What do today’s pictures all have in common? Yes, a road! You see, yesterday Giuliano and Alessia, the two Italians we’d been walking and cooking with went on further than we did. When they arrived they messaged us to warn of a section that we would cross today that was deep in mud. “Stay on the road after Rebelas,” they advised. That got me thinking….and google mapping. If we stayed on the road all day we would cut our distance by 5km or so. We’ve had a few 30km days in a row (not counting the extra wandering we do once we arrive somewhere, which is always at least a couple of kilometers and up to another ten) and today concludes our sixth week of walking…and suddenly the possibility of a slightly shorter day appealed to everyone!
Because there were markers every kilometer it was just like walking with the men again. They had this habit of regularly comparing what their Fitbits said they had done (just over 35,000 steps so far, for the record). Levi played pace-setter-cum-time-keeper and called out times at each kilometer mark. Ella-Rose had worked out what the final marker would be and then gave a running commentary of how many kilometers there were to go.
As we left the lovely humming town of Puebla de Sanabria….
….we spotted a man who I mentioned to the kids was sure to tell us we were on the wrong path. Sure enough, he called out across the high wire fence separating us. He really could not understand that we would want to walk along the road when there was a perfectly pleasant path down by the river. We thanked him for telling us and he shrugged his shoulders in disbelief as we continued on our pig-headed way! Sometimes you just have to stick to your plan. Whenever the river path markings headed up to the road for a while the kids smiled, knowing we had cut off a few unnecessary (in their minds) steps. When I suggested we follow the arrows back down to the river at one stage, they protested violently! As inviting as it looked, with trees shading the path, sometimes you just have to stick to your plan!
Sometimes you have to deviate from your plan too. Mikio and Kyoko, the Japanese couple, were also planning to head for Requejo today, but an ankle injury forced them to stop in Puebla de Sanabria. Kyoko came running down the street waving both hands wildly, Mikio hobbling behind, to explain. They will try to catch us tomorrow, but just in case they don’t, they needed a photo!
(Yes, caught out – we’ve just been to the first supermarket we’ve found in over a week and were seduced by the cheesecake and berry yoghurt. This made up for the fact that the chocolate muesli was out of stock and there were no fresh vegetables other than tomatoes – believe it or not, the kids were asking for a big salad for lunch! We ended up with bread, Brie, ham and tomatoes).
Upon entering Requejo there was more seduction…an albergue promising wifi and a kitchen and beds with sheets and *towels*. Tessa was sold on the spot. Just this morning she had said she wanted a shower with a real towel (as the person who typically gets the last shower, I’d said I would settle for a *hot* shower – but again didn’t get it!). I offered a bit of autonomy. “We could stay in that place if you like. They have a kitchen and so we could cook dinner which is cheaper than eating out. Or we can stay in the cheap place with no kitchen and have a meal cooked for us. You guys choose.” It was a unanimous and immediate decision: