October 4 (happy birthday Katie!) … ~20km
Monasterio! A bar with WiFi. Gazpacho and Tinto de Verano … and olives and fresh orange and a tapa of bitey cheese in olive oil and… still hungry. Grin.
There’s a magnificent church / fortress here that doesn’t open until 8:30 tonight, so still time for another meal before I make an evening excursion.
It’s my favourite kind of church: unadorned, but for some beautiful inset arches around the door, made of local stone and with a tower that has a storks nest on top.
Today’s albergue is sponsored by the local parish and is about ten times nicer than any so far. It’s cosy, clean, homey, new, warm, kitted-out with kitchen and first aid supplies (for those sore of foot), and has interesting books and artwork and inspiring pilgrim stuff on the walls.
I was first in today so was appointed ‘jefa’ – boss – by the priest / hospitalero / downstairs neighbor.
It means I have to close the outside door when all the kids are home. Hope no one’s out partying tonight!
Loveliest morning… woke up to my alarm at 6:15 alone in my little room. Made today’s lunch with the left over half a fresh goats cheese that I demolished last night, breakfasted and packed and was on the road at 7:15 in the very darky dark before there’s even the faintest wash of light. Exiting the pueblo on a country road there is a ruined castle against the skyline and my eyes catch something which is a huge horse with hooves at eye level because it’s a sunken road. I’m thinking it’s one of the many statues of animals in this pueblo, then terror and thrill, it turns at looks at me. Can you imagine? A ruined castle the backdrop against the dark sky and an enormous black horse not a metre and a half from me standing there like a mythical beast. It was tremendous. We looked at each other a while before I went on.
It is the most magical time of the day, being on the road in the pre-dawn. It is intimate, quiet, cool, thrilling and full of wonders.
PS. This is advertising the local ham… yep.. JaMonesterio, the monastery of ham.