Today after a wonderful night in a hotel room with my own bathroom I end up at the worst albergue I encounter on the trip, should have walked on, sleep on a mattress on the floor, was not expecting dinner so had bought a sandwich in the previous village. Not a nice atmosphere or energy. I find out afterwards that many people felt the same. But I am getting ahead of myself.
I get up in the dark and head into town and find a cafe serving breakfast. I have not arranged to walk with anyone today. Whilst in the cafe I meet up with several people, Brigitte who is from Canada, currently on her second Camino as I write, Kate the German psychologist and a German priest. After breakfast we head off together.
I tell Kate that her statement about not believing in sin has had me thinking all day yesterday. So, I ask her if she believes in right and wrong? What about ethics? So as we climb out of town everyone joins in the conversation.
Here we walk past another, fancier corn crib as we climb up and out of town.
Here we just passed a lady who had set up a mini outdoor cafe, the two Dutch sisters were sitting having a coffee, next to the trail. The walk is beautiful, weather is still warm.
It was a very enjoyable day and I end up walking most of it with Brigitte having left Kate behind as we climber the hill, and the German priest we lost somewhere else, although both were at the same albergue as me in the evening.
We walk through a town and see this great sculpture of a pilgrim with a pack that is too large outside a hotel.
The town has some lovely sites, a roman bridge, and a large cathedral.
This is the front of the cathedral.
As we walk through towns there are plenty of places to buy snacks. It being a warm day I purchase a delicious ice cream cone. As we head out, this was a large town we stop at a cafe and have lunch which was basic food but very good.
We wander through trails making our way up and down hills, in the shade, in the sun, through villages, through small towns, along busy roads for small parts. It is all part of the charm of the camino and we talk about all sorts of things as we walk.
We come across an automated cafe area with machines so you can serve yourself. Then we cross this railway line. I have walked along many train lines, crossed them and never seen or heard a train other than the busy main train line out of Lisbon. But this looks well used.
We are just walking along now, when we pass this large church in the middle of nowhere.
Eventually we come to a small village and decide to stop for a drink, then discuss where we will stay tonight. Do we walk on or try this albergue that is up the hill. We decide on trying this alberge, as my guidebook says it does not serve dinner I buy a long roll for dinner. We head on out and I leave my hiking pole behind not resalizing till I get to the albergue, some 2 miles uphill from the village. So after checking in, the place is over full and all they can offer me is a mattress on the floor, which because I am tired I take. Brigitte got the last bunk, but it was on the top which I don't like. There is a weird atmosphere about the place and if I was not so tired and needing to walkback to get my pole I would hike on.
I have walked just over 407 miles, 17 today, supposedly I should be in Santiago de Compostella according to my guidebook with that mileage, but I have another three days to go. As I lie on the mattress I realize I am looking forward to going home and sleeping in my own bed. The albergue does serve dinner but I just eat my roll. Usually when there are pilgrims together there is a lot of chatter with everyone talking. I realize it is very quiet and every one senses this atmosphere. Eventually it breaks down alittle, but several people say they are going to leave very early in the morning and I decide I will also head out early.