Rain fell for most of the night. We planned to be up and at breakfast at 07:00. By 06:30, my alarm had had its say and the only sign of life from the caballeros at that stage was a soft purring from a mattress on the floor 5m away.
Not fun starting in the rain but mostly I was disappointed as I wouldn’t see the town of Guadix, and its caves, any better today than yesterday. Oh well, I’d been lucky with the weather so far and my near-new rain jacket needed a workout to justify its existence and my carrying the extra weight.
Breakfast in the dark
By the time we’d had breakfast in a nice trendy bar nearby (very unusually, it had women and kids in it soon after 07:00) and we headed out it’d stopped raining.
We had a day of almonds, then olives, a mix and then some types of fruit trees. It’s obviously a lot cooler and damper in this part of the world, closer to the snowy Sierra Nevadas. In a couple of places maize and various vegetables were growing. But really, a day of caves, caves and caves. And chimneys! Strange shapes at times.
At one stage B and I were heading off into a sunset definitely not meant to be seen from the Camino. M rescued us. We’d walked over a ford discussing the amount of water around today blithely ignoring a yellow arrow. In our defence, it wasn’t at all easy to see. Like one in an earlier town where you had to approach from the wrong direction to see it. Yes, one of the puzzles of a Camino!
I ran out of energy about an hour before we arrived. Today was hard, not so much the walking as the hills aren’t high, but somehow I had no energy. I had to fight myself and just move into automatic, step by step and then I could finally forget how hard I was finding it.
Yes, we’d stopped for coffee/coke/beer by then. A few Werthers toffees and I just had to keep going. B and I found 3 more ripe, but small, figs on a tree overhanging the road just after walking through a natural rocky arch over the road.
During this last section I was planning how I’d catch a bus, a taxi, get Scottie to beam me out….anything to avoid the walk tomorrow. It will be long, 27km. About 7km, maybe even 15km, more than I want to walk. I’m tired and things hurt that don’t normally. However, the one thing I have learnt is that it may be ok tomorrow afterall.
Having rung the number for the person with the albergue key we waited, in the sun, near the communal fountain. Tired? Yup! Even the caballeros looked tired sitting in the sun.
As usual, I had no idea what we’d find it this town, La Peza. We discovered that it was having a running of the bulls yesterday but cancelled it until Saturday because of the rain. Phew. We’ll be gone by then. Looks as though the bulls will end their day here, in a temporary ring after a quick, terrified run up the main street . Thank god we’ll be gone.
We were lucky to find anywhere to eat after we’d left our gear in the albergue, at about 15:00. A large lunch of salad, meat of some sort with chips, calamari and then fish and we were very ready to leave for showers.
This albergue has at least 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, various locked rooms and an open area downstairs used for adult education until about 20:00. Plus, an adjacent commercial kitchen. So, it’s big and I would really not like to be here alone.
Being with the caballeros has made this walk so much better than being alone. I’ve walked with one or other most of the past few days, mainly B, and expect to for the last two. M works as we walk, taking calls, making decisions and giving advice.
As usual, we shared a picnic at about 20:30. Last night it was bits of one and two day old bread two of us had bought when fresh and carried since, sausage carried for days, a can of black olives, a little box of strawberry milk for me (90% milk, 10%?), and two bottles of red wine. By that hour my capacity to understand spanish has almost gone. Two telling me something at the same time forces my remaining neurones into hibernation. Truly, I can barely understand anything simple even. I escaped after 22:00.
Going upstairs, again, I was so aware how happy I am to have the company of B and M. They don’t seem to mind me tagging alone in my childlike way as I truly can’t enter most conversations as a full adult. So much I’d like to say, to ask and to discuss and I’m muzzled by my lack of spanish dammit. Oh well.