Tag Archives: Pilgrims’ Menu

Airport Hotel Happiness

Ribadiso to Lavacolla
Tuesday 2 December

That Liquor No. 43 was not a good idea. I did not feel my best this morning, but was keen to hit the road. Could I make it to Santiago today? I was keen to try, and would walk as far as I could. There is an alburgue twenty kilometers before Santiago, and another four kilometers before. Too short or too far. There are some hotels near the airport, about twelve kilometers out of town that seemed a reasonable distance. We shall see.

It was a three kilometer walk until coffee this morning. As usual, I needed coffee. I saw a garage, crossed the road and in my daze bought a chocolate milk, and was flicking through a magazine left on the counter. The English musician arrived and commented that I was looking at men’s farm porn… I started to focus, and realised he was correct. The magazine was a tractor catalogue.

I continued to the next bar, a mere thirty meters ahead, and had coffee and a proper breakfast. Several others from the previous evening arrived… But I was on my way.

Today I happily walked alone, having had a fix of company. At first my pace was slow. The landscape was mostly eucalyptus. Give me a home among the gum trees. I then began to speed up to my now regular faster pace. Soon I was thinking of lunch. I didn’t want to linger, as had a later start, so thought a sandwich would do. Rounding a bend, the Korean from last night’s group, jumped out yelling my name, insisting I stop. There was a bar in the middle of nowhere, just when I needed it. And what a great bar. The ceiling was covered in hanging T-shirts – Camino cast offs and souvenirs, graffiti, and a very friendly host. It seemed it was party time again. Shots of a golden liquid were being poured, that looked suspiciously like No. 43, except this was homemade. I declined. I ordered a cheese sandwich. More people arrived. Another round of homemade drinks, this time a coffee liquor, so I tried it. Sweet nectar. The others had settled in for the afternoon, as their destination was not so far, but I had places to go. When I went to pay, the barmaid said the drinks were on the house, and made a small drawing in my credential as my stamp. Nice.

I continued walking, but as the afternoon faded, my big night was starting to catch up with me. I had passed the airport, but hadn’t seen any hotels and was getting tired. I found a hotel, but it was closed for winter. I had another fifteen or more kilometers to Santiago, but was too tired to walk that far. I saw another hotel from the back entrance, so was hard to see if it was open. I saw a light which looked promising, and happily it was open. It was a little more than I had planned to pay even with the pilgrims discount, but I was tired, so checked in. The room was large, well heated, and had a bathtub! Yes, a hot bath.

The hotel had a large, but almost empty Resturant. The pilgrim’s menu was a bit more expensive than usual. I wasn’t holding my breath that the food would be good. To my surprise, it was possibly the best meal I’ve had in Spain. Scollops for entrée, a paella, overflowing with fresh seafood, and the now ubiquitous Santiago cake, an almond tart. This was homemade, moist, and delicious. They also served cheese, and a very good bottle of wine. Full, tired and content, I retired to bed.

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Bursting at the Seams

Leon to Villar de Mazarife
Friday 21 November

I rose late, thanking the Franciscans for the ten o’clock check out. I needed it, I was felling a little seedy from the previous evenings indulgence. I crossed the road for breakfast and sent messages to my friends who had stayed longer in Leon, as I was looking forward to walking with someone today. My Camino Angel was already in the next town, and my Dutch friend didn’t reply. Although I would have enjoyed the company, I has happy to walk alone. As I was leaving Leon my Dutch friend sent me a message to join him for breakfast. I said I would wait for him in the next town.

I enjoyed walking out of Leon, it is a very beautiful city, even the ugly outer suburbs I found interesting. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with joy for seemingly no reason. I’m sure it’s some sort of brain imbalance. The endorphins were working overtime. Bursting at the seams. If I was a cartoon, flowers and hearts would be floating around my head. I noticed a heart shaped puddle on the footpath, then all the graffiti included hearts too, they jumped out at me. Busting at the seams.

My good mood had me arriving in the next town in seemingly no time at all. I visited the important church there, a sixties modern box. Impressive, but extremely cold, both in atmosphere and temperature. I quickly left to find a cafe to wait for my friend. I ordered a menu as it was getting close to lunchtime. He soon arrived and we were shortly walking again.

