Yesterday, at the arch, we rang the hostel owner and he came to pick us up (only a couple of kms, but it was offered as part of the night’s stay so we took him up on it). We were exhausted and it was really hot. The hostel is in the middle of nowhere, cost us an arm and a leg, and was quite run down. Rolling with the punches, we just made ourselves comfortable and had to wait until 9pm for dinner. For a pilgrim, that is way too late.
For once in my life, I had taken notice the day before, and actually knew which way we had to go as we took off into the darkness this morning. Thr hostel was off the beaten track but 2 kms later, we were on the Camino and watching the dawn break yet again. The air was so cold that I had to pull out my fleece and we even jogged a bit! We are now so fit that we can do this with our packs on!
We walked along the path for quite a while, looking apprehensively at the mountains in the distance. We are heading that way! The scenery this morning was beautiful again, the animals (to Colleen’s delight) were behind fences and we only had to deal with flies, prickly grass and bushes. It was all about the senses for me this morning…. Walking in the crisp early morning air with the scent of wild fennel softly lingering, the sound of the cowbells jingling as the cows begin to munch on the dewy grass, and actually having goosebumps on my arms from the chill, the mountains in the background of my immediate sight line, looking like a 3D painting. It makes me feel so alive.
This is obviously ‘cow’ country and there are Bulls aplenty but they are all well fed and took little interest in the curious pilgrims warily watching them from the other side of the fence. We even saw a pig or two, and made friends with a spotted pig who followed us for a while until she got tired and was distracted by a few yummy acorns under the oak tree. She deserted us and ran off snorting loudly with excitement.
We ambled along laneways that again looked so English and the air seems to be a little cooler, although it is hot if you are in the sun. We have been walking on uneven Roman pathways and we’ve seen so many Roman way markers that it has just become ‘there’s another one!’ How strange to be so blasé about such a thing. It is amazing to think of all those soldiers, traders and pilgrims that have walked this path before us and relied on these markers as we do. This Camino is so badly marked that we have lost our way 3 times so far. Luckily we seem to realise before we get horribly lost, and somehow find an arrow again, but they are few and far between.
We are now in a beautiful albergue (actually a segregated one) called La Casa de mi Abuela in Aldeavuena del Camino. We have the room to ourselves as the other pilgrims here are men. I have a very comfy lower bunk, a shower that nearly washed me down the plughole, very clean bathroom, and my washing was done for me for 2 euros. What a bargain. All this and breakfast too for 15 euros. (This Camino is much more expensive than the Frances).