Friday, May 6, 2022

Day 13 - 5 May - Villafranca to Atapuerca

As British troops famously sang during World War II:

Hitler may, have only had one ball                          

But these lads, they have no modesty at all           

Small knackers, and hairy crackers                          

And Mrs C has been witness to all

With no breakfast at the accommodation, we were on the road at seven forty five in the morning and straight on to a steep ascent. Whilst the rate of ascent gradually lessened, it must have been a good mile or so before it levelled and we were better able to enjoy the woodland path we were travelling. And just as well we did enjoy it because it went on. And on. And then on a bit more. We must have walked six miles through woodland along the high plateau before the trees began to thin, landscape appeared in front of us and we gently descended towards the first rest stop at San Juan de Ortega. Our first coffee of the day at a delightful albergue bar when we caught up with Mike, from Hawaii, and Janna.

With an eleven/ twelve mile walk planned for the day, that was the back of the day’s walk already broken and it was only eleven o’clock. From San Juan the terrain changed once more to English countryside. The temperature was modest but the sun was breaking through, making for very pleasant stop-and-have-a-coffee weather so we did so again in the village of Ages, just another couple of miles up the road. And then it was on to Atapuerca, our destination for the day, where we had booked two beds in a private albergue, twelve-bed dormitory. We were the first to check-in and initial impressions were very good, albeit the bona fides of future roomies was yet to be determined.

Mrs C is currently troubled by a sore shin which is unwelcome. Last night in her sleep, I could have sworn I heard her mumble something about “Henry” (?) but I couldn’t be sure. Needless to say I am at her disposal.

And so off to the Cantina de Atapuerca where we spent a very pleasant couple of hours, sat in the sunshine, in the company of (variously) Tanya from Colorado USA, Andy of Polish/Italian descent but lives in Luxembourg, Paul from Holland and Bigyan (“just call me Ben”) from the Himalayas.

Not wanting to have too much of a good thing, we retired to our quarters where three of our future roomies were now making themselves at home. German chaps, similar age to me I would guess although I clearly held the advantage in terms of body mass index. As it transpired I also held the upper hand in the modesty stakes as well because one of them stood there stark naked as if that is what you do in a mixed dormitory. Now, we all know that the Germans are obsessed with their Bratwurst and Bockwurst but I didn’t realise they specialised in chipolatas as well. To be fair, this kind of behaviour - no doubt encouraged by the EU - does nothing to encourage the europhile cause and simply left Mrs C thankful that she continues to enjoy unfettered access to the good, old fashioned British banger.

With this unsavoury episode behind us, we ventured forth once more, beyond the confines of our twelve euros a night bunk beds, to the local restaurant. We had our pilgrim meal with Dan from Oregon USA who was splendid company, not least of which because he remained fully clothed all night. None of us went for the sausage.

Back to the dorm and lights out for twelve tired souls comprising ten males and just the two females. The potential for a noisy night was obvious but to be fair, other than some heavy nasal breathing, I didn’t hear any genuine snoring at all. Mrs C reckons she did. I think she must imagine it.

No comments:

Post a Comment