Ate with Richard, a retired NY lawyer and Steve, a doctor from Montana. Enjoyable conversation. Both of themm are on bikes and had lots of questions regarding relationships - how do we get on week after week with people? Well, the truth is, over the weeks most people spread out. I have lost physical touch with everyone I started with. Some hang together. I met a Hungarian girl and a US investment banker who have been travelling together. Perhaps I need to shower more.
Felt a bit light headed this morning as I woke around 1 and was still awake at 3.30. The SApaniard above me thought it a fine idea to ring his mate just before lights out, too, which didn´t help. Most pilgrims are now in bed by 9, so to conduct a normal voice conversation with hearty laughter an hour after that is thoughtlewss, to say the least. One young German boy biking with his father had the diarroheoa and vomiting last night so they won´t be going anywhere today. Made it quite easily to El Burgo Ranero today but a bit late. First, I could not balance my sac. So I walked to Calzado del Coto, found a table and completely repacked. It was still unbalanced and I realised the harnes links on the right side were twisted over the belt. Untwisted, it was fine. Then I realised I was way off track and had to go back. It is badly marked at new work and I was able rescue three others. Then on to Bercianos del Real Camino. I stayed here last time and was disappointed to find the church spire had fallen in a muddy mess. It has not been repaired. There is a 17th century ermita just 1km out of town and the townsfolk may use that. It was open today as we passed. There also appeared to be a new steel bell tower in a different part of town so they may have rebuilt there. One stange thing to me about Spain is how so many buildings just fall into ruins and are abandoned. It lends a down at heel, mournful look to the places.
Anyway that meant I was later ariving at El Burgo ranero and missed on a place in the municipal albergue. The one I´m in is cold and had cold water (the the hospitallera says she has fixed that) and cost 7€. I really object to that.´There is no kitchen, no sitting room, and we are supposed to rejoice that there is a place for us! If I weren´t so lazy I´d have packed up and gone to the pub for 30€, but I´d have to pack again. Grumble grumble. AND there are only two bathrooms for up to 20 people (though fewer than 10 are there today).
I could hear distant bangs and then saw puffs of smoke in the air. It fiesta day! Whoopee. By the time I arrived about half an hout later the locals had all retired for siesta, no doubt worn out by the excitement. There is a small shop which opened at 5pm so I have bought stuff for breakfast. Tomorrow´s stage to Mansilla de las Mulas is also shorter, around 19km si I´ll try to get away a bit earlier, and not get sidetracked.
An Englishwoman has invited me to an Anglophone table so I´m looking forward to that. Sorry for the grumbles. I´m still a bit drowsy from my arvo snooze.
All the best to you all