662.6 kilometres to Santiago
Hot, sweaty and tired! Today was a grind for me. I finally found my way to Estella by 4:30 pm and 21.9 km later. The last 2 km never seemed to end. My knees are sore but my energy is still up even with this chest cold.
I wanted to stay in the convent but one more step was an effort so I found my way to the municipal albergue. As I entered, the señora said sorry we are full. The disheartened look on my face must have said it all. I turned my back with slumped shoulders and headed to a bench across the street. I sat there for 5 minutes working through a plan. Maybe the lady could call around for me. As I re-entered the señora said , “Una cama! (1 bed)?” I said, “Si por favor” and she apologized for making an error. The tears were burning my eyes as I was so grateful to have a bed. She showed me to my bunk and it was a lower bunk to boot! Things were looking up. Need to rest the feet but still need to get to shower and laundry and supplies for tomorrow.
Returning from my shower I find that there is no time for laundry. It will have to wait until tomorrow. The life of a stinky pilgrim. The boot room is starting to smell rancid now. My outfits are working out. I usually can get by for two days but it is nice to carry clean vs dirty clothes. I sort of giggle wondering if some of my girlfriends would handle this experience.
As I walk through the dormitory door into the courtyard I am greeted by Christina and Monica from Romania. Christina was performing some medical procedure on her blisters. Christina’s feet are looking a grade above meatloaf. Monica and I head to the store for supplies for the next day. Ham, cheese, bread and fruit after a San Miguel beer which just seems to make everything better.
We had a nice walk and chat before heading back to the albergue. We were so tired we didn’t even eat dinner.
I had higher hopes of Estella with my mom’s name being Estelle. It was a little disappointing for me. Mind you I slept through most of it.
Lights out at 10:00 pm and off to sleep I went. 5:45 am the noise begins, the rustling of plastic bags and whisperedbtines in languages that sound German. I groan and roll over but the lights still come on at 6:00 am. Doesn’t matter if you are sleeping or not. I manage to get myself together and dig my poles into the ground as Intake my first step towards Los Arcos. Christina and Monica had already left and so today I will walk alone.
Leaving Estella was not difficult. I did get a little turned around at Sancosl but recovered well. I was alone with my thoughts and I guess time went by quickly because before aI knew it, it was time for a cafe con leche and breakfast. I ran into Iris (German) who doing very well as her blisters were healing. She is fun to be around and we seem to bump into each other regularly. She is one of my fave drinking partners. I also bump into Diana (The Netherlands) who has a groin injury. We are the walking wounded but seem to make it just fine.
Just when you think you can’t go any further, something catches your attention and you forget about pain and the next hill. These poppies did it for me.
There is a group of ladies from Brazil that I have fallen in love with. We were sitting in a cafe having lunch with the most divine breeze bathing our bodies with coolness. As we ate our ensalada mixta we were washed in the beautiful tones of Pavarotti singing. One of the ladies was swaying side to side with love of the ensalada and music and drew a simulated tear falling down her cheek. It reminded her of a lost love and for me it brought me back home to dad. That ladies at so full of spirit. They are a walking group and who came together for their leader Simone who’s mother has cancer.
Reaching Los Arcos around 4:30 pm I headed for the municipal albergue but it was full. Next on my list is Albergue Alberto (not recommended)!! It had brown bedspreads and wasn’t the cleanest. Brings back memories of Yordie and I running from that motel in Newfoundland. This place was maybe a step up from that. One German couple were thinking of leaving. We did an inspection and no critters. My room was the garage shared with 8 others. My chest cold is better today, but still a little goopy. Not much to see here.
Safety regulations are not consistent in Spain. There are steps on places you would not expect them and not present when you think there would. I have been extra vigilant when taking a step and in this place I pray I don’t have to get up on the middle of the night. Terrazo tile ramp leading out of the garage then 3 steps up, then 3 steps down, a little walk; then 3 steps down and dont forget to step onto the baño. 3 stubbed toes to date Another difference are the lights. Always remember to check where the light switch is as you could be left trying to find your way in the dark or waving your hands frantically as you attempt to activate the motion detector. I pray no one is filming me!
Tonight I befriended Maurilio from Brazil. He is 23 and extremely handsome and reminded me of Phil and Joel. He had just walked 40 km and was kind to help me find a workaround for my phone.
As I was heading to the garden to hang up my laundry, the girls from Romanianwere across the way. You just never know who you will bump into or meet. I was feeling like a home-cooked meal tonight. We picked up fixings and I would cook for the 3 of us. Well it turned out that Maurilio did t have plans tonight either, so a 16 euro dinner turned into 4 euro split 4 ways. We had wine, pasta primavera and chorizo. We played some music and had some laughs before crawling into our sleeping sacks.
Lights out at 10:00 pm