I decided to “slow” things down today, and to only go 6.7 km, to “Granja de Moreruela”. It`s coming to the end of my “Camino”, and I wanted to reflect on my experiences.
Fortunately “Bar Pepe” was open. This was the “Bar”, I had visited yesterday. I had a “Cafe con Leche” and was served by the Ladies “husband”, this time. He wished me “Bonne Camino”, as I left !!!.
The walk was pleasant but not beautiful. There were lots of pylons and followed the N630, for the most part. I took this photo at the beginning.
I was soon in “Granja de Moreruela”. I stayed in the municipal “Albergue”, run by the “Bar Tele-Club”. The cost was very reasonable, only €5 .
There was a tour advertised to the ruins of a local monastery. It was done by the “Albergue” for a donation. I guess to raise extra funds for the facilities. I thought this would be a nice thing to do, as my Camino was “winding down” !!!
I asked the lady behind the counter in “Bar Tele Club”, would she be able to phone the number for me. I suspected the “local” had no English. She agreed and told me, to be outside the “Albergue” at 6 pm, for collection
Of course he never arrived. At 6.40 pm, I gave up and went back to “Bar Tele Club”. There is now a new lady behind the counter. Eventually she agrees, to phone the number advertised. She is not very helpful !!!
After a ½ an hour of tactful reminding, she finally comes back to me, and says “Monasterio, non abierto” !!! It seems the previous lady had been told this, and then decided not to tell me !!!
I was angry but what can you do!!!. Later when she came in, I asked her why she did not tell me. She then said “Monasterio, non abierto” and gave a “shrug” of the shoulders. With a lot of tact, I explained, that I had been standing outside, for 40 minutes. She was very dismissive, and I felt she was not really listening !!!
I started to get an insight into what was going on. The other night in “Monastera”, I had a similar experience. The lady serving behind the bar, suddenly, seemed not to understand, a word being said to her. I know my “Spanish” is atrocious, but “une Cerveza, por favor”, is almost universal in Spain !!!!
I then remembered my last day walking in “Galicia” last year. It was a very busy part of the “Camino”, and there was only a few rooms left, in a small family hotel. When I asked the price, the owner wrote on a piece of paper, €60 . This was of course extortionate for rural Spain, and I said “Non Gracias !”.
I did the “Irish” thing in situations like this. I ordered a beer and asked, could they please phone, a taxi for me. I would go to the next town. If I was going to be “robbed”, I could at least choose who it was !!!
In the meantime some “Spanish” cyclists stopped, and I explained my predicament. When they booked in, the price was now €30. They had a “chat” with the owner, and said I was from “Irlanda”.
Next moment the owner “comes over”, and says there is a “big mistake”, the price is actually €30 . They don’t like the “English” here, even if it means “fleecing” a pilgrim . A “throwback” to “The Peninsula Wars”, maybe ?
So I guess, I am being slowly being brought back to the real world !!! For large parts of this walk I have been alone, you tend to forget how “petty” humans can be !!!
I then had a few beers with a young Italian pilgrim “Simone”, who had just checked in. He had previously walked from “Seville to Zamora”, and now was re-starting his journey.
I then retired to “Casa David”, for a good night`s sleep !!!. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some nice scenery !!!