Firstly I would like to thank everyone once again for posting comments. I take great delight in reading them, although I don’t always reply directly due to lack of on-line time.
Yesterday we stayed in a private albergue, very well run with sufficient amenities. We quickly showered and changed and adjourned to a vey nice bar across the road where we drank a few! glasses of wine which were served with generous tapas – a delicious chunk of tortilla Español, which I don’t normally care for as it is usually very dry, but this was really good. We ordered a ration of morcilla to share which was huge enough for us and some left over for an Australian couple who shared our table to try. We were there so long that we replenished our appetites and I had an excellent bowl of fish soup and Ella had some croquettes.
We returned to the albergue in time for bed. The albergues usually have a curfew of 9:30 -10:00 pm when doors are locked and all lights go out. Most pilgrims are more than ready for bed by then.
I slept well, although I was aware of the wind howling around the building (no street cleaning machine this time – the real thing!). The forecast for the previous day had been winds of 35 km and for today were 45 km. So in the morning we wrapped up well – I wore my long-johns for the first time – and set off for the battle of the breeze. The breeze threatened to win most of the time, hugely strong gusts knocking us off course. I had to grip my walking poles really tight to stop them blowing in front of my legs and tripping me up. Unfortunately, it was way too cold to take off my gloves in order to take photos, so thus far it is a photo-free day. With my buff wound three times around my head and my jacket hood on top I was not taking much notice of the scenery, just ‘head down and keep going’.
We covered our planned 21 km and reached Carrion de los Condes in good time, but failed to find an albergue before leaving the town. On the outskirts was a hotel, an old monastery and I suggested we see how much it would cost to have a room for the night. I decided that if it was 50-€ or less we would stay there. However the receptionist at this 3 star establishment stated the price as 60-€ and I could not persuade him to let two cold and wet pilgrims stay for any less. So he gave us a map of the town and we retraced our footsteps.
We are now staying at the albergue Espiritu Santo, run by nuns, with separate dormitories and facilities for men and women, and single beds for all – no bunks. Bliss!
We left for some lunch and returned to find men in our dorm, what are these nuns playing at!
It feels colder in the room than outside and we are wearing piles of clothes, sitting in our sleeping bags with an extra blanket on top, and still shivering. This is the view from the window next to my bed.
We are promised rain tomorrow to go with the wind. Oh well, we were so lucky with the first ten or so days that we should not really complain.
It is hard work walking in strong wind, but even though the temperatures are really low I am not finding it too cold because the exercise keeps me warm and and my rucksack protects my back rom the elements. As long as I am reasonably warm when I set off, I can keep a steady temperature.
I am hoping that the weather tomorrow won’t be as bad as forecast – but it could be even worse. Vamos a ver!