September 11, 2018
We finally seem to be getting into a Camino rhythm. We wake up early, around 5:30, and pack up in the dark so we don’t wake others that are still sleeping. We try to find somewhere to eat breakfast the night before since not many places open by 6:00AM here. Breakfast is usually cafe con leche, orange juice, Spanish tortilla (eggs and potatoes) or an egg bocadilla (small sandwich), if we’re lucky. If not, then toast or muffins.
We start hiking in the dark with a
headlamp, mostly so we don’t miss any yellow arrows pointing the way. Any backtracking or extra steps can be very annoying. When I look backwards as I walk, there are the pinpoints of the headlamps of other pilgrims behind us.
The sun rises after about an hour on the trail and in another hour, we take our first break to eat a piece of fruit and a bar. We try to stop about every two hours to eat and take a little break.
When we reach our destination, we look for an albergue, usually right on the Camino and usually downtown, which is easy to find by looking for the church spires. In the albergue, we get our beds, make them and get settled, take a shower before it gets too crowded and a line forms, do our laundry (we aren’t carrying many clothes, so we wash everyday…I’m very tired of wearing the same two shirts I brought!), and go find a place to eat lunch. We sit outside and have the menu del dia, three courses with bread, wine and water for around 10 euros. Then it’s back to the albergue for siesta.
After our naps, we head out to explore the town, which is usually just starting to come alive by 5:30 or 6:00. We walk around the streets and then find a supermarket to buy provisions for the next day. Then it’s back to the albergue for an early bedtime.
Our hike today was long, over 18 miles for the second day in a row. The first two albergues we checked in town were full, which is the first time we’ve had a problem finding a bed. Enrique started asking people on the street for locations of other albergues and suddenly we were in a restaurant and Enrique told me we would have lunch and then the restaurant owner would show us to our room. This was all decided in Spanish, so I was surprised, but glad to finally sit down and enjoy a meal, knowing we had somewhere to sleep that night. The “somewhere” turned out to be a private room in an albergue! The bathroom was shared with many people in the dorm room, but we would only have to deal with our own snoring and we would be able to turn on the light in the morning to see what we were putting into our backpacks.
Usually we aren’t hungry for dinner after a large, late lunch, but tonight we wanted something to eat, so we bought some bread and cheese and had a picnic next to the river that ran through town.