Camino Two: 14, The Magic Tree.

I stayed the night in a new albergue attached to a spa hotel in El Acerbo. Nice place in a nice village. In fact it was probably the most well appointed albergue I stayed at. All for 10 euros.

Although the descent into Molinaseca was tough I enjoyed the walking. Molinaseca is one of the nicest small towns on the route and I’m going to stay a few days there on my tour by car next year. Next up is Ponferrada, a bigger town with a historical centre and a castle. I paused there only for coffee, and carried on to Cacabelos, which I liked. Continue reading “Camino Two: 14, The Magic Tree.”

Camino Two: 13, Hey Mister Tambourine Man

After a nice Sunday in Leon, another Greek lunch, and a nice steak for dinner, I hit the road on Monday before dawn, heading for Mazarife. When I got there, about one o’clock, I made the exact same mistake as I did last year. Continue reading “Camino Two: 13, Hey Mister Tambourine Man”

Camino Two : 12, Blazing Rucksacks.

Due to covering so much ground the previous two days it was just a stroll to Leon. Twelve km, a bit less than 8 miles. I was fuelled with the cooked breakfast I had in Puente Villarente. Better than a bloody croissant. Or cake. Cake for breakfast. Jeez, how old are you Spain? Seven?

I am a lot less miserable than I was yesterday, buoyed up by the thought of a hotel room. Maybe I’ll just spend the next two days in the shower. Maybe I’ll use all the hot water in Leon.

Leon. Soon To Be Short Of Hot Water.

I got to the hotel at 11.00. Check in time 2.00, but the room was ready and I got my key. After the first of many showers I settled down to learn about what bit me. Cimex Lectularius is the Latin name. English name, Lttle Bastards. I read on. These things live in the creases of the mattress. Feed every four days. On blood. Don’t think they’ll starve in your home if you’re on holiday for a couple of weeks. They can go 300 days without eating. Way more than a teenager’s limit of 30 minutes.

Bites are the obvious evidence but another sign, according to the article, is fecal matter. Great. Not only do these little bastards give you pain and steal your blood, they also shit all over your bed. I gained some solace in the knowledge that the ones who attacked me now had raging hangovers at least, and probably liver damage.

Only two things kill them. High and low temperatures. So hot washes and domestic freezers.img_20180916_233129

Although small they are visible, so find ’em and kill ’em. You have to find all the eggs too. How’s that? Find the eggs? Maybe I have eggs in my backpack. How the hell do I find them. Got it. I’ll buy one of those coils that you light. Empty the pack. Stand it in the bath and put the smoking coil, on it’s little stand in the pack. But, can a fume kill an egg?

By the time I’d had another shower and hit town all the shops were closed until Monday. Good thing probably. The pack would have caught alight, then the shower curtain, then the whole room, followed by the corridor. And then the entire hotel. I hate it when that happens. Last time the hotel management were vexed.

In town, over a beer, I declared war on the whole of the insect world. Or, as it’s known scientifically, “Bugdom”. All biters will die. Non biters are assumed to be known associates of the biters, unless they can prove otherwise. They will also die. Three species get a pass. Butterflies, for their beauty. Bees for their pollination skills and delicious honey. And dung beetles who have obvious mental problems. What? You didn’t know that? They do. Would you roll a ball of shit, three times your height, to your home. TO YOUR HOME! Those guys need help, not violence.

My Arsenal

I mooched around Leon, but as it’s a rest day for me, I stayed in the centre not wanting to walk far. My plan now was to get some rest, more showers, and hit the town late. I have no curfew so, check my flow, Leon. On the way back to the hotel I spied a Greek restaurant and had a fabulous lunch.

I woke up at 9.30pm. Perfect. The hotel is 10 minutes walk from the action. Around the first corner was a chinese restaurant. I like Chinese food. I like Chinese people too. They eat insects. Any race that reduces the amount of insects in the world is alright in my book. I dived in, got wine and ordered beef in some kind of a sauce. The waiter seemed surprised.

‘Only this?’ he asked.
‘Why? Is it not enough?’I asked.
‘Maybe it’s enough,’ he said.
Now I’m confused as well as hungry.
‘Well what do other people order?’ I pressed him. ‘What do I eat with this beef?’
‘People eat many things.’ he said enigmatically.
There were 105 things on the menu. For 500 euros I could…
‘Bring me one of everything. Then I’m covered.’ I told him.
‘All dishes?’ he looked shocked. ‘No! that’s too much!’ At last a reaction other than inscrutability.
‘Just the beef then’. I said. Well all that was a bit unnecessary. The beef was enough.

Saturday Afternoon In Leon

It’s 11.00 when I left the Chinese. Suddenly I’m tired. A nearby bar was just clearing the terrace of chairs. I got a glass of wine and, totally out of character, I skipped the town and went to bed. First chance of a party in weeks, a sleep in tomorrow, no walking and no backpack to carry. And still I was in bed before midnight. Am I getting old?

  • Thanks for stopping by.
  • Apologies to the bloggers I follow for not keeping up to date. I’ll catch up with you.
  • Hello to Bob Nogler, my Camino buddy from last year.
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  • Coming soon A guide for selfish pilgrims.

Camino Two: 11, Four Days, Four Towns, Four Hundred Bites.

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. Continue reading “Camino Two: 11, Four Days, Four Towns, Four Hundred Bites.”

Camino Two: 9, Midnight Assassin.

Above is the bust of The Mayor. Well. You just wouldn’t. Twelve kilometres past Burgos is Rabe de las Calzadas. A very affluent, well kept village. Lovely houses, old and new, two albergues and one hotel which serves as restaurant, bar, and local hub. Shane a very interesting American checked in at the same time as me and went to sleep. I hit the bar and got very good meatballs. That’s my lot for tonight. No pilgrim’s dinner for me. Continue reading “Camino Two: 9, Midnight Assassin.”

Camino Two: 8, Lentils Are The New Steaks.

I set off with my itchy skin and made for Cardenuela Riopico. I didn’t know anything about this village other than it was 25 km away and the last place to stop before Burgos, a further 12 km on. So a good hike then. I hadn’t built any rest days into my loose plan and I’m trucking along a bit, trying to steal an extra day to rest up in Leon. Well I say rest up, but if you know me, have read my blog, or have been to Leon then you will have already substituted the words ‘rest up’ with ‘party down’. Continue reading “Camino Two: 8, Lentils Are The New Steaks.”

Camino Two: 7, Sprechen Sie Deutsche?

I’m getting behind with posts for Camino Two. You get pretty tired on this pilgrimage lark, walking seven hours a day. Then there’s laundry, sustenance, and socializing. Those are some of the reasons that you never seem to have enough time. The number one reason of course is the availability, and the price of, wine. Continue reading “Camino Two: 7, Sprechen Sie Deutsche?”

Camino Two: 6, Dirty Fish

It was a long long walk leaving the city (Logrono) Through the centre, then the’burbs. It was just getting light when, at the edge of town, the route took me through a park. There was a fountain there with the strangest sign. “Don’t clean fish” Wha…? I didn’t have any dirty fish to wash so I just refilled my two water bottles. Continue reading “Camino Two: 6, Dirty Fish”

Camino Two 5: Fiestas And Wine Fountains

My entire room, all five of ’em, were up at 5.30 and so I was too. Normally I don’t linger much but today I wanted breakfast at the albergue because the map indicated steep hills right at the start. Hills. There’s a surprise. The cafe in the albergue offered eggs at 6.30. I was first in the queue and first out of the door. Continue reading “Camino Two 5: Fiestas And Wine Fountains”