Friday, March 13, 2009

22nd Feb – Villafranca

The albergue at Villafranca is pretty great. The people who staff it provide the warmest welcome, and the place itself is more like a community than a sterile pilgrim centre. It’s gorgeous to look at, as is the town itself. We took a bus from Astorga to Villafranca in the hope of getting to Sierra to walk the last 100km (slow and steady), but the bus only went so far. I’m so glad of that now. Tomorrow we’ll see about transport and worry about my foot. It was a tad better this morning – I’ve been walking very carefully and slowly. Unfortunately, the very beautiful town of Villafranca is also mighty hilly. Up and down and up and then down. Not gentle rolling hills either, but violent, plunging ones. I took a few quite well then felt a searing pain on one and swore like a true Ballarat girl. I was glad nobody was around to hear me. Not my best moment.
Overall, I adore Spain. It’s everything I could have wanted. And it seems the closer we get to Santiago de Compostela, the friendlier the people get. They encourage my few badly pronounced Spanish words and always make an effort in English. Actually, today I used my first successful Spanish sentence. I asked a woman for jam and she understood the first time around. It was a pretty great moment for me.

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