Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feb 15th Zubiri to Villava (16km)

Today we were meant to only walk a tiny distance. We agreed that we’d go the 6km to the next hostel so I could rest. Instead we ended up walking about 16km to Villava. It was fairly tough, but thankfully a great deal of it was flat. And after our last few shortcuts, we stuck to the road.
I had a lovely moment when we got confused about where we were and thought we had longer to go to get to Villava, only to discover that we were already there! Excellent! We stayed at a hostel where this old Spanish man called Raoul explained the rules in Spanish. The main one was that we had to be back by 9:30pm. Of course, we then discovered that in Spain dinner isn’t eaten until roughly 9 or 10pm. The place that usually served pilgrim meals was closed as it was a Sunday, as was the supermarket. So after trying to get fed, we returned early to the freezing cold albergue where we explained to Raoul we were cold. He kindly turned on the heater for us. An Irish man arrived, totally exhausted from his trip. It was fairly dark by this time, and it turned out that he’d walked about 40km all up because the previous town was closed. Poor bugger was wrecked. We confirmed the rules with him and explained about dinner arrangements before Gill and I dashed out to eat, thinking only of our stomachs. We ate at a brilliant pub where a lovely man explained Spanish meal times to us, then showed us the paintings made out of sugar on the walls. It was a good meal and he was a very kind fellow. Then back to our bunks for a much needed sleep.

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