was going to only walk 10kms and stay at Villavante because I knew of a really nice little casa rural there. I got there so early that it felt wrong to stay, but the owner asked me to come in, gave me some fruit and a bottle of water and showed me around anyway. The photos are in my camera though so I can’t put them here for you. Suffice to say, it was absolutely gorgeous, right on the river and set in a small forest. It is a renovated mill and so well restored. I would have loved to stay, and wished I had pushed on another 10kms yesterday to get there. Anyway, after about an hour’s rest, loaded up with goodies and well wishes for my trip, I took off again.
Wasn’t long before I bumped into John, an ex American soldier (must get a photo of him). He has a long bushy beard and wears a huge hat. Bit of a character. He is afraid of injury so he’s taking things slowly. He doesn’t want to have to give up and go home now that he is so close to the end. So many pilgrims have gone too fast and have had to quit with injury! John had taken the road route, and I had taken the scenic route. They meet up just out of town here. We went and had a drink together and then I decided to stop here because the Albergue looked good. Have finally washed my clothes too. Not so stinky now.
I have met so many prison guards and ex armed forces people doing the Camino. Although there is quite a mixture of nationalities, there are so many Americans, Germans, Dutch, Danish and Finish. Apparently a lot of Australians but I haven’t met many. There is a guy here who is walking the Camino to get over his marriage break up-just found out his ex wife is also doing the Camino! He took off quickly, afraid that she may turn up any minute
I should tell you a bit about my walk I suppose. The morning begins with fresh, crisp air and virtually no wind. New legs and feet revived from a good nights rest, pound the track with monotonous rhythm accompanied by the click clack of the walking poles. A chorus of birds and frogs fills the air and it is so envigorating, but as the sun comes out, it is really hot by 10 and perspiration flows from every pore. It is hard going on the gravel and rocky paths. The scenery is beginning to change from the flat meseta and wheat fields to more greenery and larger bushes now. Soon I will be climbing up into the mountains that are staring at me from a distance. They are shrouded in mist, so I hope that clears by the time I get there.
At the moment, I’m sitting in the courtyard with a vino tinto (red wine), showered and ready for dinner but they eat so late here! My washing has been done for me and is sitting neatly folded in a tub on the chair. It smells so fresh and clean. They have spa music playing and although I’m sitting in the shade, the warmth of the day is lulling me into a nap. My feet are better now and walking is so much easier. I’ve picked up the pace. But right now they are feeling smooth and silky after a massage with Vicks vapour rub (camino foot secret)