What did we do during siesta today? Why, we waited, and then we waited some more.
Perhaps it was the fatigue of having walked for five or six hours, perhaps it was simply herd behaviour, or maybe it was the Camino telegraph at work. Whatever it was, six of us busily waited two or more hours for the albergue doors to open.
While we waited we made up stories. About whether the doors would open, about where the volunteers might be. Some posited the notion (I may have been party to this) that they were standing behind the door observing us. That idea was debunked when the volunteers appeared with essential supplies, for us, from the market.
But hopes they might admit us earlier than the sign said were dashed when they closed the door behind them.
Then the stories turned to the possibility they might have tea and cake for us. And, this turned out to be true. It was real tea. Tea designed to make tea-lovers homesick, tea made properly with water on the boil and in a tea pot. (No tea cosy but then you probably don’t need one on a warm Spanish afternoon in autumn). The cake bit was true, too. Apple cake – home-made by one of the volunteers.
We’re at albergue Gaucelmo in Rabanal del Camino. It’s operated by volunteers from the Confraternity of St James which is based in London. It is an albergue with a bit of a reputation on the Camino for its traditions, which is no doubt why the Completo sign is out – there are no more beds at this inn, tonight.
Despite the wait we were checked in in a caring and careful manner which included being escorted to our beds and shown the showers.
The albergue has a close relationship with the monastery next door. Tonight we’ve been to the Gregorian chant at 7:00pm, after dinner we’ll go the evening prayers and Pilgrims’ blessing.
As for our walk this morning was the coldest yet – three layers and gloves and hat.
But by the time we stopped for an early lunch the temperature had warmed considerably. The diurnal range here is commonly in excess of 20C.
Today’s walk was picturesque.
It took discipline to keep on walking when we were surrounded by so many photographic opportunites.
On the blister front matters are improving. I’ve developed a new one but that’s not bad at all considering I have once were red and now are dusty brown new shoes.
Tomorrow we cross the highest point of the Camino. We’ll aim for either Acebo or Riego de Ambrosia.