Day 17 13th day walking

I wonder why some people do it. Spain is a lovely country but they walk until two, spend all afternoon in bed, then get up again at stupid o’clock and start walking in the dark. They never see the beautiful towns they have stopped in. They miss the countryside in the dark and never fully appreciate the way of life in the places they are passing through.
Worst of all, they annoy the hell out of me. Once again we were woken early, they tramp through, opening the door, letting the light in and allowing us the privelage of listening to them on the toilet.
By five thirty we had had enough, we threw all our stuff in the rucksacks and were on the road by six.
It was not yet light, and there was light rain so we saw little of what was around us. Soon we were in Tosantos, there were signs to an alburgue but not a bar in sight.
As we saw the road out, I said “so that was Tosantos”. We walked on to Villambistia, it was the same story. By the time we reached Espinosa we had covered 8Ks and it was approaching, eight o’clock.
We saw a guy run across the road as we approached and saw a rucksack propped aginst the wall.
The guy was the bar owner and the rucksack was a ploy to attract the pilgrims, it worked with us. At last we could have breakfast. It was also time for the crowd to catch us up, but we were away again before the bar got full.
It was only another 4Ks to Villafranca but we still stopped for coffee, it would be our last stop for a while.
While drinking our coffee the weather forecast was on the TV. I never heard him say “scorchio” once. I did hear him say “frio” though, several times.
We came out and met Tammy again, she had not stayed in Belorado but had carried on to a Franciscan monestary.
There was a supermarket here and we stocked up on some toiletries for Viv and food for the mountain ahead.
Our packs had been getting gradually lighter, now they were heavy again for the climb, such is the logic of pilgrimage.
Now we had a steep climb up into the mountains up to about 1400metres. Frio it may have been, but I used my face towel for the first time, as we worked up a sweat on that hill.
At the top was a lovely picnic area, it was far too early to eat though, so we decided to carry on. At first it was quite interesting, it went up and down and travelled through nice woodlands. Later, though, the ground was wet builder’s sand and quite hard to traverse. Then it just became boring and flat, the trees shaded us from what sun there was and we were getting cold.
I was desperate to stop, rest my feet and take a bite, but Viv was determined we would find somewhere better. In the end we settled for a gap in the trees to eat our tuna and bread.
People were starting to pass us quite regularly now, but I was not too worried, after all it’s not a race. When we got up to go, though, I saw a huge party (they were a French bus trip). When I pointed them out to Viv she was off, no way we were going to get caught up in that lot.
Further down the road we passed another enterprising soul selling coffee from the back of a car, Viv was not for stopping. The girl in the car was shouting “champions, you are winners” I don’t think she fully understood why we were in such a hurry, but the French did not stop either.
We got down to Villafranca and there was nothing there but the alburgue and a bar, so we just stopped for coffee.
We do not know what happend to the French, they got on the coach, but when we left it was still there empty.
Tammy arrived while we were there and stopped for a drink, but we were now on a mission and wanted to get to Ages before 3 o’clock. So we left her there and promised to meet again later.
We broke our own rule again and stopped at the first place we saw. San Rafael was a fairly modern building in a village of some very old and rundown places. They could supply us with a double room with a bathroom. That was all we wanted.
I left her my passport and credencial and she showed us the room. We showered and changed and Viv decided to wash the bottoms of our trousers. (The zip off parts, which were muddy).
My job was to write the blog, get the beer, and retrieve the passports. This is where it all went crazy. There was only one woman in charge and she was eating. About four people were waitiing to check in and some one wanted food. I got my beer and left the chaos to sit outsisde. Viv said “you have been freezing all day why are you out here” So I showed her an episode of Fawlty Towers unfolding.
It took nearly two hours to get our passports back during which time we had three beers two cups of coffee and a room, none of which we had paid for.
We set off to explore Ages, we found another two albergues and a quaint shop. Time to get some provisions. Inside the shop was a bar where sat Tammy. It would be rude to leave her alone so I ordered a Sam Miguel, “no tengo pequena” said the barman.That’s OK I only want big ones, but he waved a small Amstel and some other beer at me, “quiero San Miguel grande” I tried. Whereapon he left the bar and went into the shop and started rumaging through the fridge. Finally I had my San Miguel.
Meanwhile Viv was in the shop trying to get some provisions. She saw some jelly fruits “ask him how much these are” she said. “quanta questo estos?” I asked. Whereapon he rushed from behind the bar and started shoving some sweets into the tiniest of bags.
Viv said “so how much are they then?” “No idea” I replied. Viv was trying to buy some fruit as well. But the guy just rushed between the bar and the shop, never seeming to achieve anything.
We arranged to eat with Tammy in her albergue, it seems that there were just two eating there, Tammy and a German girl. So we went in for another pilgrim menu. It was satisfying , if not the best we have had.
After the meal we tried to pay, again we did not have too much success. Eventually we got the lady who runs this place pinned down, when the lady who ran our albergue appeared. It seems they are sisters and they agreed that we could pay the two bills together at our place.
Of course there was no sign of her when we got back. She did not appear until we had the poor barman totally confused.



Filed under Camino de Santiago

2 responses to “Day 17 13th day walking

  1. Philip & Brenda

    Greetings to you both. I found you at Villa Franca but, since then the places you have passed through are not shown. You are both doing so well. Looking at the distance you have both covered, what is ahead does not look too far, however, the mountains still look significant. You both must be loving the experience. All the best.
    Phil & Brenda

  2. Philip & Brenda

    Hello to you both…… I have been following your route on my atlas, well, the places large enough to be shown. Beldorado was the last place. You have certainly gone a good distance since the start. You both sound fit and up for it. Best wishes from Phil & Brenda

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