Day #14 El Camino
Tuesday 26th September
San Bol > Boadilla
Distance walked: 35km
After the best night’s rest I’ve had on this trip so far, I got out of bed at 7am. It felt like a sleep in! I was on the road by 7.30am, a gravel country road and a hill to get me started towards the beautiful little town of Hontanas where I knew most other Pilgrims I’d been walking alongside in the last day would be staying. After all, my place was full and this town was much more equipped and not so many hippies. Later I would tell people where I stayed and the similar response would come back that they were told it was nice but they got scared or decided against it for one reason or another, but after I told them how good it was, they seemed to all agree they should have gone with it. It’s times like this I am glad I stick with an idea, but not always do I go with my instincts or recommendations and it usually annoys me after the fact that I didn’t do it. I stopped for a morning coffee and croissant and noticed the weird vibe of two competing cafes. They were directly across from one another and had signs out front saying how good they were and inspirational quotes and trying to win pilgrims over. It made me think there’d been a falling out between them and this was your classic neighbourly bickering going on. After I’d had a coffee I heard some lovely music coming from the other place and I enquired what it was, he said it was from near Morocco and he uttered something snide that he had better coffee and was upset I chose the other one. I left town knowing I’d likely never be back, but felt sorry for this situation. No matter how small a community, there is always competition and fighting going on. Such petty things.
I bashed out some decent miles today and glad I did. When I found myself passing through another town, I came across the German again, just standing in front of me at a café. I was bemused this time. He was still in bed when I left, there was absolutely NO WAY he’d walked by me! Turns out he was still feeling ill (or just a pussy I’d concluded) and got a ride with a guy in a car. We went to a supermarket and I replenished my snacks before hitting the road again. He said he’d stay in this town for the night and I powered ahead. When I found an Albergue with a swimming pool I darted straight for it. For two reasons, I’d been sent photos of other pilgrims rubbing it in how good their pools were in previous towns and I needed to get myself in a pool. The other reason was I had being carrying my Brasil sungas (speedos) this whole time and never once used them. I had to justify carrying them by using them at least once! 10 mins after I checked in I was in the pool and it was FREEZING cold. My toes went numb but the beer waiting was delicious and I was in heaven. Maybe this is the heaven the pilgrimage is all about? The German turned up soon enough and I my shock wained, he claimed to have changed his mind and walked but I get the feeling a bus came along… He bought me a beer for losing my glasses and so I forgave him. However his bed was next to mine and I feared that if he was still ill maybe I’d catch it. Getting injuries and blisters is one thing, catching a cold would be an inconvenience I’d rather go without. Especially when it’s so hot still. The peregrinos communal dinner was 10 euros (standard fee) and the helpings were enormous. 2 soups to choose from, loads of bread as per usual and a big main followed by an ice cream on a stick. I knocked back a couple of glasses of red and was content after a good days walking to hit the hay. I had a single bed tonight, nobody below or above me. Somewhat luxurious on the camino. Sure, it was in a mezzanine with 6 other beds above a dorm of 20 other beds, but still, you take the victories when you can!