Day 26 – Mazarife to Villares de Orbigo

Posted from Villares de Órbigo, Castile and León, Spain.

The rustlers started early today, 5:45. I stayed in bed and watched them until 7:15. I had breakfast and got ready. It’s another rainy day. The rain was a little harder today. I only had a short sleeve shirt under my rain jacket and was a little cold.

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Because of the rain I don’t have many pictures along the way today. However it was a good walk. I stopped for a coffee to warm up then headed on. I did pass an impressive bridge, the longest along the camino.

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I’ve mapped my days to the end and am trying to stay off the main stages to enjoy quieter places. In my book I marked the place in Villares de Orbigo as “charming”. I mentioned this to a few others…Lisa from Minnesota and Loraine and Helen from outside of Toronto. Well they all listened to my good advice and came here also. In an Albergue for 24 people it was the four of us and 3 older Spanish ladies. This is the best place so far I think.

The owner of this albergue is a Flemish woman. She went back to school to become a teacher at 50. When she finished school the government raised the retirement age for teachers so none were leaving and she couldn’t get a job. She had walked various caminoes several times and saw this albergue on the Internet and decided to buy it. She purchased it just two months ago. Her husband is still in Belgium working (because they raised his retirement age).

The albergue was very clean and cute.

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I was in a wing to myself. There was a room of 2, a room of 4 and a room of 6 and just me (the women were in a different area).

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Dinner was at 6:30 so at 5:30 I went to the bar for a beer. It’s Sunday night and the place was full of old local men playing cards. I bought my beer and stood at the bar watching.

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At one point the bar tender and an old man came over to talk to me (in Spanish). I sent Carolyn the following text.

I’m in the bar. The bartender and an old man came up to talk to me. Maybe about how tall I am. Maybe about how much money Americans have. Maybe about Miami. Maybe about Dallas….we laughed and laughed.

At 6:30 I went back for dinner. The Spanish ladies didn’t eat so it was just the four of and the owner who joined us.

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The dinner was great. Everything was fresh and homemade. The owner told us how she’d tromped out into the fields to pick lettuce and pumpkins. The menu was pumpkin soup (wonderful), a great fresh salad, a stew of potatoes, carrots and chorizo, chocolate pudding, bread and wine. The wine had no label. She said it was the excess from the vineyards that was over there quota. They couldn’t label it but was the same wine for 1/4 the price.

Later the Spanish ladies came down and there was an hilarious conversation (they didn’t speak English) of their travels.

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I can sleep in tomorrow. I’m alone and breakfast isn’t until 7:30. The owner promised homemade orange marmalade.

This is certainly another example of the road less traveled.