Wednesday, June 11, 2008
May 25 - Jarilla to Aldeanueva del Camino
We left the hostal this morning and the clouds hung low. We had an occasional drizzle for a while. The ground was very wet. We followed the road leaving the hostal until it met back up with the Via. It follows alongside the road on a very narrow grassy path. It was difficult maneuvering around puddles, for there seemed nowhere else to go. There were some rocks strategically placed, but alas, my foot sunk into the mud, for the rocks had been pushed deeper into the earth by the weight of so many of us. Eventually both feet were in the mud. I wear sandals and socks only on this Camino and they have been wonderful. Salvador has been using his trail shoes and now they are wet as well.
We came across what seemed to be a horse nursery. So many mamas and their babies together, nursing, resting. They were adorable.
Ahh!! A river. Can´t go over it, can´t go under it, can´t go around it, guess we´ll go through it. The water was sooooo cold! But I did get out of my socks. And washed the mud off them. It started to rain and we decided to stay under the bridge and eat there and wait for the rain to stop. Nice little rest and my feet refreshed. The decision of which marker to use was confusing. When on the othr side there was a marker that took us to the left onto a small road. The one on the right side took us towards a grassy estate which was fenced in and the gate was locked and it said Privado. But I could tell that someone had gone through the gate and that the grass was trampled on making a path. Not sure of that to do, I let Salvador make the decision. He decided to follow the other marker and it took us onto a road. After a while it veered off into the countryside and I could tell then where the first trail met up with this one. I would have preferred that one, but oh well. Our guide did not mention these two options.
The trail was taking us straight towards the mountain and we could see some villages on it. We kept wondering which it would take us to for we knew there was a climb coming. We decided it was the one on the left, pictured, and as we got closer and closer we could see it was taking us around it. On we went and nope, not around it either, but the trail took us away from it again. Teaser!!! started to rain and we donned our ponchos again, to which I am grateful to have. They cover our backpacks as well as our bodies and are quite long as well. The trail then took us into a large opening and back into a small enough area that we ended up walking into the mud. UGH! Squishy feet, looked for a puddle and washed them off. Out of the woods and onto the road that took us into Aldeanueva del Camino. It was an adventurous walk. We did manage to get lost twice today. Once on the road at the beginning, with no arrows for so long we thought we were on the wrong road. Then we found an information marker that looked like the trail went perpendicular to the road. We took it and it dead-ended at the highway. Back the way we came. I remember calling Ceri who had walked this path just a couple of days earlier to ask her which way does it go, but she did not answer; nevertheless we found our way.
In Aldeanueva we found our albergue. Another donativo place. The room downstairs had Reserved on all the beds so I went upstairs which was much nicer. Salvador and I had our own room. There were electric heaters and a fan which we used to dry our clothes. Downstairs they turned on a kerosene heater and the place smelled of it. Thank god we are not in that room. It poured heavily once in town and the little old lady who takes care of the Camino wanted to show me where to eat and in the pouring rain we went there. She said they would take good care of us.
Salvador and I went and ate lunch there and sure enough the woman, with her big smile showing she has only 3 teeth, wanted to do everything possible to feed us well. We ate delicious food, and when they brought out the wrong plate she told us to eat it as well. She kept coming back to us and smiling would ask if we were happy. I told her we were so happy that I wanted to come back tonight and eat dinner there. She asked me what we wanted to eat. We decided on a soup and salad. "I will make it special for you". We came back later and when we walked through the door it was like we were family. All happy! The bar was full of men watching the bullfights. This is a daily event. Bullfights telivised from many towns across Spain. You can see that this is a ritual of the older generation, for I do not see any young ones here. We eat our dinner and watch the bullfights. Our dinner, 2 sodas, 1 beer and 2 ice cream cones, 10€!! I thanked the woman and kissed her goodbye. Back in our albergue, Manfred was there and we all went to bed. Once in bed I felt a little spot just above my inside left ankle, like right over a vein. The mind and its tricks....could it be a little blood clot? It is so incredibly tender. Ahhh It will be better tomorrow morning. TOTAL:18,5 KILOMETERS plus several more from our little (lost) side trips.