There was an alternative route today. We had wanted to walk the slightly longer one through the countryside, rather than alongside the highway. It was a little difficult to distinguish the correct path, and we were not sure we had arrived at the turnoff, when out of nowhere on our small deserted road a car turned up and pointed us in the right direction. The Camino magic continues. I enjoyed our conversation. I enjoyed the landscape. The weather was sunny and warm. Life is good.

We were both looking for a break from the ‘Summer Camp’ mentality, so decided we would stop in one of the smaller towns, and hopefully stay in a less crowded alburgue. Villar de Mazarife had three alburgues open, so settled on the one at the far end of town, in the hope that the other two would fill up sooner. Happily, we were the only guests. We enjoyed dinner in the bar, then settled down for a quiet night of watching comedy shows on YouTube, in our private alburgue.

Magic Spells and Potions

Itero del Vega to Villarmentero de Campos
Saturday 15 November

My brother was leaving today. Sad. I had enjoyed his company, and it seemed a very short visit. We all left to go to the bar for breakfast, but it was closed, we wandered around the town to try and find something open. A man passed on a bicycle, and pointed us in the direction of the Camino, but we said we we looking for a bar for breakfast. He opened a nearby albergue, and said we could have breakfast there. It was smoky and the floor was covered in old cigarette butts, not the most pleasant of places. There was however a non smoking sign. It was an average breakfast, but at least we had something in our stomachs. My brother had to leave as his prearranged taxi was waiting. He later sent me a message that the driver was a really strange man with burns all over his face, rather fitting for this creepy town.

My feet were painful, so I hobbled along slowly behind everyone else. The rain was beating down, and the wind was biting. It was cold, but the landscape was breathtaking. Flat, huge sky. Yes, breathtaking. I was bathing in the well wishes many friends had sent from all around the world for my Birthday. I am so lucky.

We arrived in Fromista, and everyone seemed restless and indecisive. I wanted to eat, as breakfast wasn’t very satisfying, and I was hungry. I went to a nearby bar, but then it was mentioned that the church museum closed at 2pm, it was almost closing time, so I left to go and look. When I returned the others were in another bar that only had snacks, not what I wanted, so I went in search of a resturant with a pilgrim’s menu. There was a really nice place near the church. I was soon joined by my Camino Angel, Miss Venezuela, my Italian and New Zealand friends. The food was excellent. I had octopus with rice cooked in it’s own ink, similar to a dish I’ve had in Indonesia, sans chili. A few more pilgrims we recognised arrived, and the place was pumping. My Dutch friend and our other Italian friend had decided to go on ahead, and hadn’t stopped for lunch. Our Italian and New Zealand friend wanted to stay. I was keen to walk, as was Miss Venezuela. My Camino Angel was indecisive, as the weather was bad, but by the time we had finished lunch, the sky was clear and we had a lovely walk together into the late afternoon light.

We were very tired when we arrived at Villarmentero de Campos, and fell into the first bar we saw, which was also the Alburgue. It was warm, and rather like a bar on the tourist trail, from when I first went to Indonesia, many years ago. Hippy traveller decor. There were ducks, chickens, geese, turkeys, and donkeys wandering around outside, and the walls were covered in graffiti. One in English I noticed said ‘All saints have a past, and all sinners have a future’. Hopeful.

We found it hard to move. There was not a soul in sight… No barman, no hospitaliro, just an old smelly dog. There was a phone number above the bar, so we asked our Spanish speaking friend to call, and soon the hospitaliro, arrived to take us to the alburgue at the back. Same style, and the fire was roaring. There were three others staying – two Spaniards, and a young French man, he was training to be a priest, and had walked from his home in France to Rome, to Lourdes, to Santiago, and was on his way home.

The hospitaliro said there was no hot water, not what I wanted to hear, but said they could heat a pot on the stove. I was impatient, so braved a quick cold shower. There wasn’t much choice for dinner either, microwaved cardboard pizza. Luckily I’d had a good lunch. However there was good wine.

