I leave the albergue …
… around 7:30. This morning I managed to misplace a small bag with soap bars (one for clothing, one for me … I found soap bars to work better than various universal liquid soaps).
As I walk through sleepy (what else) town, I realised I forgot to refill my water bottle. OK, there is bound to be a fountain in this town somewhere. Passing the first … the second … the third small square … no luck. Fortunately there is one right the the edge of the town.
The path goes straight across slightly muddy plain … followed by a bridge … then a hill.
A substantial hill … with a decent uphill climb.
I almost reached the top when I figured I also forgot to treat my feet with BodyGlide this morning (anti chafing stick that did wonders for me in preventing blisters). Fortunately kind local folks built a wooden shelter on top of the hill. Benches and supporting beams are filled with scribbled messages … some signatures and a lot of inspiring messages.
I shared some chocolate with a Danish lady that came by … little did I know how quickly will the favour be returned.
Next to arrive are Jens and Sarah, a German couple from Hesse that I met at dinner last night. Sarah has some issues with her knee so I gave her one of my knee braces. It sure helped me with my ankle so far. Even with a bum knee she pushes a faster pace then me.
Downhill slope … than a plain again … then a small slope with a donativo bar. A kind gentleman offers coffee from a Thermos bottle, oranges and bananas in a “pay as much (or as little) as you want” business model. After a brief rest we push on.
Where is the next town … there isn’t even a hint of it in the distance. I only spot Jens in the distance, carrying his girlfriends backpack and heading on with quite a pace … carrying two backpacks.
In the distance there is a small bridge and a farmhouse renovated as an albergue. I catch up with Sarah who comments …. “have you seen my Jens” … I have indeed, a wise choice.
After another bridge there is a sign announcing we are entering a new province, more importantly there are a few benches nearby. I just sat down when a Danish lady, Analise catches up. “How are your feet” … she asks … well, much better then yesterday … “I’ve seen you walk, let me check”. When I realised she wanted to do some kind of medical treatment I let her go ahead. She turned out to be a orthopaedic therapist and after a combination of massage and acupressure I feel a lot better.
Moving onwards, finally a town behind the next corner. Its time for a snack.
As I leave the town I bump into Steffi and Julia, joined by Huby from Hamburg.
The path goes uphill … then downhill … a next village can be seen on the horizon.
It looks far.
It feels even further.
It takes forever to reach it.
Analise catches up and we chat along the last few km. One of the topics is the World War II story from Denmark, when Nazis ordered the Danish Jews to wear the yellow star. So the Danish King took to the radio and said he’ll be the first to put it on and he expects that every loyal Dane will do the same. The Nazis backed down and the Danes smuggled most of the Danish Jews to Sweden.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Finally arrived at Boadillos de Camino around 14h. The place is deserted … because it is siesta. I took a shortcut and came across a bar with an albergue. My original plan was to take a short snack break … but once I’ve actually sat down on an actual chair …. I quickly decided to stay.
I am the first peregrino to register here today … by evening I realise I have the whole place to myself. So much for the panicky rumours of huge crowds and no beds.
That was day no. 18.