Thursday, November 12, 2009

From El Ganzo to Foncebadón

I awoke after a night were I was awake for a while - too much wine, no doubt - and I felt like I had been bitten again - yikes! (It turned out to be true, and I did all my clothes including sleeping bag, etc. at my next stop.)

It was a beautiful morning with blue sky and some great cloud formations, and I thoroughly enjoyed the walk in the high country along beautiful pathways with great views of the surrounding mountains. Patches of fall colors and beautiful clouds made for an ever-changing scenery.
I arrived in Foncébadon around 1 PM - it's an almost abandoned little mountain village - houses mostly in ruins, but I found the Albergue de Monte Irago, where I met the German woman I had dinner with the other night in Astorga. She was petting a donkey that came wandering down the road, looking for a handout, no doubt!
She had just stopped by the albergue for refreshments, but was walking on. However, she told me it looked nice and clean, so I went in, and found it very friendly, and most importantly, I could get all my stuff washed and dried!
They sold sarongs, and I bought one, put it on after my shower, and then everything went to be washed! I had to stay in my bed in my new sarong with a blanket over me, until my clothes were finally dry, because I was freezing! However, then I felt like I could be sure nothing was hiding in my clothing or sleeping bag! Of course, I could not guard against whatever might hide in the beds, and since I sleep in a new bed every night, it's pretty much the luck of the draw!
Finally dressed I joined the little crowd of pilgrims spending the night at the albergue.
We sat downstairs around the 2 dining tables and took turns using the computer, writing in our journals, and chatting over a glass of wine or beer. Among the pilgrims were a group of Swiss - they sung and played the guitar most of the afternoon and evening, so we had lovely music to boot.
Everyone were hungry by the time dinner was served at 7:30 PM, so we savored the fresh bread and cold-cuts, which were served as appetizers, then there was homemade paella with big shrimps! - I got spaghetti with a great tomato sauce - I am allergic to shell fish, so no paella for me. For dessert we got a lovely homemade goat yogurt with local wild honey - really delicious!

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