I didn’t leave town till 8.30 a.m., as I wanted to enjoy the final Parador breakfast. It was a perfect morning: quite crisp, but a cloudless blue sky and sun shining on the mountain peaks on both sides as we crossed the bridge out of town, a little snow still visible on the highest ones. Today’s 14 kms did not appear to be too demanding, and I felt relaxed now that I was sure of a bed in my chosen private Albergue, which I had booked over the phone.
I stopped for a picnic lunch at Redecilla del Camino and chatted to a man in a Prius, telling him I had the same car at home. It was warm and sunny so I had a mini siesta on a park bench. The small town was very quiet. I went into the church and took a photo of a 12th century baptismal font.
I arrived here at the Albergue of Acacio and Orietta with its Brazilian connections, at about 2.00 p.m., had a shower and did a bit of washing since it was such a good drying day. Everyone was fighting for space on the 2 clothes airers out in the sun. Inside a wood burning stove had already been lit, so they must be expecting a cold night. Here it is a mere €5 for a bed in a 10-bed dorm, with a suggested €10 donation for dinner and breakfast.
Dinner was leek and potato soup, bean stew (with tiny bits of chorizo in it and thick with lentils, and a bought-in chocolate dessert. The other guests were either Brazilian or French, so it was difficult to have a good conversation with any of them. It appeared that the writer Paul Coelho was somehow a sponsor of the Albergue, as they were selling his books and there was a wall hanging of knitted hearts by Paul’s wife. It was very cosy in the evening with the wood fire going. The stove actually burned tiny pellets of compressed wood, and needed no attention all evening as every so often a few more would shoot down into the fire.
Breakfast was not so hot, just coffee, bread and jam and a hard boiled egg. I slept well in the 10-man dorm. It was absolutely pitch black in the middle of the night when I got up to go to the loo! I had to feel the way back to my bed. Everyone had to be out by 8.00 a.m. Orietta said I was carrying too much: 6 or 7 kilos would be enough for me, she said! Orietta is Italian and said she and Acacio had met on the Camino and decided to stay.
Motto on their wall: “Tourists demand; pilgrims ask”.
Sketch of the Albergue done by a pilgrim
My photo of the Albergue. Which one is nicer?
Coat of arms on the wall of a house