I settled down on the couch by the fire to write. Later the Spanish girl said they were going to perform a traditional Galician ritual, Queimada, and invited all to join. A large earthenware bowl was placed on the table, she added lemon and orange peel, sugar, a hand full of coffee beans, then about ten litres of a local clear spirt. She then set fire to the mixture. It took some time to catch, but then the whole bowl was alight. She began to stir with an earthenware ladle, swishing and pouring the flaming liquid. The blue flames danced. She then began an incantation in Galician. I googled the translation:

“Owls, barn owls, toads and witches.
Demons, goblins and devils, spirits of the misty vales.
Crows, salamanders and witches, charms of the folk healer(ess).
Rotten pierced canes, home of worms and vermin.
Wisps of the Holy Company, evil eye, black witchcraft, scent of the dead, thunder and lightning.
Howl of the dog, omen of death, maws of the satyr and foot of the rabbit.
Sinful tongue of the bad woman married to an old man.
Satan and Beelzebub’s Inferno, fire of the burning corpses, mutilated bodies of the indecent ones, farts of the asses of doom, bellow of the enraged sea.
Useless belly of the unmarried woman, speech of the cats in heat, dirty turf of the wicked born goat.
With this bellows I will pump the flames of this fire which looks like that from Hell, and witches will flee, straddling their brooms, going to bathe in the beach of the thick sands.
Hear! Hear the roars of those that cannot stop burning in the firewater, becoming so purified.
And when this beverage goes down our throats, we will get free of the evil of our soul and of any charm.
Forces of air, earth, sea and fire, to you I make this call: if it’s true that you have more power than people, here and now, make the spirits of the friends who are outside, take part with us in this Queimada.”

Farts of the asses of doom, powerful stuff. And Owls again. Perhaps it’s a sign I’ve entered the wisdom years.

We all took turns in stirring the flaming potion, I did however remove my highly flammable jacket first. Flames of doom, you know. Suitably cleansed, once the flames were extinguished, which took a surprisingly long time, we were all pored a cup. It was a sweet coffee flavored lemony alcoholic drop, sure to extinguish any evil inside, and deliver me from my sins.

Adam and Eve

Espinosa del Camino to Castanares
Tuesday 11 November

By morning my Dutch friend had returned, all was fine. Our host was a normal human, and not the serial killer of my imagination. We breakfasted in the bar, then set out for a rather long walk today. The previous night after a few drinks, we had rather ambitiously decide to walk to Castanares. As there were no hostels open there at this time of year, we had booked and paid for a hotel, so we had to make the thirty four kilometers.

Even though it was raining, the first part of the walk was lovely, my brother commented that it was hard to believe we were in Spain, as it very much reminded both of us of the Australian bush. We were starting to look for a place to have coffee, but everything was closed until San Juan de Ortaga. We stopped here to visit the local church, and a coffee in the bar. We wanted lunch, but it was too early, and they had nothing, so we walked to the next town, Ages, a lovely town where we selected the menu.

Along the path today we had an alternative route, the traditional pilgrims path, or an ‘easier’ route. We took the easier route, but the road surfaces were hard on our feet, and we decide that this was just a commercial venture by the surrounding villages, that ‘scenic’ and ‘easier’ meant that maybe you will pass by one of the local businesses and buy something.

Later we had a small hill to climb, but it was a gentle slope, and not too difficult. Rocky limestone ground with low trees and green pastures, we passed a flock of black faced sheep, and continued down the hill. It was rainy, but atmospheric. I was enjoying the walk. In the distance we could see the city of Burgos, but it was too far for today’s walk, and we were all starting to get tired.

As we got closer to the city the smell of the crisp country air started to be infiltrated with smoke and pollution. We neared Castanares, near the Burgos airport, and walked the perimeter of the airport fence. The last four kilometers of the day are always the hardest.

We arrived at our hotel, tired and sore after our long walk, ordered drinks from the bar and went to the room to rest. After dinner we flicked on the TV to watch a Spanish reality show called Adam and Eve. Maybe this is an international concept, but I didn’t know this show, and our Dutch friend said it was from Holland. It’s premise was that two strangers were dropped naked onto an island, and had to get to know each other. It was full frontal nudity… I am not prudish, but coming from a country where Disney cartoon characters have their cleavage centered, it was surprising for me to see on TV. The end of a long day, I fell asleep in front of the trashy TV.

Blisters and Mierda

Pamplona to Puente La Reina
Monday 3 November

I didn’t feel well when I woke. Not at all. We had to be out of the hostel by eight. My clothes had not dried overnight, and were dripping wet, that would add at least an extra kilogram to my bag. I miserably dragged myself to the cafe across the road, for coffee and breakfast. I couldn’t get moving. Our Dutch friend had left earlier, and our Irish farmer friend was going to the bus stop to take him for a flight to return to his sheep. He will be back to continue his Camino next spring. Our Canadian friend wanted to get on the road and start walking, and the other guys were going to hang around Pamplona for the day. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was sad that my Camino family was disbanding. I wanted to throw up.

