Thursday, May 3, 2012

El Cubo de Tierra del Vino - Day 19 - May 3, 2012

We were on the road early for our days trek and while it was raining there was promise of sun in the distance.

 We set out on the muddy farm track and the mud started to weigh us down so we switched to the road. The sun teased us out of our rain gear briefly, but we were back into our rain ponchos after 20 minutes as there was intermittent rain. It was a pretty boring walk but better on the pavement rather than the muddy trail. We reached El Cubo about noon after the 20 km trudge and adjourned to a cafe to consider doing another 15 km, however foot problems dictated otherwise, so we found the Albergue and it proved a good choice to stay there.
 We arrived at the Albergue at El Cubo before it opened. As you can see Barb's feet were causing problems - she now has blisters on her blisters - ouch! Municipal Albergues usually only accept Peregrinos with a "credential" and they are only allowed to stay one night. It was another 15 to the next Albergue, so we needed to line up to make sure we got a spot! Albergues usually close from 9:00 until 1 or 2 in the afternoon and so you just wait if you can't get in right away. The hospitalero arrived in short order and we settled into quite a nice little place. The 16 beds were soon all full and the overflow Peregrinos were sent to a vacant house without heat or water to sleep on mattresses. It started to rain in the early afternoon so there were not many folks who wanted to walk to the next albergue!

 We met a Québécois traveller with his Belgian friend. They wore the sashes of the French Canadienne "courier de bois".

The Hospitalaro was a funny guy. He hung out all day making sure that anyone who arrived was offered at least a mattress in the casa particular (vacant house). It was a Municipal Albergue which used to be the school teacher's house - it was attached to the local primary school. Three bedrooms with 4 bunks each, a dining room, kitchen and a terrace to sit outside and watch the laundry dry. There was also a washing machine and the Hositalero did a load of laundry for us for 2€. We all sat near the rads - moveable ones you might see at Canadian Tire - as it was really cold and damp.

I trucked out to the supermarcado down the road and got the makings for dinner - bread, eggs, cheese, ham, a potatoe, onion and tomatoe and the biggest treat - some butter! We had not seen any butter or margerine since leaving Canada! Every single restaurant we ate in served bread - dry! One might expect olive oil at least, but even when you ask for some aceite (oil) you are given an oil and vinegar salad oil set and have to drizzle rather than dip the bread. Even bocadillos are served meat or cheese on dry bread! Anyway, I digress. We had a nice meal fried up on a hot plate in the Albergue and went to bed with full tummies!
We had a great time at the Albergue, Barb was starting to feel less sore from her fall of a few days earlier, although her face had turned real shades of purple and she now sports 2 black eyes! Looks like she was beaten and she was - by a rock in the river she fell into! Only now her feet were really bothering her and so she was sitting with them elevated to help them heal.

Silly games Peregrinos play to pass the time!

The hospitalero offered us a homemade yellow drink which was the Spanish version of grappa.

Waiting for our laundry to dry - can you tell we were all cold? The wine stocked at the Albergue and available for 2€ helped to pass the time.
We were all tucked into our beds with lights out before the Hospitalero did bed check at 10 p. m. Tomorrow is a 30 km march into Zamora.
Hasta mañana amigos!

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