22 May: Aldea del Cano to Valdesalor

This photo has taken ten minutes to upload and so it will be the only one for the day!

And my mind is muddling round trying to decide what to write! Was going to be something about following arrows (with lots of pictures of the different types of arrows and signs)….would have included Grandpa’s comment about how when you just keep putting one foot in front of the other the miles slip by. Something that begins in the distance is behind you after just a few hours. But I can’t do the pictures.

Could write something about our rest day. Sleeping in because we were the only ones in the albergue last night so it was our own private accommodation…..Uncle Craig cooking us all bacon and sausages and French toast for breakfast…..a short stroll to the next town….afternoon spent relaxing at the park, in the bar, on bunks….but all those pictures are stuck in my phone too.

So I’ll write about pilgrim etiquette. In the interests of preserving the privacy of the individuals concerned no names or photographs will be used.

Yesterday, we arrived at a pristine albergue, but still we left it better than we had found it. We swept and mopped the floors, and gave the bathroom a quick clean. Today we arrived at a very nice albergue, but one that was in a totally disheveled state. Chairs were tossed around the room, the shower was full of hair and the kitchen had food spread over the bench and dishes left unwashed. We began our stay by cleaning and tidying up. Whoever came before us was obviously not thinking of who would come behind them.

Not long after we arrived two Frenchmen strolled up. We showed them the map of where they needed to go in the village to register and they paced off. Soon a steady trail of pilgrims trickled along the path, and when all the beds were taken we started telling newcomers that the albergue was “Completo”. Most walked on. But two pushed through the door to have a look. Two beds appeared free. I explained they belonged to the two Frenchmen who had gone to register and pay. Too bad. The latest arrivals dragged out their stuff and claimed those last bunks. When the original two returned, of course there were no free places for them. The culprits averted their gaze and refused to join the conversation about the issue. So I accompanied one of the disconcerted Frenchmen back to the bar to try to get help. He spoke even less than Spanish than me. When the girl serving behind the bar explained that there were still free beds and he should just choose one I blurted out, “Man and woman at albergue. Backpacks on bed. No pay. The albergue is full. No bed for this man. He pays.” 

Things worked out, but it seemed unjust. The Frenchies got their money back and headed for private accommodation. The others stayed  and took over the place! We talked to the kids about consideration of others.

Distance: 11.4km Total distance: 311km

Now that I’ve finished writing, pictures are uploading!



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