October 3, 14km.
From the patio of the municipal albergue. There´s only Jacques, Gunter and Emmy with me, as everyone else has gone to the fancy pancy 10 Euro a night option down the road, which is now full. I have my socks and undies drying in the sun on the barbwire across the road. Get over yourself, Goose, I said, or actually Jacques said to me. In his look. Anyway, the albergue is a sweet and tiny place, an old water storage managers house (or something) with low doorways and curving ceilings like train carriages. So far we all have rooms to ourselves. Yay! No earplugs necessary!
I ate the most delicious Gazpacho for lunch here, all drizzled with pale and flavourful olive oil. It`s a local variant of Gazpacho called Salmorejo, but was indistinguishable to Laetitzia and I. There is a stunning view from our lofty position over the village lying the valley to a Medieval castle on the far side and the now familiar local stubby oak trees. They grow up all gnarled and twisty and have so much character to them. At the moment they´re clothed in tiny acorns. Anyway, this castle was the pilgrim hostel for 200 years! (`back in the day´ I´m guessing.) It was home to an order of monk / knights of the order of Santiago whose job was to welcome and help pilgrims.
So I´m out on the patio soaking up the shade, watching my knickers flapping on the barbed wire over the road, and Gunter is there with his guidebook giving us random facts of which I capture a few words but nothing coherent. Until, that is, he mentions tomorrow´s pueblo, Monasterio, where, he says, they have a local delicacy: pilgerfleisch (pilgrim meat). I´m like, WASS, pilgerfleisch! And he and Emmy crack up laughing because he said not pilgerfleisch, but pökelfleisch, which means salted meat.
Communications misshaps are theme of our afternoon and it´s all very jovial.
Today´s walk was pretty short, just three or four hours walking, so everyone´s all relaxed and happy. The track passed through farms of pigs, sheep and goats, all bleating and baaing and snuffling and snorting. Unfortunately I know where they´ll end up because I´ve seen all that Iberian ham hanging up in the local supermarkets, hooves still attached. I tasted it for the first time today – last time I was in Spain I was a proper vegetarian, now just kind of nominal-for-the-most-part. And it tasted just like it smells. Which for me, is like a gungy Spanish tienda with wine for sale in tetrabricks and no lights turned on. So this isn´t the meat that´s going to turn me back into a carnivore.
Hasta luego amigos, hasta el proximo WiFi, that is.