Well, the tour was interesting, if a little depressing. I didn’t understand everything that was said, but the gist was that this organisation started by P Leocadio Galán Barrena (see first photo), who died in the 1990‘s, runs five homes for elderly and mentally infirm men. It receives no funding from government and it is free at the point of service. There are in the region of 80 men being looked after on this site, who have various mental and physical disabilities. They are encouraged where possible to make simple craft items like small rugs, baskets and toys. Whilst we were being shown around a guy in a motorised wheelchair wheeled up to me and held my hand as we walked along the corridor.
We had been invited to partake of a communal dinner which I had signed up for on arrival, but as we walked around the establishment I became a bit concerned (and not at all proud of it) that we would be taking our meal with the patients. This turned out not to be the case and we ate in a separate dining room with the cook and the hospitalero. There was an excellent lentil and chorizo soup followed by green beans, olives and a hamburger, and finished off with a piece of fruit. After which we all mucked in to clear away and wash and dry the dishes. There were sixteen pilgrims, the four French guys walking together, another French guy, a French Canadian, three Spanish, three English, one Irish (I think) and the two Hungarians from last night. A lovely mix of people.
Lockdown was at 21:00 so no time to sneak out for a vino, and lights out at 22:00. I think we are locked in until 07:30 which is absolutely fine by me. All in all, quite an experience here – I’m glad I stayed and got to know these guys a bit better, but I hope to walk to Cáseres tomorrow and I doubt if many will be walking that far. Vamos a ver!
A lovely walk again today, almost all on tracks, albeit some close to the road for a while. I realised quite soon that I won’t be walking to Cáseres, which is 37 km – I just don’t feel I have the energy. There is a lot of livestock today, mostly sheep but many cows also. I stop for a while to chat to a shepherd and made a fuss of his collie who came up to me demanding attention.
Much water surrounds the tracks today, mostly catered for with huge granite stepping stones, and a couple of ancient bridges. The sky is blue with lots of fluffy clouds – perfect for walking. The forecast is for hotter weather tomorrow.
The Camino today bypasses two villages/towns, both of which could easily have been diverted to without adding many metres to the walk. I stopped for a boots-off break at around 12 km, perching on a well-placed granite block and ate some biscuits and nuts and a satsuma.
Traversing the landing strip of a private airport was a bit disconcerting, especially as a small plane had landed seconds before I arrived and there was no sign where I should be going – but straight across was the way to go!
Since parting from Super George, I have been keeping pace with the same group of people who all walk their own walk but are very friendly at journey’s end.
Tonight’s albergue is situated at the very beginning of the town- the keys are kept in the small bar opposite. It is very nice with plenty of room between the 7 bunks, a fully functioning kitchen (with washing machine) and a large dining/sitting room. The town however does not cater so well for their visitors. I had to search hard to find a bar when looking for wifi (no wifi at the bar, but felt obliged to have a drink anyway!), and am currently in the library which is open for two hours 16:00 – 18:00 and offering a good connection.
I haven’t seen any shops yet, but if I do I shall probably buy some supplies for supper and ‘do it myself’.
Distance according to wikiloc (my own recording) 25.9 km, Fitbit recorded steps
Accumulated elevation uphill 21 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 23 metres
Total distance walked 564.9 km, average 26.9 km per day
Today’s spend – drinks 5€, shopping 6€, albergue 6€. Spend for the day 17€ (mostly guesswork)
Twenty-one days total spend 509.38€