I’m sure you realise by now that the time given above is a door to door time and includes all breaks and everything in between. So a long day can either indicate a day of struggle, a lot of rest stops or a bit of site seeing and/or socialising. Every day is different but one thing is certain, we see a lot and we clearly don’t sprint from door to door.
Today wasn’t meant to be a difficult day, in fact it was mostly uphill but a very gentle climb. My legs actually love the uphill. It was also my beloveds birthday so we decided on a hotel for another night given that any gain made by the rest day in Leon was lost by the Globetrotter Albergue fiasco!
It was also time to farewell jack. He was taking his family back home to Dublin and we were going to miss the lot of them after seeing them at every bar worth visiting over the last week or two.
It was mostly uphill gently and I was in peak condition. We snuck out of the dormitory at 5.30 but by the time I had taped my feet the hospitalario was up fixing up breakfast. Yep you guessed it – coffee or tea and bread! I indulged in some coffee and bread for a change and off we went again into the darkness. Sometimes its easy to spot the yellow arrows. Sometimes its not. Sometimes in our early morning trance we just blindly follow if someone goes before us. Today was such a day.
After a short while there were no more arrows and the two Spanish guys who were in front were walking in circles. I pulled out my phone and opened my trusty Trek right app. The arrow was pointing across a paddock. There was no path! Oh oh! We had to back track. But no. My beloved deduced if we cut left across another road it would join back up with the way. Thank heavens for that. No back tracking. Just for once we took a right angle and the two sides of a triangle instead of the hypotenuse! Can’t win em all can you?
So on our way again we stopped at the first cafe in Hospital de Orbiga. This is where we had stayed in Albergue Verde last time. Too soon to stay the night this time.
What do you know it? Of course at the Bar there’s Jack and his entourage, the Fräulein, the Doctor and a heap of friends, even the Young Ones popped in to sing Happy Birthday to my beloved!
We continued on our way up past Daveeed with the fruit stall and stopped in to farewell Jack and his lovely parents as they were heading back to Ireland. I was reminded of how transformative a shower is after a days hiking and we were offered a lift in an actually car on the morrow if things got too hard! Car what’s that?? Nope no car for us – at least not yet.
We finally arrived to the air conditioned comfort of a lovely small hotel cuidad with an actual swimming pool (read not a plastic tub filled with water). I had a swim while my beloved actually watched tv. What a birthday treat. We then visited the Gaudi Palace – magnificent! Saw the actual Cruz de Ferro from the top of the pole we would visit in a day or two, went into the Cathedral and I remembered a great place for non pilgrim food in the Plaza Mayor so we enjoyed stuffed jalapeños for starters and husband had the burger to end all burgers while I enjoyed a very tasty burrito – who’d have thought such gourmet delicacies could be found on the way!
Felice compleanos my beloved!