I sneaked out of the albergue managing to avoid waking people up. On a side note: a good habit that I managed to establish on this Camino is to put almost everything in my backpack the night before… so I don’t have to look for items in the dark the next day.
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I head outside and begin the route section for today. Boy.. that McDonald’s is sure far.. on the albergue map it is shown equidistant to the albergue as Lidl store… but its significantly further away.
The towns I’m passing through are all sleeping … as expected so early in the morning. Just a few passerby on their way to work. Soon enough I reach Albergeria a veiha.. that doesn’t look old, quite the opposite. The Way continues through the eucalyptus forest… more like plantation actually for the local wood industry.
In the middle of the forest path there is statue of Our Lady with a nun’s monastery further ahead.
After a stroll through the forest I’ve reached Albergeria a nova.. that doesn’t look so new… quite the opposite.. a village with quite a few broken down houses.
But the albergue is great. A family tun establishment it even features Camino shirts with the albergue logo as souvenirs.
After a shower I went to wash my clothes … my typical Camino routine. I had a problem with dust, sweat and wine stains on my white shirt that I couldn’t clean out with hand-washing soap. Fortunately I was given a bit of laundry detergent… and it worked in the same miraculous manner as the ones from TV commercials.. I should have written down the brand.
After leaving the laundry out to dry … in the scorching sun it take about 3-4 seconds or so, I went outside in search of a restaurant. The search was unsuccessful so I got some supplies from the fruit store and a general store that reminded me socialist co-op from the sixties ( in smaller Croatian towns some of these survived until late eighties). Sandwiches and fruit will get me by until dinner.
In the meantime pilgrims filled up the place.. Andy, Adriano, Simona, Amarila, Stefanie and English / Slovakian couple.
Had an interesting chat on linguistics with Stefanie… she actually remembered some Croatian vocabulary from her short visit way back.
In the distance there appears to be a thick column of smoke rising to the sky … it appears to be a forest fire… in fact its not so distant … rather close actually. A slight … concern appears to spread as the guy from the albergue takes a car to look for pilgrims in need of rescue. I decide that if the situation was truly critical someone would notify us .. especially if any evacuation is necessary. So with the full confidence in the efficiency of Portugese emergency personnel I went to take a nap before dinner. I later heard that the English girls who stayed at the monastery in the forest had a ringside view of the fire… but the nuns weren’t preoccupied at all.. guess they had some experience with forest fires.
The dinner was prepared by the family who runs the albergue and it was truly bountiful.
That was day no. 14.