My Braziilan friend and the Irish lad were going to go the the Cathedral for Mass. I decided to join them. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a Catholic Mass. I am not Catholic, but was raised High Anglican, and the service is almost the same (Catholics will argue that the meaning of the sacrament is very different, but I digress). The liturgy was sung, and it was a comforting and familiar ritual, even if the language was one I didn’t understand. We pilgrims were noticed, and mentioned, and blessed by the priest and small congregation of about half a dozen old ladies. I always love the bit in church when you get to shake hands and wish peace upon the fellow parishioners. Peace, perhaps something I’m search for on my Camino.

After mass the guys were going to the post office to offload some unnecessary things. They tried to convince me to do the same. Unnecessary things. The coffee is better in Spain than in France, perhaps I don’t need my coffee maker anymore. Perhaps there are a few more unnecessary things in my overweight bag. I pulled out some bits and bobs and soon filled a box with two and a half kilos to send to the post restante in Santiago de Compostela.

We walked around town a bit more, taking in the sights, then decided to be on the way, rather late today as it was almost 2pm. We weren’t quite sure of the direction, so our Spanish speaking Brazilian friend asked a couple of old men, who ended up having a heated argument yelling and gesticulating in the street over which way we should go. It almost led to blows. It was funny, and very Spanish.

On the way out of town, we met a Spanish man, just beginning his Camino. He had very little English, and with my non existent Spanish we didn’t chat much. As we were leaving Pamplona, a van slowed down, and beeped. I thought it was just someone wishing the pilgrims well on their way, but the driver wound down the window, waving – it was our friend with the wine from the previous day. Apparently the Camino is know for this kind of magic and synchronicity. The Irish lad sped ahead, and our Brazilian friend was considering staying in Pamplona longer. He said he was tired of having to be in and out of hotels at given times. He said that that was not his idea of the road to freedom. The road to freedom. He stopped for a drink and said for us to continue, he may catch up. So it was just the Spanish man and I. I said I normally talk a lot, but as was feeling rather under the wether, was happy to be walking in silence, but with company.

I thought I had something in my shoe, as after a while it was feeling like sandpaper was rubbing the soles of my feet. Be kind. Listen. So I listened to my feet, and decided to be kind to them, and sit down and see what the problem was. Blisters! Blisters on the soles of my feet. I don’t get blisters. I then realised that I’d sat in what I later learnt the Spanish call Mierda. Mierda! Bugger! Bloody Heck! It was all over my pack, and all over my boots. Mierda! The Spanish man helped me clean it up, and told me that in Spain it’s considered good luck. Probably considered good luck as nothing worse could happen to you that day! We laughed, and continued.

I was feeing sad and contemplative, the result partly of been hungover, and loss of my chatty companions. It was overcast and very windy, but the scenery was magnificent as we claimed a long hill dotted with windmills. The howling wind soon turned to rain, and we zipped up our jackets and marched towards Puente La Reina.

It was dark and still raining heavily by the time we arrived, and we continued on through the town, looking for a hostel. We reached the other end of town, then asked directions – we had passed several, so returned to find a very nice one at the beginning of town. We were given to key to our room, to find that the only other guest was our young Irish friend. It was a lovely room with three bunks, our own private attached bathroom, and a TV – the boys could watch football, and I could have a peaceful nights sleep!

Dinner was served in half an hour, and I ordered salad, duck and creme caramel, as usual wine, bread and water were included. Great value for 13€. Our Spanish friend left for bed, and the young Irish lad and I continued our conversation. He told me a very sad story of a friend who had recently committed suicide, and that he was going to stay with her parents in New York after his Camino. He is a lovely gentle and considerate soul, I am very much enjoying his company as we walk, as I am with everyone I meet here. There is something about the Camino, I see why it has repeat customers.

Oysters are Hermaphrodites

Roncesvalles to Zubiri
Saturday 1 November

Snoring. That’s the problem with hostels… Perhaps I’ll get a better sleep tonight. Perhaps. Yes, even I though I was in a pod of only four the hostel was still rather open, and all the snoring from every pod could still be heard. I need better earplugs.

