It’s siesta time and as usual John and I have found a park bench. But, as autumn takes an ever firmer hold, the perfect park bench is becoming difficult to find. Those in the sun are highly prized until we’re too hot for comfort and have to seek a seat in the shade. The trouble is, soon this will be too chilly for comfort.
There are a number of familiar faces among the pilgrims here. Like us, many have walked only a few kilometres. Others are walking purposefully onwards. They’ll have the advantage tomorrow. We have a bit of a climb to deal with – about 400 metres – the first decent grunt since before the Meseta.
We lingered a little this morning, and were among the last to leave. Even so, unlike yesterday, it was a peaceful walk. Those around us were generally quiet – which made for a contentedly companionable walk. My resolution not to bring out my turbo-charged booster rocket wasn’t tested.
There are no natural stopping points along the way and not long after sunrise this oasis was a welcome sight; even if the price of a banana included a little uninvited philosophy.
It was an easy enough walk but the mountains are growing ever closer. Within a couple of days we’ll cross the highest point of the entire Camino including the Pyrenees.
The advantage of such a short day is that although we were amongst the last to leave we were amongst the first to arrive at our albergue. And what a contrast to yesterday. The hosperdajie is mild mannered and gentle, there was classical music playing in the background, and, in a sign of how much chillier things have become, he had a heater warming his feet. What’s more there are plenty of bathroom facilities – these things make quite a difference.
My favourable impression was enhanced by the unexpected sound of another Kiwi accent. And, like us, he’s not into dominating the place. Rather, he quietly got on with the business at hand. I wanted to give him a great big hug – I didn’t of course – that would have been way too OTT.
The Cathedral and the Museo de Camino are features of the town centre.
Along with chocolate shops – lots of them. I’m hoping that means churros con chocolate will be readily available early tomorrow morning.