Day 26. Villafranca to Herrerias

Not the best nights sleep on the top bunk but I arose at 7.30, retrieved my dry laundry and packed in 30 minutes. Outside it was cold so I pulled out the gloves. Cumbersome things.
The walk out was chilly but beautiful, travelling on paving through steep misty gorges alongside a river with frequent rapids that sang out a merry symphony of running water.
I stopped at one point to do a photo for a couple of pilgrims. A little while later Duncan pulls up and I tell him Slovenian Barbara was trying to catch him last night and he seems a bit disappointed at missing her. We chat about Korea, windows8 and stuff.
By 9.30 we are at Peruja so I look for brekky but all I get is coffee.
While there Duncan breaks his glasses so I fix them with the tape from my walking sticks. I also spot Kerry from yesterday.
We leave in company and walk all the way to Trabadelo talking, a different Camino experience for me. Duncan is a teacher and has been on the road for about a year. He likes writing fantasy. We talk about our comparative childhoods, politics, rallying and his dad is a scientist working on cooling systems in a nuclear power plant so a little bit of grand unified theory pops up too.
At Trabadelo I stop for tortilla and hot chocolate so we part.
A little out of town and there’s a stone wall over a creek so I pull up to call Ali who is at the airport hotel waiting with Lachy to fly out tomorrow to meet me in three days.
Back on the track and John, travelling musician from Harewood, Canada pulls alongside. I met him from a chat with Duncan in the previous pueblo so we walk in unison to Ambamestas where I shout him a beer. As a musician he has saved for a long time to do this and is on a much stricter budget than I.
We talk a lot about languages and he sounds like a bit of a scholar. I’m much more a user than a student of language but I do mention the book I read of the history if Latin titled “Ad Infinitum”
We travel to Herrerias but I’m done for the day and stay in a private with bed dinner and breakfast for 15. The shower is the best laid out with a double spacious cubicle for shower and toilet and lots of hooks and hot full-flow shower. The laundry is a bit rustic being on a bank opposite, in the open air but there’s an old bench to sit on as you watch your clothes dry. The valley rings with cow bells and mooing and there’s the odd thump as trucks run over a strip on the freeway some way off that one of the pilgrims thinks is thunder.
The walk today was very different from a number of aspects. It’s the first day that I have spent on the Camino where I have walked in company for a large part of the day. It is also one of the prettiest walks, wandering through narrow gorges with the constant sound of running water and seemingly, a village every half-hour or so. I probably could have walked for longer but I’m happy with the distance and the next three days will be shorter too although accompanied by the dreaded rain.
I jump in my sleeping bag shivering as usual for the time till dinner and then pop down to read Harold Robbins in Spanish. I’m dining with Puerto Ricans George and Iris. The rest have headed to the bar. We have an entertaining evening comparing the executive and legislative arms of government between our two countries and I answer a lot of questions about Australia, a place they have yet to visit. George would be the life of any party. The hosts retire and leave us so it’s off to bed shortly after with the prospect of a bleak morning to come.
Buen Camino.
Albergue Leo Villafranca

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Looking back at Villafranca

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Lots of running water

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Lots of cowbells ringing

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Entering La Portela

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Las Herrerias

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My home for the night

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Rustic outdoor laundry

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2 responses to “Day 26. Villafranca to Herrerias

  1. Doing really well jj. Been giving a few people at work updates on how you’re going. Glad you had some companionship yesterday. You’re Almost there.

    • It’s interesting that I don’t mind walking alone as I’m pretty comfortable with my own company. It’s just finding on occasion pilgrims that walk as slow as me. Ali is flying to Dantiago today so I will catch up with her tomorrow. Cheers!

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