Last night was a true albergue experience. if you comment on the lack of sleep because of the ronquistadors (a phrase coined after the Spanish verb for snoring - roncar), you will always be informed, "It is the Camino and it is an albergue. You will get used to it". I am here to tell you, you don't. However, there are some parts of this experience that are interesting; preparing a communal meal with the other pilgrims and spending a couple of hours trying to communicate in a mixture of French, Spanish and English. A little chubby Italian pilgrim declared himself 'chef de jour' and made a pasta dish with a chorizo tomato sauce all the while officiously ensuring every other aspect of the preparations satisfied his Italian sensibilities. Times have changed on the Camino. Where once this was an opportunity to leave the real world and all it's technology behind, now the phones are going off one after the other throughout dinner. Never the phones of the Canadians though... we have a Rogers plan, it is too cost prohibitive to ever use in Europe. I hypocritically observe this as I am writing about it on my WiFi accessed iPad...but at least the iPad doesn't have an obnoxious ringtone to disrupt a meal.
Our very personable hospitalero volunteer, Armand, was up and frying bread for breakfast well before six am so we could pack up and leave early. We had almost 27 kms to walk today and, even though it was a dark threatening sky in the morning, the worst we had to deal with was a bit of spitty rain(and that's not a typo or auto-correct, it really was just spitting all morning) and a cool gusty wind. Dayton commented on the continual AFC of these walks - another flipping climb, up and down all day. I must finally be getting into the physical and mental groove now because I barely flinch when I hear that we have 27kms to walk today, I've saved that flinching for the few upcoming 31-33km days we have ahead..especially if we do the Muxia route after we finish this one this Saturday.
We are in an ancient ruin of a town, Ruesta, but it has a fairly modern albergue. The chief cook and all around keeper of the keys is a vegan and prepares only vegan or vegetarian food. We have to wait 6 hours for the evening meal to be fed but it seems whenever the Spanish pilgrims come in they can order a midday meal. Hmmm. Guess I'll go get my emergency food.. .another bag of chips.
It is a modern looking albergue but it is a cold one. We all had our fleece jackets on as we sat down to a much appreciated lentil soup. So good. Pasta with mystery protein was next, good and feeling. A very hearty meal which would produce some over indulgence guilt if not for the calorie burning walks. We just have to hope we are bur ing enough to wear this off.
It was a really quiet and uncrowded night for an albergue. Only the Dutch fellow was in our room. So all is good and we are ready for another rain threatening day. Spring has not come to Spain.