Even after an early night, our best intentions for an early start didn’t pan out. We hit a snag trying to take money out—it turned out we had mixed up our bank cards so of course neither of us could get them to work. While later we could laugh it off, it always feels hard when the bank machines aren’t cooperating and you don’t know if the next town will have one.
The morning was pleasant, walking between stone-walled dehesa but by mid-day we were much more exposed and the landscape much more barren. Nedjo’s feet were really sore and it did feel like a bit of a slog. We did, however, find a lovely spot under an oak for a picnic.
Not too long after lunch a car came along the track and it turned out to be the owner of the albergue we had a reservation at accompanied by Wolfgang, one of the Germans we had met and dined with. They offered to take our packs and since it was so hot, that seemed a good idea. Nejdo was briefly worried that perhaps that was a reckless move, but by now it was so hot that I was glad to just have the daypack with our water for the last eight kilometres. Eventually we caught up with Ricardo and Susana, our fellow Canadians, and we enjoyed walking into town together. They had also sent their packs ahead and so we were all going to the same place.
Our packs were waiting for us in our beautiful room, one in a series of apartments with rooms sharing a bathroom and kitchen and then leading out to a terrace and down below a garden courtyard and swimming pool! Ardeo had stayed here and recommended it but it was so much more delightful than imagined. I braved a swim but even for this hearty Canadian it was mighty cold. Still, after the heat of the day it was wonderful to fully cool down. Someone noted that the pharmacy sign was showing it to be 32 degrees when we’d arrived in the mid-afternoon.
Town was shut up tight when Nedjo and I headed out looking for a reviving drink. Eventually after wandering through most of the town we arrived back near the albergue for a delicious tinto de verano (literally, summer red wine, which is red wine with lemon soda). Then later we joined the rest of the group at that same spot for a pilgrim’s meal, with simple but good food, wonderful chocolate cake for dessert and lots of laughter.
Then as a group we all made our way to a flamenco show that was happening that evening and that we’d been told would be wonderful, which it was. We enjoyed guitarists and singers and finally a dancer as well, which I especially love. We all slipped out early but it was still late by pilgrim standards as we made our way home, and cool now. At least the clocks changing for the end of daylight savings would give us an extra hour of sleep!