Well, rested and ready to move on. Waiting at bus station for bus to Villar del Mazarife.
Met a lovely couple from France who were on their fourth Camino and talked as if we had known each other for years. Really wonderful the way that happens here.
Stayed at a great albergue right in the heart of the city. It was in an old townhouse and was very clean and well run.
The guys who ran it basically left you to yourself, with free tea, coffee, WiFi and computer access. I went for the individual room for the extra privacy and, apart from the bed collapsing a couple of times it was perfect.
The guys were really helpful and spoke perfect English, which helped when trying to explain about the bed. It wasn’t me, it had happened before. Once when a circus was in town and the other when a troop of Russian lady shotputters were staying apparently.
I went to see the Catedral de Santa Maria on the first night when it was lit up against an electric-blue, starless sky.
One of the peregrinos I had spoken to before Leon had recommended doing a night-time walk as the skies out in the wilderness are supposed to be breathtaking. As I need every breath I have I will decline this offer for now, but maybe someday.
Sat watching the chic people promenading at night like peacocks. You get the same in every city. You know the sort, yellow slip-on shoes, silk socks, pale pink or green, or even yellow trousers, contrasting shirt with jacket and the sunglasses and watch which probably cost as much as everything I possessed in the world at this moment in time.
Wandered round the dingier back streets and came across tiny little squares, hidden away as if the city was ashamed of them. Shame on them, this is the life blood of any city, not the fake Armani wearing strutters who probably don’t even know these places exist. I love these places.
Sat and had a pizza and a couple of bears and spotted a girl, obviously peregrino, ordering by herself, a few tables away. I indicated to her my scallop shell (now there’s a novel way to pick girls up) and she nodded. I asked her to join me and she did. Wow! I’ve still got it.
We shared our Camino stories and compared blisters, I used all my best lines, she was camphorated Vaseline in my hands.
Her name was Summer. Quick as a flash I said “we don’t see much of you in Ireland”. Biff!!! another ace line. I was on form.
Then I told her that my beautiful wife was joining me in Sarria. Any other man would have known when to shut up. Not me. Babbled on about Ann-Marie and we got to discussing religion. Well you all know how religious I am, so the conversation just turned into a rant by me.
It ended with me telling her she must watch Father Ted, which she had never seen and she noted it down. Again, a lesser mortal would have exchanged telephone nos. or email addresses, not me.
We wished each other Buen Camino and went our separate ways – honestly Ann-Marie, that’s what happened, I swear.
The next morning I did some sightseeing and generally missed the peregrinos I had met and bonded so well with.
I will temporarily stop here as my bus is coming but will finish this later and add pics.