Sunday, May 6, 2012

Benavente - Day 23 - Supplemental

In the blog I posted yesterday I mentioned that we didn't get into Benavente until 6:00. The supposed 25 km walk started it pretty routine, after leaving Granja we pretty much followed a dirt track which paralleled the N-630 highway and ran along the edge of a pine forest under the highway lines. There were a few little hills and the odd puddle to navigate but it was pretty easy walking.

Next, we left the pine forest and started walking through a large valley of farmland.

There was a long Aquaduct running through the valley which was used to water the neat rows of vegetables which were neatly planted in every field.

By the time we got to the little town of Villaveza del Agua, at about noon, we were tired and ready for a break and coffee and a small bite to eat. After a bit of a walk uphill to the other edge of town, we found a small cafe which was attached to a recreation complex. According to the owner, food wasn't served until 2:00. After a short discussion about being hungry and needing some food sooner because we were Peregrinos and needed to walk to Benavente she disappeared to make us some food.

After a 45 minute wait we discovered that we had ordered a Peregrino meal. It was a wonderful feast - the best we have had, I think. The first was tomato salad with tuna and the second was a big plate of eggs and fried potatoes with some really tasty tiny green peppers, fried in oil and garlic. The meal was accompanied with bread and wine and for dessert she served ice cream cake! Following the meal she brought out the yellow grappa liquor called called orujo, which we had also had in El Cubo, as a digestive. Probably not the meal we should have had given that we had (we thought) about 12 km yet to walk.

We made friends with everyone in the bar. Given that it was a bit off the path I don't think they got many Peregrinos and they seemed to enjoy us silly Canucks.

Barb's face is healing, it now has shades of yellow with the purple and a little bit less vivid black eye and so she looks a bit like a battered housewife. When we explain that she was injured when she fell into a river and hit her face on the rocks she gets so much sympathy that we all bask in the goodwill that abounds.

So we set off again at about 1:30 which would put us in Benavente in about 2 or 3 hours. It was nearly 6 when we arrived. We could see the city from some distance and the trail seemed to wind around the city so as to approach from a different direction. I am not sure why that was but it added to the distance I am sure. The city is large and sprawling and there was probably an hour's walk through industrial wasteland which surround cities typically, into the city proper and of course there was the rain, which was intermittent but cold and nasty. When we arrived in town it was raining and we were tired. It was hard to say where the Albergue was, but according to the guidebook there was only 10 beds so it would probably would be full in any case. We opted for a small hotel and a hot bath and a comfortable bed for the night. Barb and Ian were tucked in For the night before dark but I napped then sat in the cafe downstairs a bit to blog. We have Internet!

We have more rain predicted for tomorrow! *sigh*

Hasta luego amigos!


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