Again we had to be out by eight. I rose showered and at 7.30, my new Camino family and I headed out for breakfast at a local bar. All that was on offer was coffee and toast. The Spanish do coffee better than the French. Thank God. I had been hoping for eggs for breakfast, but that was not to be. We had planned to be on the road by eight, but didn’t end up leaving until 8.30. The others all said that they would provide lunch for today and that a cheese, bread and wine picnic, was a delightful idea, so we stopped at a local shop for supplies.

Surprisingly I was I the mood for fast walking. The Italian from the previous day, a pharmacist had now joined us, along with the younger Irishman, a 28 year old primary school teacher. They were faster than the rest of the group, so I walked ahead with them. We stopped at a spring to refill our water bottles, and I left my walking poles to rest on a nearby building. We continued on, and about one kilometer on, I realised that I’d forgotten my poles. I returned to get them, and caught up with the others, then went ahead to meet my friends. The younger Irishman, had walked back and was waiting for me. He said it was lucky I had returned for my sticks, as because we were talking too much, we had missed the turnoff. We were really not paying attention, as the road here was covered in yellow arrows, the Camino markers. Our Italian friend had raced ahead, and we all soon spread out and were walking at our own pace.

I again caught up with the younger Irish guy and we walked together enjoying the conversation and the company. We then decide we were hungry so began to look for a suitable place to wait for the others, as they had the lunch supplies. We soon arrived at a small river, and found a shady spot. About half an hour later the others joined us for our picnic. We were having a very enjoyable leisurely time, and two hours passed easily, so we thought we had better get on the road.

Fifteen minuets later we saw a bar, and it was suggested we stop for a drink. It was a long weekend in Spain, and many families and friends were out enjoying the sunshine, so we decided to join them. Our young Irish friend picked up a guitar from the bar and entertained the crowd with a few songs. A group with twin babies bought the twins over to say hello and have a chat. We waved to a Spanish group from Barcelona we had met earlier. Soon we thought it was best we continue on our way. We walked along together or a while, and again spread out to walk at our own pace. I was walking by myself for some time, but soon caught up with the Spanish group from Barcelona. One of the group had very good English so we chatted for a while, he had been a tour guide in Sydney for Spanish speaking groups. After a while he said I was waking too fast for him, and for me to go ahead.

I again caught up with the young Irish man who was now sitting with two French woman and a large St. Bernard like dog. I stopped for a while, then we continued on together into Zubiri. The first hostel we came to was full. The next one looked very nice. Beds were 15€ per night including breakfast and only four beds to a room. We said there would be five of us, as our friends were joining later. They had room, so we checked in. When met up with the French women and their dog – they had occupied a private twin room. I said the guys could share the room for four and I would stay in the other four bed dorm and chance it with whoever arrived. Not long later the Spanish group from Barcelona also arrived. They wanted to share a room for four all together. The hostel manager then offered the young Irish man and I a private twin for the same price if we would move, we happily accepted, hoping we would both have a snore free night. The rest of our group arrived and after showers we headed out to dinner with the French woman sans dog.

We ended up at a nearby bar and met up with our Italian and Dutch friends. I was chatting with the French women, one who was an oyster farmer… I exclaimed that they were my favorite food, and she was explaining to me all about the oyster industry in France, and the fact that oysters are hermaphrodites – you learn something new every day! The wine and conversation flowed. We ordered the pilgrims menu – I had a salad, and tomatoes stuffed with cod, and really delicious chocolate icecream. I returned to the hostel, hopefully for a snore free night.

The Walking Witch

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles
Friday 31 October

Snoring. That’s the problem with hostels… Perhaps I’ll get a better sleep tonight. Perhaps.

I was up early, as we had to be out of the hostel by 8am. It was going to be a long day. Eight hours walking, I was told and mostly uphill. 27.4km. I had met a charming Dutch man the previous evening when I returned to the hotel, and we had had a very interesting conversation – he was waiting for me to finish packing, to walk together, but I was too long trying to stuff my too many things into my pack, so he said he would see me on the road. There were only two of us left in the hostel, a young Brazilian guy, who was in a similar situation to me, he too tying to stuff too many things into his pack. I asked if he minded if we walked together.

