On my way to Hospital
Mazarife still in my mind, I was on my way to Hospital. Hospital de Orbigo to be exact.

The road from Mazarife was pretty boring, with a straight road for 6 km which, as I said in my last post, was helped by Radio Ulster and their wonderful newsreaders.

It really is quite nice walking in the early morning darkness. Ahead of me I could vaguely see another peregrino, their head light bobbing along the road, occasionally, darting to one side to try to see what the rustling was among the corn fields.

My light was doing the same, now and then it would sweep right round to see another peregrino, way in the distance, no head light but I’m sure he saw mine brighten. I don’t know how he did that, walk in the dark, I was paranoid about stepping in a pothole or on a stone and twisting my ankle. I have my mother’s ankles apparently.

Luckily I have my mother’s good looks which gets me by. She is the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. She has done more than one Camino in her life. St. James take note.

Villavante comes up quickly after the long straight road and into Santa Lucia store. “Hola!” screams a voice from a cage. No not some sort of Camino sex slave waiting to serve your every need – a parrot. Only word the bloody thing new apparently. Couldn’t get my order in for café cortado for “Hola”, freaking “Hola”. You tend to want to answer when you hear “Hola”.

Quick repairs to feet, fleece drying over the roundabout sign – had the good sense to use the back of the sign, not that thick. Don, one of the Scotsmen who was driving their sections of the Camino – don’t ask – arrived to park and have a coffee before walking back to meet his three friends and walk in with them.

Everywhere in the world you have them. You know, no sooner have you parked in an empty space when someone comes up to tell you that you can’t park there. There wasn’t another car in the whole village but no, I think he actually had a pot of yellow paint up his coat for that very occasion.

Don moved his car, had his coffee and set off, back down the Camino I had just come up. Talked to him later and he said it was odd, people passing him going the wrong direction wishing them “Buen Camino”. Weird these Scots you know.

Villavante to Hospital was a quite easy, if boring again, 4.5km. Found the pension I was staying at, dumped the gear in the room and set off to find the elusive peregrinos who were secreted around this smallish town.

Couldn’t find anyone so settled myself in the best vantage point to see everyone come in across the spectacular bridge – the terrace of an albergue with a great view of the bridge.

People found me sitting in the shade with my usual companion who we will furthermore call C&L.

Canadians first, then the four Scotsmen. A few beers later and we had to split up to go to our respective accommodation. The Canadian husband and wife finished their lunch – a bottle of wine – and headed off to finish their 45km section. Yes, 45km. They were doing the whole thing for the fourth time in 27 days. Wow!

Went back across the bridge to my pension and had the most fantastic peregrino menú del dia for 9 euros, met Stefan, a German, who had begun his Camino from his front door 6 years ago. Had done different sections throughout the years and was so enthusiastic he reminded me of the Danish girl, Trina, who I had met in Leon and had done the Cathedral tour along with me. She was nearly bursting with excitement on her first day of El Camino she just had to run up to someone to tell them “I’m on the Camino”. Ah! That first time.

Chatted for a while then off to my room to prepare for the next leg.
Just typed “leg” and predictive text put “keg” – how clever is that?

I’ll leave it there for now. More updates tomorrow.

Good night.

About CJ

Setting out 1st September to walk El Camino. I am walking the French Way and starting at Logroño. My wonderful wife is joining me at Sarria to finish the walk with me.
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