Today was Sunday which meant chica de limpiar was here again.
There had been a bit of ruckus last night when the Belg drinker arrived back and annoyed a few people. Of course then there was a lot of snoring which has the potential to annoy anyone and everyone. You may recall my comment yesterday when I suggested my stern words had successfully shut the Belg up. It turned out I was not the cause of the mans sudden silence as a German man had also told him to shut up as he entered the dormitory. Zebra was amused by the Belgian guys use of the water bladder for food storage!
A girl from Slovenia with a very sore leg had asked if she could stay an extra day and we said of course if you are injured but you must leave until 1.30 because the cleaner is coming.
The American girl with all the blisters decided to take the bus we had recommended but when we went past to see if she was on the bus we discovered the time table in the albergue was out of date and there was no bus on Sunday. We negotiated a taxi for her to Santa Domingo because her sister and cousin were going to walk there and meet her.
We wandered backwards on the camino towards the entry to town and discovered a couple of cheap Chinese stores and a few different markets and cafes.
We also discovered weekend dinners (and weekend dinners only) at our standard restaurant included magnificent salads – mango and prawn and cheese and nuts! It was unbelievable so we resolved to eat these for at least the last of our three weekends. (Our roster had ended up being between 17 and 19 days instead of 15-16 days due to the early departure of our predecessors and the placing being in the second half of a long month.) The almost non existent handover, combined with the fellow who is responsible for the albergue being on vacation until we leave, means it has been an interesting learn as you go experience thus far! We are sure to have much to reflect on once it is over. Hilarious, frustrating, educational, rewarding, and exhausting are words that all come to mind already!
Today I had time to do some sightseeing which was wonderful. I paid my E4 and went into the Monasteria de la Santa Maria Real where King Garcia del Najera in the 11th century is said to have been out hunting with his falcon when he stumbled across a cave with a statue of the virgin mary lit by candles and decorated with lilly’s. It was quite beautiful and the lady in the ticket office downloaded an app to my phone so i could listen to a narration as I walked around. Apparently there was a lot of destruction during the Franco era but it is well worth a visit regardless.
While we were out eating our magnificent salads a couple of young French girls were nabbed by Mavis and given the chincha treatment!
Unfortunately only one of them had bites and they weren’t even obviously chinchas and Mavis sprayed far too much surface spray into one young girls backpack. Realistically a very light spray if any is required if the packs are in a black garbage bag out in the sun for a few hours. One of them started telling me she felt like it was a military camp when I went to turn the lights out! I’m not sure of the exact treatment Mavis had given her but they were not very happy looking as they went off to bed! It seems Mavis has the potential to implement military regimes into far more than sheet folding and rolling!
I hope that we made up for this treatment next morning when we gave cleaning help and we offered them the unexpected biscuits and then I rushed down the street to the bars looking for them after they had left because I realised they had forgotten a sunglass case – I did see a smile and a thank you from a chincha chica at that point. Mavis had washed the case with some overpowering citronella sprayed sheets which I had removed from the beds of a couple of chincha phobia chicos who had sprayed and gone out to a bar leaving everyone else to suffocate!
The chicas late arrivals meant they would have missed the melon and water welcome and just been thrown into chincha chaos it seems!
Anyway today Sadie finally understood why we were cleaning all the sheets when she found evidence of a few dead chinchas herself today! She even encouraged us to clean more which might explain why Mavis was so enthusiastic again! Que bueno!
Buen camino a todos!