Lying in bed listening to the pouring rain, I wondered if we’d made a good decision to push ahead. But then it eased up and we seemed game to go. All we had for breakfast was a bit of fruit, some biscuits and a cup of black tea. After last night’s light dinner, we were starting to feel hungry. There was only a light bit of rain as we headed out but a lot of mud. There was a fair bit of slipping but nobody fell into it! We could see snow on the hills that were not too far in the distance. Luckily, soon we left the muddy path to follow a broader, sandy track.
The day was cool and again we were glad for toques and gloves at the start. Soon we started climbing up to the first village we would pass through and although there were signs all through the town advertising the bar for peregrinos, it was firmly locked up. It was very disappointing as we could have really enjoyed a break and some sustenance. We didn’t see a single soul in the village as we passed through.
The road continued uphill towards the next village. On the way we met a group of French cyclists and had a lovely roadside chat. They had ridden down from where they lived in Brittany and having travelled for about three weeks they had another nine days left to get to Sevilla. It was always delightful to stop and visit with folks along the camino.
We tried not to get too excited when we entered the next village and again saw arrows pointing to a bar. But this time we were in luck and we had excellent café con leche and a slice of tortilla—so good and so needed. When we arrived the bar was empty except for the woman who ran it. But soon it was hopping. The letter carrier arrived and then the barman to sign for the letter he’d delivered. He stayed for a coffee the kindly woman offered him—on the house. Then the slot machine repair person arrived (there are gambling machines in pretty much every bar) and that was a noisy racket with all the coins. Then she wanted to show us all the crafts she does to keep busy when its quiet. We felt like we’d had a real slice of village life.
Restored, we headed on for what would be an easy, two hour jaunt into Fuenterroble, partly on a paved but very quiet road and partly on a broad, sandy track. There were once again great way-markings and our route was now shared with both the GR100 and the Eurovelo1 bike route. The skies were very dark and threatening and it was extremely windy, but there was little actual rain so we felt very lucky.
Our host came out to meet us and it felt wonderful to get out of the wind and into a hot shower and then wrap up in a big, cozy towel. Towels were one of the best parts about staying in slightly more upscale places. We were the only guests in the large casa rural—it felt like a lodge or inn—and the host was reassuring that the next day’s hike should be just fine. The weather was forecast to be cold but dry. And if we wanted to change our plans, he could drive us to the next town where we could catch a bus to Salamanca.
We had dinner at a cozy bar and enjoyed a delicious bowl of lentil soup. We were offered tortilla in place of the other meat offerings and that proved too rich for Nedjo a second time in one day. But, dinner had been served at 7:00 and given the howling wind and very cold temperatures we went straight home and made it an early night.