It was nine kilometres to my first coffee of the day, today. And I suffered. It would be nice to be able to say I did so in silence. Except I didn’t. I asked, myself: Why are we doing this, again? No reasonable answer was forthcoming. I asked John. He didn’t have a suitable answer either, which isn’t surprising – this caper was my idea from the get go.
And at about the 7k mark, my body was wracked with aches and pains, my throats was raspy. “I’ve got your cold,” I complained. Hardly surprising, John’s been coughing and sneezing for three days now. Only thing is once I’d had the coffee and we were back the road my turbo booster was operating again.
After that coffee I flew along the trail, helped along by a tail wind, slightly cooler temperatures, and a soft walking surface – all of which were kind to my feet. The blister situation (I have 11 in total, all at various stages of the blister life cycle) is no worse than it was, in most cases it’s better.
We’re staying at the Municipal Albergue tonight. It was recommended by some pilgrims along the way. No two nights are the same here. There’s a huge variation between albergues. Last night’s was dire. It seemed pretty smart from the outside but the dormitory was dingy, and airless, the staff impatient with our palty attempts at Spanish. As for the showers, they were so small it was almost impossible to manage the job without my clothes getting an unintended wash. The fact that the bunk was about six inches too short for John didn’t improve matters.
Tonight’s albergue is built of adobe, each room sleeps only eight, its light and airy and the welcome was cheery.
It’s staffed by volunteers, part of the Camino Association, and the fee is a donativo (or Koha for Kiwis.) As for the showers, there are plenty, they’re roomy, and they’re clean.
For the first time, there’s an autumnal feel in the air. It’s almost chilly sitting in the shade and the leaves have begun to drop.
El Burgo Ranero is a sleepy village (pop 250). And, as I’ve seen so often over the last few weeks, the farmers like to park right outside the house.
Tomorrow we head to Mansilla de las Mulas. We should reach Leon by Thursday and then the Meseta will be behind us.