Last night was my first night back in an Albergue. I had such a great time talking to the Hospitaleros and just relaxing. What I did not remember was that there is typically no heat at night in the dormitories. Not that that was a shock as I was well aware but I can tell you Spain at this time of the year gets cold. Fortunately, there were blankets and I had my sleeping bag. Note to self, Spain in late fall, early spring and winter is COLD.
Today, has been a beautiful day. Cool and crisp with blue sky everywhere. It was about 45 degrees this morning warming to about 60 this afternoon. This is Sacramento weather and I walk in it every morning. I generate enough heat to be just fine.
The path today took me through vineyards and olive groves. Everything is still dormant, although you can see life starting to come back. I am not sure if it is normal but it seems rather dry. Most of the fields are freshly plowed and all of the pruning has been done. The farmers are ready for the season to begin.
There are a few different types of markers along the way today. First, of course there is the traditional yellow arrow, but there are also granite pillars with markings on them pointing out the way. The trail is well marked but sometimes it is a challenge getting though the towns as the take you every which way so you get to see it all. Of course there is always to obligatory walk past the main church. The wise pilgrim app has been very helpful in showing me the way to the Camino. It has a map feature that pinpoints your location and a big red line representing the Camino. Kudos to Wise Pilgrim.
So, there are 3 albergues in Villafranca de los Barrios, which is were I am staying today. After reading a blog I choose to stay at Casa Carmen. So, I walked past the first albergue Los Caballeros and on to Casa Carmen. As you can guess Casa Carmen is closed. No sign or note just not open. Fortunately, a lady coming to visit her mother asked me if the albergue was open or if I had the phone number, which I did. I had called but there was no answer. She was so kind and asked the neighbor what was up. Then neighbor told her it was closed so she gave me a ride back to Los Caballeros. A camino angel for sure.
The reason why I choose not to stay her originally was that the blogger described the beds as 3 high. Sounded a little funky to me so I moved on. Well they are in fact 3 high but, the third level has it’s own floor. It’s a metal grate floor but a floor none the less. It is actually a nice albergue with great hot showers and the beds that are kind of pods.
I have seen a few of this type of bed on the Frances and the Norte. The good news is that there is a shelf with an outlet in the bed above the pillow, which is very convenient.
Lunch today was a bit extravagant Croquetas de Jamón and Lamb chops (chuletas de cordero).
I am a little bummed that I arrived too late to attend Mass. Add that to my list of many sins. Hopefully I will be able to go tomorrow.
The rest of my day is simply relaxing and taking in the sites of this town.
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