14 June: Requejo to Lubian

 According to the online guide, today was to be a climbing day. But it didn’t look all that bad in real life:
Because it didn’t look like much of a climb and because we knew this was going to be a short day (just 18km), we were completely relaxed. The road wound through tall green leafy trees and suddenly two deer dashed across the path. We stopped in our tracks, silent. “Let’s wait, they might come back.” And they did. One of them stood in the undergrowth and stared at us. We stared back, not moving a muscle. When it disappeared, we still didn’t move. We had time, we did not have to hurry, we could wait longer. Then they both ran out of the scrub again and disappeared once more. What a magical start to the day!

 What? We can’t climb the hill? OK, to the road we go then!

  The road may lack adventure, but you cover the miles quickly. And although it did climb, it was never demanding. Soon enough, a happy little arrow pointed us back onto the real path and UNDER the road. 


 As we approached the top Ella-Rose observed, “It’s hills. Just hills all around.” Well, yes, that would be right!
Over the hill was a different story. Or at least a new paragraph to this one. There was wind. It was biting cold. We had set out in 9 degrees, but it now felt colder. We stopped to don fleeces – scarves and gloves were already being worn. As we got colder, we walked faster until we were going at a fair gallop.

 (Levi is not in the picture because he has stopped farther back to get his rain jacket out in an effort to cut the wind. By the way, functionality wins over fashion). 

Trucks kept passing us and honking their horns; some were delicate cow-moo-ish honks, others blasted so wildly we almost had heart attacks on the spot. The drivers were friendly blokes and must have been doing a short haul local job because some passed us more than once – the more often, the more friendly the waves and grins. We were thoroughly enjoying the camaraderie (when we weren’t being scared silly by them), when suddenly an arrow pointed off the road.

What came next can only be described as pretty.

 It was just gorgeous. Over in the distance perched on the hill, was a cute wee village that Australian John and German Thomas thought was Lubian. They headed straight for it. Luckily for them, this was the moment we caught up with them and saw arrows pointing in the opposite direction so we called out. Here they are coming back up to the right path:

It was not long before the real Lubian came into sight:

Picture will not insert We were the first to arrive at the albergue, and because we knew there were others coming behind us, the kids claimed top bunks, leaving the bottom favored ones for older folks. We zipped out to buy some food, and by the time we returned the place was full to overflowing – there were mats on the floor and someone had even set up their bed on a balcony outside. What a change! Most recent nights there have been just a few extras apart from us – now there are a dozen more. Some are people we never expected to see again, having been left behind by them when Our Men were here. Others are newbies. Like Thomas, the German we met last night and became instant friends with. He had asked if we knew the German Dutch border at all and I had replied, “We have spent only a few days there. The town that I remember best is Dinxperlo.” Guess where he comes from!

And so the journey continues.

Distance: 18.3km Total distance: 721km


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