34. Drizzle

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary

We had drizzle… and sadly not the kind that comes on top of lemon cake.  Today was a poncho day.  It changed from light mist to drizzle within the first 30 minutes on the road. We then had variations of mist drizzle or rain all day.  To be honest it’s been miserable.

Last night we had a fabulous meal.  Four courses of loveliness and not a pasta or lomo in sight… the bread could have come from Grignols bread shop… it really was that good!  The wine was rioja… of course… and the after dinner liquors were all wonderful… I’ll grant you one was a little fire – watery but the other 2 went down as well as everything else.  The company was convivial… it was in short the perfect camino evening.

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We retired past 10 o’clock … full and happy pilgrims.  There were a couple of serious snorers in the pilgrim nest but what kept me awake the most were the electronic chimes outside our window… bong bong bong bong… bong bong bong bong (imagine very loud recorded Westminster chimes).  On the hour we had additional Bongs.  Every quarter of the hour we just had the bong bong bong bong… I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to hear a muffled … the train now standing at platform 7… oh lord this was going to be a long night.  Fortunately the liquors and the walking took over so I only remember reaching 11:15.

This morning we left in the dark… the clocks change soon which is great news for us!   We followed the arrows in the misty morning.  Then the drizzle set in.  I used molly for a while but at a coffee and toast stop 2 hours later I switched to my poncho.  The coffee stop was full of truckers and I guess construction workers for the new high speed train track construction but there were also about a dozen soldiers.  We peeled off our coats and packs aware of around 50 pairs of eyes watching us.  I went to the bar to order breakfast.  Maggie said most eyes were on my bum… I pondered this and decided that if they were admiring it then fine… if not tough.  I had hot coffee and toast on a cold wet day so I didn’t care about my bum.  After breakfast we peeled our layers back on and pushed and bumped our way outside… still concious that we were maybe a bit of entertainment for the other wet bored customers.  I guess not too many pilgrims stop here… in dripping wet ponchos.

On we walked.  I took a photo under my brolly.  It was the same view for a couple of hours so there seemed little point taking anymore .  We leapfrogged the Koreans and Canadians all day.  We stopped for a soggy lunch in the shelter of a church porch… lunch being a bag of crisps and a peach.

We walked on with the promise of a bar.  No bar.  We walked on again to the next village with again the promise of a bar… no bar. We walked on resigned to no bar and rain for the remainder of the day.

I looked at the guidebook.  Our next village was 1.9km away.  It was called Entrepenas.  Of course we found that hysterical.  We laughed until tears ran down our cheeks.  And I giggled to myself several times during those 2 km thinking about how childish we were.

Much excitement ensued as we approached Entrepenas… of course there were jokes.  We were pleasantly surprised how big it was… there were a couple of nice bells in the tower. To be fair we were cold and damp and been starved of food or drink for most of the day… so our childishness was a welcome distraction.

But all too quick the village was gone… no bar.  And we were back in the rain.

We’re in Austurianos… in a muni with 6 beds.  We got top bunks… the Canadians have the pleasure of sleeping below us tonight.  It’s freezing here and I had a plate of chips for lunch/dinner combined as there was little choice and I don’t intend to walk the kilometre back and from the bar in the village.  Oh I dream of those hot sunny days before Salamanca.

Tomorrow is a shorter day but rain is forecast… oh and I’m also dreaming of butternut squash soup and apple crumble with lashings of hot custard and a few steaming mugs of tea… on a tray in front of the fire… on a comfy sofa… whilst wearing fluffy pyjamas… having had a hot bubbly bubble bath… and dried my hair with a hairdryer (and used a real hair brush)… do you think maybe I’ve been on the road too long.

Stay warm folks… tomorrow is another day and only 260 something kilometres to go!

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