October 26, 40km
The Mombuey albergue is a small stone building with a bathroom off to one side and five bunks and a single bed crammed down one end. If you want to make your dinner there’s a microwave, if you want to hang up your washing there’s the end of your bed, and if you don’t want your boots to stink out the place you put them in the street. And didn’t we have a brilliant night there, ten of us like sardines in a tin. There was Juan and Antonio cooking castaños in the microwave and three French pilgrims walking away from Santiago sharing chocolate, Michael and Renato napping in identical red jackets in identical positions on their side-by-side bottom bunks, and me on my top bunk feeling a bit sore and sorry with ice on my shin while being all wrapped up in my sleeping bag. Lavender oil was applied liberally to keep the chinches from even considering coming close and the smell alone makes me feel better about a dodgy mattress. (Since the 90° wash of all clothing and insecticiding of sleeping bag and pack there have been no more bites. Hoorah!)
Alexis of the French pilgrims must have seen I was feeling just a bit sorry for myself because he made me a pink balloon poodle. Then after dinner we played a card game called Lobo 77 all sitting on one bed and playing in three languages. Laughing our heads off we were.
It was a long 40km today. And if we were not sticking to a schedule in order to meet people in a couple of days time, it would not be my choice to do such long days. Downhills hurt so I decided to pick up a couple of sticks, which I’ve walked with in the past and love, but have just not sought out for this Camino. I found a nice one of wild rose wood and another of poplar. They help.
If you have sore bits, I also hope you get a balloon dog, plenty of chocolate, someone to fetch you ice and something silly to make you laugh and forget it all. And voltarin.