I was going to take some time to talk about the albergues we’ve been staying in because they each have a certain personality, based on the owner, but usually each has been very cool in its own way… until today.
We’re staying in a town called Cirueña. In and of itself kind of a strange place. You’re in this wonderful farm area and the last thing you do on approach is climb up this giant giant hill (you can see it waaaay in the distance on the far side)Then off to the left is a big 18 hole golf course. And up beyond that is what appears to be a new town – a whole brand new one. Lots of modern townhouses in 3 or 4 different styles. Except they are all empty, or almost all. If I could guess by looking for flowers, plants, pets and cars, I’d say 5% occupied. Lots and lots of closed shutters. Ghost Town comes to mind but without the Wild Wild West. So we walked through all of this and just as we emerged on the other side it starts to hail, so it’s not too likely we’re going much further.
Our albergue is called Albergue del Virgen de Guadalupe. It’s also strange. If you happen to have seen The Way and remember the part with El Ramon the crazy hospitalero, this guy here is a bit similar, but more gruff. He looks a little like the Grandpa from the Munsters (Ted Cruz). When you enter an albergue it’s pretty common for the host to give a tour. Señor Munster pointed out the toilets as baños, but also as the place where you “hacer pipi y popo” in case you are confused. Our friends are all in a room together and Joycee and I have a private room up at the top of the house (with a deadbolt).
It’s just a weird mildly smelly place in a sort of dilapidated house – unlike the town, this place is NOT new. The next town is 7K away and we’ve walked 28K today. The first where I would definitely keep going if Joycee and I had been in our own. But it’s been cold and it’s raining outside and the temp is dropping. Two from our group have taken the day off from injury so they are bringing dinner supplies and wine via taxi. In addition to being a ghost town there is nothing here, no restaurant or bar even. It’s definitely a little creepy.
I made Joycee do a search on the internet to be sure that the Virgen de Guadalupe wasn’t put up for human sacrifice.
With the group it will just be part of the story. We’ve been laughing at all the little oddities in the building. Our injured friends brought dinner, bocadillos of meat and cheese, yogurt (Joycee made spoons out of the neck of a water bottle), wine and chocolate. All part of the journey.