Woke up this morning to find that the water at the Albergue had been shut off which meant no taps, no showers but worst of all no flushing toilets, so you can only imagine the smells radiating from the large unisex bathroom. Prior to leaving Jason and I ate our ‘deconstructed muesli’ which involved pouring muesli on our hands, putting it in our mouth and taking a gulp of milk all because no kitchen facilities were available. Jason’s foot was quite sore when he got up so we planned to take it slow and possibly aim to complete a half day of only 10km if he didn’t feel any better.
By 7.15am we got walking and within a few minutes a moderate shower ensued making me once again reach for my ‘Big Bird’ poncho. After about half an hour the rain ceased, the clouds parted and it was sunny! Reminded me of Melbourne weather where there is consistently 4 seasons in one day. It was windy for most of the day, but that didn’t bother us too much.
We stopped for a quick snack break at the first town where a gorgeous wild white cat circled us hoping for a bit of what we had. Jason tried feeding it a banana but this was not very appealing to it so it continued to meow until we left. Along the journey today we were passed by many pilgrims today, but no new conversations were started which I was glad about. Sometimes my mind gets a bit overwhelmed from meeting so many new people in a short period that I just need some time to myself.
At 10am we arrived at Segunda, the town we were originally planning to stay at if Jason’s foot was still bothering him, thankfully he was absolute fine. We found ourselves a big supermarket and stocked up on snacks and tomorrow’s lunch. On our way out of the city we thought about the upcoming path ahead of us. The original path takes us to the next town quicker but it means there is a longer day tomorrow with frequent towns along the route. The alternate route was a slightly longer path, a shorter day tomorrow but a long stretch of 17km with no towns in between. We opted for the original path as the thought of another stretch of nothing (like yesterday) is very mentally overwhelming.
As we made our way to the final town Jason’s heel started playing up which meant more frequent breaks and trialling different exercises. Eventually we figured out that his pain was more a nerve issue than a muscular one as we originally believed so he was able to complete a nerve gliding exercise which almost instantaneously relieved his symptoms.
We arrived in the town of Bercianos just after 2pm and ended up at the Donativo, a donation based Albergue. We were a bit hesitant at first as we had heard mixed reviews about Donativos but when we we’re greeted with such a smile by the volunteer, we knew we we had found the right place. As soon as I arrived I felt the sudden urge to sew, so I plonked my self on a comfy chair, pulled out my sewing kit and began stitching up the holes on my waterproof and trekking pants. It took me over an hour but it was the perfect way for me to relax after today’s hike.
As part of the conditions of staying at this Albergue, we were all expected to help prepare dinner and eat as a group. We had the job of cutting up the tomatoes which I cant say was too strenuous a task. Dinner started just after 7.30pm with a group of about 15 of us starving a ready to eat anything and everything. We started with a quick Spanish song with the same hand banging and tune as ‘We will rock you’ and then delved into a delicious chickpea and chorizo soup and a fresh salad. An excellent meal and great evening.
Total cost for today:
– Breakfast: €1 Muesli and milk
– Lunch: €2 Ham and cream cheese baguette
– Dinner: Free as part of the Donativo
– Snacks: €2 chocolates and bananas
– Accommodation: €5
Total cost per person: €10
Til next time
Ann & Jason xo