The day we escaped a smeggy hostel!!!
DAY: Villafranca to Las Herrerias
We left the beautiful town of Villafranca whilst it was still dark. There was quite a bit of road walking, but the views were spectacular and we were surrounded by woods and trees, with the glimpse of open valleys and an amazing sunrise. I walked on my own, enjoying the company of my thoughts and listening to my breathing. Walking is very therapeutic. I keep raising my head to make sure that Rachel is in my view but knowing that she is sensible and will stop for me if she is getting to far ahead.
I catch up with Rachel and after breakfast on the outskirts of town, we got into our stride nice and early. Looking back at the video I talked about having a steep climb all day, but in reality it was actually ok. There was a climb up to 630m but it was gradual and the walking was easy.
By 12noon we already at our final destination and still had some energy so we decided to carry on walking.
We reached the small village of Ruitelan by 1 pm and it was so hot that Rachel was on the verge of heat stroke so we decided to stop for the night – a decision we would soon regret!
The Smeggy Hostel
I’m not a snob but the Albergue in Ruitelan was terrible. The people were friendly enough but the hostel was rather “smeggy”. There were springs missing from the beds and the duvets looked like they had not been cleaned for years. I won’t even describe the sheets! We had given the host our clothes to wash which would take 1hr so we sat on the smeggy bed, looked at each other and made a decision to plan our escape!!!
The Escape Plan…
We told the host that we would pay for the washing and half price for the room but all of our friends were in the next village and we wanted to join them. He looked upset and hurt and asked us if there was anything wrong with the room. In true British style we said, “of course not, it’s a beautiful place, but we want to be with our friends”… The host was lovely and believed our story, to the extent that he ordered a taxi for us as our wet clothes were really heavy.
The taxi arrived and we gave instructions to the hotel that I had literally just booked on booking.com called The Paradise Hotel. The driver gave me a puzzled look and then nodded and put the car into gear. We were escaping and it felt good! Three minutes later I understood why the taxi driver gave us a strange look – The Paradise Hotel was literally just up the road! Less than 500 meters! We could have easily walked it and been there in 10 mins – oh well, I really didn't care. The Paradise Hotel was just that… Paradise! We checked in, hung our wet clothes in their dry room and then went to our private room, with clean sheets and private bathroom and views overlooking the mountains – all for €40. By 4 pm we are drinking lemon beer with fellow American pilgrims (Anita and Denise) and life is good again.
I messaged Julie to let her know what has happened and where we are staying. I later find out that Julie had an extraordinary evening with Sue and others which involved music, wine and dancing by a river. I will get the full story tomorrow.
Tomorrow w climb a mountain!
12.21 miles, 28k steps, 19 km