Santa Fe De Mondújar to Alboloduy

Cut the air with a knife!

Leaving on Tuesday morning was great. Tension in the house in Santa De De Mondújar was palpable. I have one version, the Canadian’s (C) of what happened yesterday.

They (Cs) arrived last and, expected a warm welcome. Why not, they’d been offered the use of the entire place the day before and had said no, they’d share.

So, they’d clearly rung before me on the Sunday. However, I’d arrived first and taken a single bed. The French couple arrived next and took the double. This left the other single in with me, and, the couch.

So, the Cs arrive and she said Mr F very aggressively told them in english to go to the albergue and wouldn’t let them in the door. Alba, the local, and I arrived a few minutes later and she let the Cs in and took their money etc. I later found out how upset Ms C was, even shaking physically, certainly inwards.

Mr C, not unexpectedly, was unhappy at having to sleep on the couch. I had no intention of sleeping out there, next to the bathroom. Old men always get up to the loo multiple times during the night. As expected, I heard 4 or 5 such trips and couldn’t see why I should be the victim as I’ve been before when I’ve arrived alone at an albergue.

So, the Cs and Fs didn’t speak to each other and tried to avoid crossing paths. I got on with both, separately, though Mr C was grumpy. No doubt also with me as I’d not relinquished the other single bed to him.

What to do? Clear out early and alone. Fs followed and I know the Cs were getting a ride ahead of where the Fs and I are staying tonight in Albodoluy. I was sorely tempted to do the same if only to avoid being in a lump of people as there are two women following who’ll arrive here later today, a Pole and an Irishwoman. As I was first I’ve made sure I’m in the room with the 2 women (still to arrive) and the Fs are in their own room. So, we’ll all be happy. 😊

I did find the contretemps interesting, and distressing, and can only see it as a supreme set of language issues and, later, my selfish unwillingness to consider a couple as more entitled than me. But, are they? If so, why? Why should I be doubly disadvantaged because I’m walking alone?

Mr F doesn’t speak english, but he recognises and can use just a few words of it. He only speaks french. Ms F speaks french too, of course, some spanish and no english. Neither C speaks anything but english. So I was surprised to hear what Mr F was alleged to have done. Must be the only english words he has: go and albergue. He couldn’t have explained that he said it because he doesn’t have the words and wouldn’t have known it was shut.

Alba told me later (she only speaks Spanish) that the albergue is closed, the woman running it has quit. We didn’t know that when everything went to shit! Anyhow no one could have gone to the albergue. There is no albergue there for now!

So, what to do? Easy, cut the air with knife, avoid those involved when possible and just do my own ‘thing’.

Tuesday 24 April: Santa Fe De Mondújar to Alboloduy

Left about 07:15 in the end. Warm, clear morning.

This area is dry and miserable with well evolved systems of (largely) covered water distribution to plants and trees.

Some interesting signs around.

Spring is coming and you can smell the citrus and see the developing flowers/fruit on the olive trees and grapevines.

Not a lot to recommend the little towns you pass through to get here. Nice breakfast in the first, Alhabia, a small town the boys and I similarly breakfasted in about 18 months ago. And, I avoided facing one of my concerns: the very steep and fine scree slopes down into Alhabia. I walked the extra 2 km or so around the road and was happy I did so rather than do that ever again. Yes, you are right. I won’t be back this way in future. It’s interesting but mainly for its past.

Tomorrow provides me with the last of my pre-camino concerns: another steep and narrow stretch to start the 30km day. Last time I got a lift to the next town with José, the owner of the Casa Rurale I’m currently in. He’s not able to do it tomorrow but I’ve spoken to the woman in the bar who will organise me a taxi if I want it. Reminds me: she wasn’t here last time, makes nice food. For €6 I got a coffee (2) and a very nice grilled fish and salad. She is also very pleasant. Go to the bar if you’re here and want food. It’s worth it!

I’m waiting now to meet the other 2 walkers. One or both of them may wish to share a ride. Highly likely I’ll skip a section and add a bit onto the following one. Partly want to be sure I’ve left the unpleasantness behind me, to get ahead of the current group, and I’m happy to miss the next natural stay in Alba.

The guy in charge of the albergue in Abla last time was a stupid young guy, very awkward or just weird about people for whom Spanish is a second language. Happy to miss him. Suffered through a ridiculously extended tour of the area with him and his childish friends last time. Enough!

Tomorrow will come when it comes. And I will be with different people, far away. Oh, the Irish ‘woman’ is a nice Irish guy. The Polish woman is having trouble with her knee, despite an arthroscopy. 😏. Plus, she doesn’t have her two hearing aids so she’s finding it tough going. The two of them arrived pretty hot and sweaty.

Update: an Irish woman did arrive.

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