I didn’t like Fromista. I stayed in the municipal albergue. Could have been better. I can’t be bothered searching for a decent restaurant and I’m certainly not eating another Pilgrims Menu so I skipped food. Won’t do me any harm. The only good thing about Fromista was that I met up with Len and Adrienne from Liverpool. Though I now live in the wonderful spa town of Harrogate (have I mentioned that?) I’m actually from the North East. Middlesbrough to be precise. I think Middlesbrough people have an affinity with Liverpudlians (scousers). Both working class areas, heavy industry, ship building and docks. Both communities have a strong sense of togetherness. The people have a wicked sense of humour. Very dry. They are quick witted and just a little bit shady. So I liked Len and Adrienne.
Carrion De Condes the next night was a much nicer town. There was a ‘get together’ thing starting at 5.30. This is where everyone sits in a circle introduces themselves and says a few things about the Camino and why they’re on it. Great. If that’s your bag. Well it’s not mine so I went for a drink. Too much angst at those things. Too many dead relatives, incurable diseases and road to Damascus moments.
There was also a free communal dinner. Just bring some bread, wine,salad or fruit. Sounded promising until the Hospitalero said it was vegetarian. I stayed in a bar with a plate of ham and cheese and a bottle of wine. I turned up at the albergue five minutes before closing. The dinner thing was finished and, as there was no bar, there was nothing to drink. Adrienne turned on the charm and from nowhere glasses of wine appeared. Well done that girl.
The next day I was just about exhausted when at the edge of town (Terradillos de los Templarios) I saw a nice looking albergue. It was nice inside too. Four to a room with one bathroom per room. Luxury. My two roomies were my age and from Bilbao.
The shaded area, like a long verandah, had been taken over by a group I didn’t like. There were about eight of them. Lead by a horrible bossy American woman and her first lieutenant Loud Mouth Larry from Twatsville Kentucky or somewhere. Adrienne had introduced me to them couple of days ago. They called me over. No thanks. I told them I needed sun. I was desperate for shade. I sat in the blazing afternoon sun, sadly still within earshot of Loud Mouth Larry and co. I was drying out like one of those better quality Italian tomatoes.
Three cool Spanish dudes appeared grabbed a table and some chairs and took them to a corner of the huge garden where there was a shady tree. I had never come across these guys before but one of them yelled over ‘Caballero.Venga aqui.’
Caballero huh. I like that. Caballero walks into an airport. These guys were great.We had some beer in the shade away from you know who.
Later when the noisy group went in for dinner we grabbed the verandah and were soon joined by Ricco from Rome, Brigitte from Switzerland plus my two roomies, a Japanese guy and a German girl. We got wine. Lots of wine. When it got to 10.00 Oscar persuaded the Hospitalero to leave the door unlocked. He also got more wine. Five bottles. It was a late night. Especially for an albergue with a curfew.
El Burgo Ranero was my next overnight stop. The walk was long boring and hot. I’m just having a really bad time. I am now suffering from the reaction to my many bites The albergue is poor and I end up with a crap dinner.
I haven’t used my sleeping bag for a while as it’s been too hot. Tonight though I climb in. The next morning I have been eaten alive. Honestly I have over 400 bites. I don’t know whether this albergue is crawling or whether I have brought the bugs in with my sleeping bag. My reaction to these bites is even more severe than before. Within hours many turn into blisters a few of which burst sticking my clothing to my skin. I ditch the sleeping bag just in case. Pictures below if you’re not squeamish.
I walked all day to keep my mind off my skin and got to within shouting distance of Leon. Well if you can shout about 15 km. So a short day tomorrow and 2 nights in a city with nightlife and good food. In a hotel too. Privacy.
I had an uncomfortable night as you can imagine. When the snoring started I went into the next room I knew to be empty. Twenty bunks. I grabbed a top one. If too many bite-blisters burst, the room would be flooded with blister juice, and I wanted to stay dry.
On the way to Leon I saw a cafe advertising ‘English Breakfast’ A passable attempt too even though the ingredients were Spanish. Well if you’ve had a Spanish English breakfast you will know what I’m on about.
Ah, the English breakfast. Known all over the world as exactly that. English breakfast. All over the world except for two countries. Ireland and Scotland. They hate to call anything English. Except bastards. Come on my Irish friends. French doors on an apartment in Kuala Lumpur are still French doors. They have not become Malaysian doors. And an Americano coffee remains an Americano in Helsinki. It doesn’t become a Finlandio. Just because you serve the full English on a green plate and claim that the chef is a leprechaun doesn’t change things.
And you, my Scottish friends. We know you have square sausage and you throw in a ‘tatty scone’ ( delicious btw) but it’s not a scottish breakfast. Leave it alone. You already have haggis and shortbread. Maybe make another breakfast with those. Like a Welsh breakfast. Leeks and Daffodils grilled with dragon’s breath.
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