We soon set off along the cobbled streets of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, I was a little sad to leave, as it was such a delightful town, but excited to be starting the walking part of my Camino… even if my bag was way too heavy. We weren’t on the road long when we met a group of three Irishmen and an 83 year old Canadian who was beginning his tenth Camino. He could have passed for a man in his sixties. We soon joined up, and along the way met a few others. Soon our walking speeds spread us out a little, and the youngest Irish guy was far in front, while one lagged behind, so there were four of us walking together. An Irish farmer in his 50’s, the 83 year old retired school inspector from Canada, the 34 year old Brazilian graphic designer, and me. We talked, and walked, and talked some more. The landscape was beautiful, the morning was crisp – green pastures, cows, sheep, mountains. The company was interesting and the conversation was stimulating as we moved from subject to subject. We were all happily taking it rather slowly, as the path was a little steep, and the incline was constant, and we were enjoying both the walk and the company. Eventually we caught up with the younger Irish guy who had met an Italian and another man whom we all refereed to as ‘Jesus’, as he had a strange mystical arura about him. He had walked from Lourdes, and slept in churches – he handed a postcard of the Virgin to the Brazilian, and then they all sped on ahead.

As it was quite season and I had been told there was nothing open along the way, I had bought supplies for lunch, but the others hadn’t been informed, but not to worry, I had plenty for all. Our map indicated a Virgin Mary statue on the side of the hill – she had a magnificent view, a perfect place for a picnic. I had bread and three cheeses, a bottle of red which I had decanted into a plastic container, and a bunch of radishes. We enjoyed our leisurely lunch, then began walking again. We were a little concerned that the slower Irish man hadn’t passed us.

It took us several hours to reach the summit before we started descending, and was getting rather late, but we were not concerned, as we were all enjoying ourselves. We met a Swedish couple who passed us, and who had news of the slower Irish man. He had found the walk too difficult, and was having trouble breathing, and had asked them for help. They had called someone in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, and arranged for him to return. If he was feeling better he said he may get a bus to Pamplona, and try again from there.

By this time we were all feeling very tired, we still hadn’t crossed the border into Spain. The light was turning to twilight. We trudged on, and eventually we saw the border… A strange wooden framed doorway, with ropes hanging down, not unlike the streamer fly protector in old fashioned fish and chip shops in Australia… all connected to an electric fence. Odd and not that impressive, as my idea of a border should be. There was no changing of the guards, no pomp and ceremony, no stamps in my passport. I did however take the obligatory photo of one foot in each country. We continued downhill, as the light descended into darkness and the path became steeper and steeper. I sped ahead, as I like to walk downhill fast, but soon felt my toes becoming hotter and hotter. Time to stop for some preventative blister measurements. I got out my moleskin, and my new friends soon joined me, and we all descended on Roncesvalles together. I was dressed in my all black merino ninja outfit, and had added a black brimmed hat for my walk. I commented that it was 31 October…. all hallowed’s eve. Our Canadian friend commented that I was dressed quite appropriately, and looked like a witch… So I entered the villages yelling “‘trick or treat?’. It was rather late… 7pm, but we had had an enjoyable day and walk. We went to the local restaurant with a pilgrims menu and asked what time it was served. 7pm was the reply… But we all needed a shower and to put our packs down, and decided to return at 8.30 for the slightly more expensive, regular menu.

We found our way to the municipal hostel in Roncesvalles, a beautiful old stone building. On the way I met the Dutch man, who said he had been worried about us, but I said we were fine and had an enjoyable day. Inside the old stone hostel had been renovated into a modern hostel with sleeping pods divided into four, two up, two down bunk beds. We were all allocated one pod, and I was given a top bunk. I returned to the check in counter and asked for a bottom bunk in the next pod… They begrudgingly complied, and I was sharing with three Spanish women, and hopefully I had a better chance of a snore free night.

We unpacked, showered, and myself and two others went to the laundry to do some washing. I had wanted to go to the Pilgrims mass at 8pm, but by the time we got there, they had already closed the doors… I was not going to be blessed yet again (although I knew I already was). We headed back to the Resturant, and they offered us the pilgrims menu, even though it was officially finished. I chose a salad, and trout. Both were excellent, accompanied by Spanish wine and bread. We were then given fruit salad for dessert. All for 9€. Excellent value. I like Spain. The hostel closed it’s doors at 10 pm, and the Resturant staff asked us were we staying there, as it was now ten minutes to… Two of us rushed back, and they were just closing the doors… We said to please keep them open, as our friends were following…and we had an old man with us! They obliged, but reluctantly. We then wished each other goodnight and retired to our bunks.