In most of the albergues & refugios you need to leave by 7 or 8, but before we went to bed last night Judith, the Hungarian keeper of the albergue, said that here she wanted us to sleep until we smelled the coffee. (Except Nando and Eduardo who left at 3:00 am to walk by moonlight and to make up a day, or they will not be able to walk to Finisterre and catch their flights back to South America on October 28th.)
That left me, Fritz, Kai, Johannes and Reinhardt to smell the coffee and get out of bed at the deliciously late hour of 8. By the time we had breakfast – french toast and a good conversation – and washed the dishes and left it was nearly 10.
Lovely, lovely walk. Reminds me a lot of eastern washington. Multiple beiges and brown, wide open spaces, broken by little valleys. Walked along a ridge above a tree lined river for most of the way then descended to a narrow treelined tarmac road. As I was descending I saw the sole car I had seen on the road pull over and just sit. As I approached the door opened and Judith got out! She had been in town shopping and returning recognized my distinctively peach colored blouse so waited for me to say how much she had enjoyed having us all the night before. As we were talking Fritz and Kai also caught up to us and we talked about how she came to be running the Albergue. She has been here since July 15 and as it is getting colder, will close it in two weeks to return to Budapest. She too is having an intense camino experiance, with a small intimate group of pilgrims each night.
Another highlight of the day was dropping down into the town of Hontanas. Tiny town, with tile roofs all aflutter with the the wings of pigeons and doves. You could hear their soft cooing walking through the narrow streets.
Took a cafe con leche served in a glass and sat in a covered alleyway where I was soon joined by Kai and Fritz. We were then joined by the new-to-me Pippa and Lucy from London, walking to raise money for the London based ‘kith & kids, supporting disability focusing on abilities’.
When the sun suddenly illuminated the city (it had been raining!), the camino called for the last glorious section of my walk to the little city of Castrojeriz with the dramatic ruins of a castle dominating the peak above the town. How happy I was to find Michelle and Michel, my companions from Orisson! when I arrived at the albergue.
I was invited to lunch on the patio with Francisco (met at Granon) and his friend Alejandro. Yummy roasted red peppers in oil and sausage on bread. Francisco is always kind and generous, worries about you, goes out of his way to be helpful, but is so funny: he always has a little complaint when you ask his opinion. The food is not what he is used to, the wine is not rioja (he is from Lograno), he didn’t sleep so well – the bed is not like home, he is not impressed with the wide dry expanses of Castille y León.
Great dinner with Olga & her daughter Edurne, Brian & Lauren, Michelle, Marie-Jo, Quittarie. Lively, interesting conversation, art, language history in a lively mixture of French, Spanish, English. yummy food topped off by a dessert cuajado? – a non sour milk something about the consistancy of yogurt served at room temperature.
6 Oct 2009